Candaules, descendant of Heracles and king of Lydia, was ‘in love with his own wife’, and continually praised her beauty to his bodyguard Gyges. Since Gyges seemed insufficiently impressed by what he was told, the king, ‘who was fated to come to a bad end’, said he would arrange for him to see the queen naked. Gyges was horrified at the impropriety of this suggestion, but Candaules insisted. One night, Gyges was concealed behind the door of the royal bedroom before the king and queen went to bed. The queen entered and took off her clothes. Having looked at her, as she turned to get into bed, Gyges slipped out, unseen – or so he thought. In fact the queen had seen him. The following morning he was summoned to her presence and offered a stark choice: having seen the queen naked, he must either die, or kill Candaules and become her king. Faced with yet another unpleasant dilemma, Gyges chose the latter alternative, killed the king and was proclaimed king in his stead.