ADMETUS

ΑΔΜΗΤΟΣ

A son of Pheres, the founder and king of Pherae in Thessaly, and of Periclymene or Clymene. (Apollod. i. 9. § 2, 9. § 14.) He took part in the Calydonian chase and the expedition of the Argonauts. (Apollod. i. 9. § 16; Hygin. Fab. 14. 173.) When he had succeeded his father as king of Pherae, he sued for the hand of Alcestis, the daughter of Pelias, who promised her to him on condition that he should come to her in a chariot drawn by lions and boars. This task Admetus performed by the assistance of Apollo, who served him according to some accounts out of attachment to him (Schol. ad Eurip. Alcest. 2; Callim. h. in Apoll. 46, &c.), or according to others because he was obliged to serve a mortal for one year for having slain the Cyclops. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 4.) On the day of his marriage with Alcestis, Admetus neglected to offer a sacrifice to Artemis, and when in the evening he entered the bridal chamber, he found there a number of snakes rolled up in a lump. Apollo, however, reconciled Artemis to him, and at the same time induced the Moirae to grant to Admetus deliverance from death, if at the hour of his death his father, mother, or wife would die for him. Alcestis did so, but Kora, or according to others Heracles, brought her back to the upper world. (Apollod. i. 9. § 15; compare ALCESTIS.)

Dying Alcestis, by Pierre Peyron (1744-1814), French Neoclassical painter

The Death of Alcestis, by Pierre Peyron (1744-1814), French Neoclassical painter