young sea-god, the protector of the sailors in danger
Palaemin (or Palaemon) was a young sea-god who, who with his mother Leukothea, came to the aid of sailors in distress. He was originally a mortal child named Melikertes (Melicertes) whose parents incurred the wrath of Hera when at Zeus' request they fostered the young god Dionysus.
His father was driven into a murderous rage by Hera and killed Palaemon's sibling. Ino fled with Melikertes in her arms, after he had killed their other child, and fleeing leapt off the cliffs into the sea. There the pair were transformed into sea-gods and received the names Palaimon and Leukothea.
Palaimon was depicted in Greco-Roman mosaic as either a dolphin-riding boy, or a fish-tailed Triton-child.
The name Melikertes was derived from that of the Phoenician god Melkart or Melqart.
However the Greeks re-interpreted this name to mean "the honey-eater." The Romans identified Palaimon with Portunus, god "of the harbour."
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