Candaules, his wife, and Gyges From Herodotus as told in “The English Patient”

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“The King insisted that he would find some way to prove beyond dispute that his wife was fairest of all women.

‘I will hide you in the room where we sleep,’ said Candaules.

Candaules tells Gyges that, ‘The Queen has the same practice every night. She takes off her clothes and puts them on the chair by the door to her room’.

‘From where you stand, you will be able to gaze on her at your leisure’.

And that evening it was exactly as the King had told him. She goes to the chair and removes her clothes one by one until she is standing naked, in full view of Gyges. And indeed, she was more lovely than he could have imagined. But then, the Queen looked up and saw Gyges concealed in the shadows. And although she said nothing, she shuddered.

The next day, she sends for Gyges and challenged him, and hearing his story, this is what she said, ‘Either you should submit to death for gazing at that which you should not, or else kill my husband who has shamed me, and become king in his place.’

So, Gyges kills the king, marries the Queen, and becomes ruler of Lydia for 28 years.”

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