Candaules, also known as Myrsilos, was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in the early years of the 7th century BC. According to Herodotus, he succeeded his father Meles as the 22nd and last king of Lydia's Heraclid dynasty. He was assassinated and succeeded by Gyges.
Based on an ambiguous line in the work of the Greek poet Hipponax, it was traditionally assumed that the name of Candaules meant "hound-choker" among the Lydians. J. B. Bury and Russell Meiggs say that Candaules is a Maeonian name meaning "hound-choker". More recently, however, it has been suggested that the name or title Kandaules is cognate with the Luwian hantawatt– and probably has Carian origin. The name or title Candaules is the origin of the term candaulism, for a sexual practice attributed to him by legend.
Several stories of how the Heraclid dynasty of Candaules ended and the Mermnad dynasty of Gyges began have been related by different authors throughout history, mostly in a mythical sense. In Plato's Republic, Gyges used a magical ring to become invisible and usurp the throne, a plot device which reappeared in numerous myths and works of fiction throughout history.
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