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In Greek legend, the beautiful daughter of Pelias, king of Iolcos. Admetus, son of the king of Pherae, sought her hand. To win her he was required to harness a lion and a boar to a chariot, and he succeeded with the aid of Apollo. When Apollo learned that Admetus had not long to live, he persuaded the Fates to prolong his life, on condition someone else die in his stead. As a loyal wife, Alcestis consented to do so, but she was rescued by Heracles, who wrestled with Death at her grave. Her story is told in Euripides' Alcestis.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Alcestis, visit Britannica.com.