Alcestis

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The Story of Alcestis from Ancient Mythology
Read about gods, goddesses and mythical creatures in the myth story of Alcestis

Alcestis
The short mythical story of Alcestis is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing story of Alcestis really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancients.

Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

Gods and Deities

Famous Myth Stories

Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses

 

 

Alcestis
The Myth of Alcestis

The mythical story of Alcestis
by Josephine Preston Peabody

The Myth of Alcestis
For many years the remembrance of Apollo's service kept Thessaly full of sunlight. Where a god could work, the people took heart to work also. Flocks and herds throve, travellers were befriended, and men were happy under the rule of a happy king and queen.

But one day Admetus fell ill, and he grew weaker and weaker until he lay at death's door. Then, when no remedy was found to help him and the hope of the people was failing, they remembered the promise of the Fates to spare the king if some one else would die in his stead. This seemed a simple matter for one whose wishes are law, and whose life is needed by all his fellow-men. But, strange to say, the substitute did not come forward at once.

Among the king's most faithful friends, many were afraid to die. Men said that they would gladly give their lives in battle, but that they could not die in bed at home like helpless old women. The wealthy had too much to live for; and the poor, who possessed nothing but life, could not bear to give up that. Even the aged parents of Admetus shrank from the thought of losing the few years that remained to them, and thought it impious that any one should name such a sacrifice.

All this time, the three Fates were waiting to cut the thread of life, and they could not wait longer.

Then, seeing that even the old and wretched clung to their gift of life, who should offer herself but the young and lovely queen, Alcestis? Sorrowful but resolute, she determined to be the victim, and made ready to die for the sake of her husband.

Picture of Alcestis

Picture of Alcestis

She took leave of her children and commended them to the care of Admetus. All his pleading could not change the decree of the Fates. Alcestis prepared for death as for some consecration. She bathed and anointed her body, and, as a mortal illness seized her, she lay down to die, robed in fair raiment, and bade her kindred farewell. The household was filled with mourning, but it was too late. She waned before the eyes of the king, like daylight that must be gone.

At this grievous moment Heracles, mightiest of all men, who was journeying on his way to new adventures, begged admittance to the palace, and inquired the cause of such grief in that hospitable place. He was told of the misfortune that had befallen Admetus, and, struck with pity, he resolved to try what his strength might do for this man who had been a friend of gods.

Already Death had come out of Hades for Alcestis, and as Heracles stood at the door of her chamber he saw that awful form leading away the lovely spirit of the queen, for the breath had just departed from her body. Then the might that he had from his divine father Zeus stood by the hero. He seized Death in his giant arms and wrestled for victory.

Now Death is a visitor that comes and goes. He may not tarry in the upper world; its air is not for him; and at length, feeling his power give way, he loosed his grasp of the queen, and, weak with the struggle, made escape to his native darkness of Hades.

In the chamber where the royal kindred were weeping, the body of Alcestis lay, fair to see, and once more the breath stirred in her heart, like a waking bird. Back to its home came her lovely spirit, and for long years after she lived happily with her husband, King Admetus.

The Legend and Myth of Alcestis

The Myth of Alcestis
The story of Alcestis is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.

Alcestis - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Alcestis, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like Alcestis, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners...

The Myth of Alcestis - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Alcestis is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as Alcestis is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.

Satyr

The Magical World of Myth and Legend

The Short Story and Myth of Alcestis
The myth about Alcestis is featured in the book entitled The story of Alcestis is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. Learn about the exciting adventures and dangerous quests undertaken by the mythical characters that feature in the hero myths, fables and stories about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome that are available on this website.

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses - Apollo riding his golden chariot

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses

Alcestis

  • Short story of Alcestis
  • A Myth Story of the Ancient World
  • The gods, goddesses of the ancient Myth Stories & Legends
  • The monsters and beasts of classical Mythology
  • The story of Alcestis by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding
  • A famous Myth Story and fable of the Ancient World for schools and kids
 

 
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