Alcestis | Greek Princess

Alcestis Greek Mythology

Alceste is, in Greek mythology, a princess famous for her love for her husband. Daughter of Pelias, king of Iolco, her mother was Anaxibia, daughter of Bias or Philomache, daughter of Amphion.

Her father had promised her to the one who would go to him in a chariot drawn by lions and boars. Admeto, king of Feras to whom Apollo was pledged to serve for a year, performs the task with the god's help and wins Alceste's hand.

However, during the sacrifice of the wedding feast, Admeto forgets Artemis, and finds his room full of snakes. Apollo suggests that he try to appease the goddess, and manages to get the Sparks to spare him, on the condition that at the moment of his death, another will voluntarily sacrifice himself for him.

Admeto does not worry much about this condition thinking of all his servants who owed him favors and were very fond of him, and is very happy with the new hope. At the time of his death, however, no one qualifies, not even his old parents; only Alceste offers herself as a substitute.

Admeto had much love for life, but did not wish to keep it at such a cost. However, the condition of the Parcas had been met and while Admeto was regaining his strength, Alceste fell ill.

Hercules, who was passing by, hears the lament of the servants who didn't want to lose a dear lady and such a devoted wife, waits at the door of Alceste's room for Death to arrive. When Death arrives, Hercules grabs her and forces her to give up her attempt to steal Alceste's life. Thus she recovers and is able to continue living next to her beloved husband.

Her son Eumelo took eight ships to the Trojan War. A daughter of Admeto (whose mother is not mentioned), Perimele, married Magnes, son of Argos (son of Phrixus) the builder of the ship of the Argonauts.