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Peregrinus Proteus

Updated on February 26, 2012

95-165 A.D.

Peregrinus Proteus was a Greek philosopher and Christian preacher born in Parium, Mysia, Asia Minor, 95 A.D.

After a debauched adolescence, during which he was suspected of patricide, Peregrinus migrated to Palestine, where he was converted to Christianity.

His Christian activities there caused his temporary incarceration, after release from which he returned to Parium, became a Cynic philosopher, and, to obliterate the memory of his ill-spent youth, distributed his patrimony among the Parians. Peregrinus then began a wandering existence, wherein he relied on Christian communities for his support, was excommunicated for profanation of the Eucharist in Palestine, and thence went to Egypt, where he became notorious for his extreme practice of Cynicism. He next appeared in Rome, Italy, whence for his ribaldry and obscenity he was expelled. Then he journeyed through Greece as an itinerant preacher of a partly Christian and partly Cynic philosophy. Finally Peregrinus decided to make his memory immortal by committing suicide, which he accomplished by cremating himself at the Olympic games.

Almost all that is known about Peregrinus is related by Lucian, the Greek essayist and his contemporary, in his Pericles Peregrino teleute.

Peregrinus Proteus died in Olympia, Greece in 165 A.D.


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