The Story of Admetus from Ancient Mythology
Read about gods, goddesses and mythical creatures in the myth story of Admetus
The short mythical story of Admetus 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 Admetus really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancient Roman and Greek gods.
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The Myth of Admetus
The mythical story of Admetus
by Josephine Preston Peabody
The Myth of Admetus
Apollo did not live always free of care, though he was the most glorious of the gods. One day, in anger with the Cyclopes who work at the forges of Vulcan, he sent his arrows after them, to the wrath of all the gods, but especially of Zeus. (For the Cyclopes always make his thunderbolts, and make them well.) Even the divine archer could not go unpunished, and as a penalty he was sent to serve some mortal for a year. Some say one year and some say nine, but in those days time passed quickly; and as for the gods, they took no heed of it.
Now there was a certain king in Thessaly, Admetus by name, and there came to him one day a stranger, who asked leave to serve about the palace. None knew his name, but he was very comely, and moreover, when they questioned him he said that he had come from a position of high trust. So without further delay they made him chief shepherd of the royal flocks.
Every day thereafter, he drove his sheep to the banks of the river Amphrysus, and there he sat to watch them browse. The country-folk that passed drew near to wonder at him, without daring to ask questions. He seemed to have a knowledge of leechcraft, and knew how to cure the ills of any wayfarer with any weed that grew near by; and he would pipe for hours in the sun. A simple-spoken man he was, yet he seemed to know much more than he would say, and he smiled with a kindly mirth when the people wished him sunny weather.
Indeed, as days went by, it seemed as if summer had come to stay, and, like the shepherd, found the place friendly. Nowhere else were the flocks so white and fair to see, like clouds loitering along a bright sky; and sometimes, when he chose, their keeper sang to them. Then the grasshoppers drew near and the swans sailed close to the river banks, and the countrymen gathered about to hear wonderful tales of the slaying of the monster Python, and of a king with ass's ears, and of a lovely maiden, Daphne, who grew into a laurel-tree. In time the rumor of these things drew the king himself to listen; and Admetus, who had been to see the world in the ship Argo, knew at once that this was no earthly shepherd, but a god. From that day, like a true king, he treated his guest with reverence and friendliness, asking no questions; and the god was well pleased.
Picture of Admetus
Now it came to pass that Admetus fell in love with a beautiful maiden, Alcestis, and, because of the strange condition that her father Pelias had laid upon all suitors, he was heavy-hearted. Only that man who should come to woo her in a chariot drawn by a wild boar and a lion might ever marry Alcestis; and this task was enough to puzzle even a king.
As for the shepherd, when he heard of it he rose, one fine morning, and left the sheep and went his way, no one knew whither. If the sun had gone out, the people could not have been more dismayed. The king himself went, late in the day, to walk by the river Amphrysus, and wonder if his gracious keeper of the flocks had deserted him in a time of need. But at that very moment, whom should he see returning from the woods but the shepherd, glorious as sunset, and leading side by side a lion and a boar, as gentle as two sheep! The very next morning, with joy and gratitude, Admetus set out in his chariot for the kingdom of Pelias, and there he wooed and won Alcestis, the most loving wife that was ever heard of.
It was well for Admetus that he came home with such a comrade, for the year was at an end, and he was to lose his shepherd. The strange man came to take leave of the king and queen whom he had befriended.
"Blessed be your flocks, Admetus," he said, smiling. "They shall prosper even though I leave them. And, because you can discern the gods that come to you in the guise of wayfarers, happiness shall never go far from your home, but ever return to be your guest. No man may live on earth forever, but this one gift have I obtained for you. When your last hour draws near, if any one shall be willing to meet it in your stead, he shall die, and you shall live on, more than the mortal length of days. Such kings deserve long life."
So ended the happy year when Apollo tended sheep.
The Legend and Myth of Admetus
The Myth of Admetus
The story of Admetus is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.
Admetus - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Admetus, 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 Admetus, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners...
The Myth of Admetus - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Admetus 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 Admetus is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.
The Magical World of Myth and Legend
The Short Story and Myth of Admetus
The myth about Admetus is featured in the book entitled The story of Admetus 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.
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