Alcestis (Myths and Legends of the World)
In Greek mythology, Alcestis was the beautiful daughter of Pelias, the king of Iolcus in Thessaly. Pelias promised his daughter in marriage to any man who came to get her in a chariot pulled by a lion and a boar. Admetus, the king of Pherae in Thessaly, performed this featith the help of the god ApolloGreek god of the sun, the arts, medicine, and herdsmen; son of Zeus and Leto and twin brother of Artemis. In punishment for angering Zeusin Greek mythology, king of the gods and husband of Hera (Roman god Jupiter), Apollo had been sent to work as a shepherd for Admetus. Because the king had treated him well, Apollo agreed to help him win Alcestis.
When Admetus was near death, Apollo asked the Fates to save his life. They agreed, as long as someone else would volunteer to die in his place. Everyone refused but Alcestis, who offered to sacrifice herself to save her husband. Some stories say that Persephone, goddess of the underworld,land of the dead intervened and allowed Alcestis to live because she admired the woman's devotion to Admetus. Other tales relate that the hero HerculesGreek hero who had 12 labors to perform; Roman god of strength, a guest at Admetus's palace, wrestled with Death when it came to take Alcestis. He won, forcing Death to let...
(The entire section is 231 words.)
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