Αδμητη

The heroine of a Samian legend. She was the daughter of Eurystheus and great-granddaughter of Perseus (Table 31), and lived at Argos where she was the priestess of Hera. One version of the legend of the Amazons says that it was for her that Hercules went to search for the girdle of the Queen of the Amazons. Admete performed her religious duties for fifty-eight years, but when her father died she had to flee from Argos and sought refuge in Samos, taking with her the cult statue of the goddess which had been entrusted to her charge. In Samos she discovered a very ancient shrine of Hera, founded in the distant past by the Leleges and the Nymphs, and there she put the statue.

The Argives were dismayed by the disappearance of the statue and commissioned Tyrrhenian pirates to do in search of it. Moreover they hoped that the Samians would hold Admete responsible for the statue and would punish her if it had been stolen. As the temple in Samos had no door the pirates had difficulty in taking the statue away, but when they tried to set sail they found they could not cast off and they understood from this that the goddess wanted to stay in Samos. Accordingly they placed the sacred statue on the shore and offered a sacrifice to her. Meanwhile, Admete had become aware that the statue had vanished and she alerted the inhabitants who looked everywhere for it. Eventually they found it, abandoned on the shore by the departing pirates. They consequently supposed that the goddess had come there on her own initiative and they bound the statue in rushes. When Admete arrived she unfastened it, purified it and consecrated it afresh, for it had been sullied by being touched by human hands, they she brought it back to its temple. As a reminder of this episode the inhabitants of Samos celebrated an annual festival during which the statue of Hera was carried to the shore freshly consecrated and given offerings.

Pausanias clams that the Argive statue of Hera was brought to Samos not by Admete but by the Argonauts.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Athenaeus 15, 672a
- Paus. 7, 4, 4

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