Hades, Tartaros, Elysion (page 128)

Chapter 3: Olympos, the Underworld, and Minor Divinities

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Pausanias 10.28.7

Higher up than the figures I have enumerated comes Eurynomus, said by the Delphian guides to be one of the demons in Hades, who eats off all the flesh of the corpses, leaving only their bones. But Homer’s Odyssey, the poem called the Minyad, and the Returns, although they tell of Hades, and its horrors, know of no demon called Eurynomus. However, I will describe what he is like and his attitude in the painting. He is of a color between blue and black, like that of meat flies; he is showing his teeth and is seated, and under him is spread a vulture’s skin.  Greek Text

Pausanias 10.31.9

The women beyond Penthesileia are carrying water in broken pitchers; one is depicted as in the bloom of youth, the other is already advanced in years. There is no separate inscription on either woman, but there is one common to the pair, which states that they are of the number of the uninitiated.  Greek Text

Pausanias 10.31.11

There is also in the painting a jar, and an old man, with a boy and two women. One of these, who is young, is under the rock; the other is beside the old man and of a like age to his. The others are carrying water, but you will guess that the old woman’s water-jar is broken. All that remains of the water in the sherd she is pouring out again into the jar. We inferred that these people too were of those who had held of no account the rites at Eleusis. For the Greeks of an earlier period looked upon the Eleusinian mysteries as being as much higher than all other religious acts as gods are higher than heroes.  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 8.10-16

Whomsoever I shall mark minded apart from the gods to go and bear aid either to Trojans or Danaans, smitten in no seemly wise shall he come back to Olympus, or I shall take and hurl him into murky Tartarus, far, far away, where is the deepest gulf beneath the earth, the gates whereof are of iron and the threshold of bronze, as far beneath Hades as heaven is above earth.  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 14.274

even the gods that are below with Cronos  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 14.278-79

and invoked by name all the gods below Tartarus, that are called Titans.  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 8.478-81

But of thee I reck not in thine anger, no, not though thou shouldst go to the nethermost bounds of earth and sea, where abide Iapetus and Cronos, and have joy neither in the rays of Helios Hyperion nor in any breeze, but deep Tartarus is round about them.  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 5.898

then long ere this hadst thou been lower than the sons of heaven  Greek Text

Hesiod, Theogony 713-45

And amongst the foremost Cottus and Briareos and Gyes insatiate for war raised fierce fighting: three hundred rocks, one upon another, they launched from their strong hands and overshadowed the Titans with their missiles, and hurled them beneath the wide-pathed earth, and bound them in bitter chains when they had conquered them by their strength for all their great spirit, as far beneath the earth as heaven is above earth; for so far is it from earth to Tartarus. For a brazen anvil falling down from heaven nine nights and days would reach the earth upon the tenth: and again, a brazen anvil falling from earth nine nights and days would reach Tartarus upon the tenth. Round it runs a fence of bronze, and night spreads in triple line all about it like a neck-circlet, while above grow the roots of the earth and unfruitful sea. There by the counsel of Zeus who drives the clouds the Titan gods are hidden under misty gloom, in a dank place where are the ends of the huge earth. And they may not go out; for Poseidon fixed gates of bronze upon it, and a wall runs all round it on every side. There Gyes and Cottus and great-souled Obriareus live, trusty warders of Zeus who holds the aegis. And there, all in their order, are the sources and ends of gloomy earth and misty Tartarus and the unfruitful sea and starry heaven, loathsome and dank, which even the gods abhor. It is a great gulf, and if once a man were within the gates, he would not reach the floor until a whole year had reached its end, but cruel blast upon blast would carry him this way and that. And this marvel is awful even to the deathless gods. There stands the awful home of murky Night wrapped in dark clouds.  Greek Text


Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2021

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