Macaria is the name given to two figures in Greek mythology and ancient Greek religion.
The first character named Macaria was the daughter of the demigod Heracles. After Heracles died by wearing the tainted Shirt of Nessus and throwing himself into a funeral pyre, the animosity King Eurystheus of Tiryns had against the hero was not quenched; instead, he started pursuing Heracles' children, and Macaria along with her siblings and her father's friend Iolaus fled to Athens. There, they received shelter by King Demophon. Eurystheus marched with his army to the gates of Athens, at which point he demanded that Demophon surrender Heracles' children or start fighting. Demophon refused to surrender the children, and received a prophecy from an oracle, saying that Athens would win this war if a maiden was sacrificed to Persephone. Macaria realised that this was the only choice for her, so she volunteered to be sacrificed. The Athenians greatly honoured her and after her sacrifice, named the Macarian spring where she died after her.
The other figure named Macaria was a deity, daughter of Hades and an unknown mother. She represented a blessed death.
See Also: Heracles, Shirt of Nessus, Eurystheus, Demophon, Persephone, Hades
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