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Peirithous and Theseus. Painting by Guy Fiero.

Peirithous (pye-RITH-oh-us). King of the Lapiths, companion of Theseus. Their friendship was formed when Theseus came upon the Lapith engaged in an act of piracy, and it found its fullest expression in exploits of a dubious nature. Peirithous helped Theseus abduct young Helen of Sparta, in return for which Theseus aided Peirithous in an ill-fated attempt to carry off Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. The two were glued to a bench by Hades on this occasion and inflicted with torments. Theseus was eventually freed by Heracles, but Peirithous remains there for eternity.