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Encyclopedia > Admetus

In Greek mythology, Admetus was a king of Pherae in Thessaly, succeeding his father Pheres after whom the city was named. Greek mythology comprises the collected narratives of Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines, originally created and spread within an oral-poetic tradition. ... Pherae was an ancient Greek city in Thessaly. ... Thessaly (Θεσσαλια; modern Greek Thessalía; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is one of the 13 peripheries of Greece, and is further sub-divided into 4 prefectures. ... In Greek Mythology, Pheres son of Cretheus was the founder of Pherae in Thessaly. ...

Admetus was one of the Argonauts and took part in the Calydonian Boarhunt. The Black Sea near the shore of Colchis. ...

Admetus was famed for his hospitality and justice. When Apollo was forced to into a year in servitude to a mortal after killing the Cyclopes, the god chose Admetus' home and became his herdsman. Apollo was so impressed by Admetus' treatment that the god made all the cows bear twins. Apollo (Greek: Απόλλων, Apóllōn; Απελλων) is a god in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin of Artemis (goddess of the hunt), one of the most important and many-sided of the Olympian divinities. ... This page is about the mythical creatures. ...

Apollo also helped Admetus win the hand of the princess Alcestis, the daughter of Pelias, the king of Iolcus. Alcestis had so many suitors that Pelias set an apparently impossible task to the suitors - to win the hand of Alcestis, they must yoke a boar and a lion to a chariot. Apollo harnessed the yoke with the animals and Admetus drove the chariot to Pelias, and thus married Alcestis. A princess in Greek mythology, Alcestis (might of the home) was known for her love for her husband. ... King Pelias was the father of Acastus, Pisidice, Alcestis in Greek mythology. ... Iolcos (also known as Iolkos or Iolcus, Greek: Ιώλκος) was an ancient city in Thessaly, central-eastern Greece (near the modern city of Volos). ...

Admetus, however, neglected to sacrifice to Artemis. The offended goddess filled the bridal chamber with snakes and again, Apollo came to Admetus' aid. Apollo advised Admetus to sacrifice to Artemis, and the goddess removed the snakes. The Artemis of Versailles, a Roman copy of a Hellenistic marble sculpture, now at the Louvre Museum. ...

The greatest aid Apollo gave to Admetus was persuading the Fates to reprieve Admetus of his fated day of death. Apollo made the Fates drunk, and the Fates agreed to reprieve Admetus if he could find someone to die in his place. Admetus initially believed that one of his aged parents would happily take their son's place of death. When they were unwilling, Alcestis instead dies for Admetus. In Greek mythology, the white-robed Moirae or Moerae (Greek Μοίραι – the Apportioners, often called the Fates) were the personifications of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, sparing ones, or Fatae; also equivalent to the Germanic Norns). ...

The scene of death is described in Euripedes' play Alcestis, where Thanatos, the god of death, takes Alcestis to the Underworld. As Alcestis descends, Admetus discovers that he actually does not want to live: Euripides (c. ... Thanatos, a creature of darkness and death In Greek mythology, Thanatos (θάνατος, death) was the personification of death (Roman equivalent: Mors). ...

I think my wife's fate is happier than my own, even though it may not seem so. No pain will ever touch her now, and she has ended life's many troubles with glory. But I, who have escaped my fate and ought not to be alive, shall now live out my life in sorrow.

The situation was saved by Heracles, who rested at Pherae on his way towards the man-eating mares of Diomedes. Told of Admetus' situation, Heracles entered Alcetis' tomb. He wrestled with Thanatos until the god agreed to release Alcetis, then led her back into the mortal world. Statue of Heracles In Greek mythology, Heracles, or Heraklês (glory of Hera, Ηρακλης) was a divine hero, the demigod son of Zeus and Alcmene, and stepson of Alcmenes rightful husband and great-grandson of Perseus. ... In Greek mythology, Diomêdês (god-like cunning) was the son of Tydeus and Deipyle and a favored hero of Athena. ...

The most famous of Admetus' children was Eumelus, who led a contingent from Pherae to fight in the Trojan War. Eumelus was the name of several men in Greek mythology: A Eumelus succeeded Adrastus as the King of Pherae. ... The Trojan War was a war waged, according to legend, against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of the Achaeans, following the kidnapping (or elopement) of Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy. ...


  • March, J., Cassell's Dictionary Of Classical Mythology, London, 1999. ISBN 030435161X

  Results from FactBites:
Admetus - LoveToKnow 1911 (154 words)
ADMETUS, in Greek legend, son of Pheres, king of Pherae in Thessaly.
When Admetus was attacked by an illness that threatened to lead to his premature death, Apollo persuaded the Moerae (Fates) to prolong his life, provided any one could be found to die in his place.
She is said to have been rescued from the hands of Death by Heracles, who arrived upon the scene at an opportune moment; a later story represents her as cured of a dangerous illness by his skill.
Admetus the Artist (3881 words)
It is Admetus' futile position that activates the chorus in the next stasimon, a temporally illogical song: they pray for help, for release, for a way out of this disaster and still they sing of Alcestis as if she is already dead.
Admetus is so vague until his iambic speech in the second episode that it is almost as if he were the one in the liminal space between life and death.
And thus, Admetus, having promised total sensual deprivation (line 347, "for you have taken the joy from my life" is the low point for himself and for her), begins to re-animate his world.
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