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Lydia

daughter of the King of Lydia, was sought in marriage by Alcestes, a Thracian knight; his suit was refused, and he repaired to the King of Armenia, who gave him an army, with which he laid siege to Lydia. He was persuaded by Lydia to raise the siege. The King of Armenia would not give up the project, and Alcestes slew him. Lydia now set him all sorts of dangerous tasks to “prove the ardour of his love,” all of which he surmounted. Lastly, she induced him to kill all his allies, and when she had thus cut off the claws of this love-sick lion she mocked him. Alcestes pined and died, and Lydia was doomed to endless torment in hell, where Astolpho saw her, to whom she told her story. (Orlando Furioso, bk. xvii.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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