ADMETUS, in Greek legend, son of Pheres, king of Pherae in Thessaly. By the aid of Apollo, who served him as a slave—either as a punishment for having slain the Cyclopes, or out of affection for his mortal master—he won the hand of Alcestis, the most beautiful of the daughters of Pelias, king of Iolcus. 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. His parents refused, but Alcestis consented. 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.
Homer, Iliad, ii. 715; Apollodorus, i. 9; Euripides, Alcestis; Plutarch, Amatorius, 17; Dissel, Der Mythus von Admetos und Alkestis, progr. Brandenburg, 1882.
Source: 1911 encyclopedia.
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