Admetus, in Greek mythology, was the son of Pheres, king of Pherse, and the friend of Apollo and Hercules. In his youth he was present in the Calydonian hunt and in the journey of the Argonauts. Alceste was loved by him, and Admetus asked her father, Pelias, to give her to him as his wife. This was promised upon one severe condition that the lover should yoke a lion and a wild boar in front of the same wagon. Apollo aided him in the fulfilment of this condition. When, however, Admetus came to his wife in the bridal- chamber, there lay an immense bunch of snakes in it, which Diana had sent because Admetus had forgotten to bring thank-offerings to her. He reconciled the goddess, and the lovers were joined. Admetus was very beautiful, and Apollo therefore showed him many favors. The short period of life allotted to him by the Parcse on account of the murder of the Cyclops was lengthened by Apollo in this wise: He advised Admetus to go and ask the Parcae to promise to spare his life if some one could be found to die in his stead. They conseited Alceste, full of sympathy for her husband, offered herself willingly to die for Admetus, and did so. But despair seized Admetus when he found that he had lost his wife, and thereupon Hercules showed his friendship by bringing back Alceste from Tartarus.

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