Friday, 25 November 2022

Tartarus and Elysium

Tartarus in Greek mythology is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. As far below Hades as the earth is below the heavens, Tartarus is the place where, according to Plato, souls were judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment.

Tartarus was also considered to be a primordial force or deity.
According to Greek mythology, the realm of Hades is the place of the dead, but Tartarus also has a number of inhabitants. When Cronus came to power as the King of the Titans, he imprisoned the one-eyed Cyclopes and the hundred-armed Hecatonchires in Tartarus and set the monster Campe as its guard. Zeus killed Campe and released these imprisoned giants to aid in his conflict with the Titans. The gods of Olympus eventually triumphed. Cronus and many of the other Titans were banished to Tartarus.
Aegaeon the Hekantonkheires
Another Titan, Atlas, was sentenced to hold the sky on his shoulders to prevent it from resuming its primordial embrace with the Earth. Heracles ends up building a large pillar that holds up the sky eventually freeing Atlas from his torment. Originally, Tartarus was used only to confine dangers to the gods of Olympus. In later mythologies, Tartarus became the place where the punishment fits the crime. Mythical figures such as Sisyphus, Tantalus, Ixion, Tityos and the Titan Prometheus met their fates in Tartarus.
Tantalus was given eternal punishment where he was condemned to stand in a lake with fruits, but without being able to satisfy his thirst or his hunger.
Elysium, also called Elysian Fields or Elysian Plain, was the paradise to which heroes on whom the gods conferred immortality were sent. The Elysian Plain was a land of perfect happiness at the end of the Earth, on the banks of the Oceanus. Earlier, only those favored by the gods entered Elysium.
Later Elysium was a place for the blessed dead and entrance was gained by a righteous life.