Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

""Sisyphus depicted on a black-figure amphora vase
"Persephone supervising "Sisyphus in the "Underworld, "Attic black-figure "amphora, c. 530 BC

In "Greek mythology, Tartarus ("/ˈtɑːrtərəs/; "Ancient Greek: Τάρταρος Tartaros)[1] is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the "Titans. Tartarus is the place where, according to "Plato's "Gorgias (c. 400 BC), "souls are judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment. Like other primal entities (such as the "Earth, "Night and "Time), Tartarus was also considered to be a primordial force or deity.


Greek mythology[edit]

In Greek mythology, Tartarus is both a deity and a place in the "underworld. In ancient Orphic sources and in the mystery schools, Tartarus is also the unbounded first-existing entity from which the Light and the cosmos are born.

In the "Greek "poet "Hesiod's "Theogony, c. 700 BC, Tartarus was the third of the "primordial deities, following after "Chaos and "Gaia (Earth), and preceding "Eros,[2] and was the father, by Gaia, of the monster "Typhon.[3] According to "Hyginus, Tartarus was the offspring of "Aether and "Gaia.[4]

As for the place, Hesiod asserts that a bronze anvil falling from "heaven would fall nine days before it reached the earth. The anvil would take nine more days to fall from earth to Tartarus.[5] In the "Iliad (c. 700 BC), "Zeus asserts that Tartarus is "as far beneath Hades as heaven is above earth."[6]

While according to Greek mythology the realm of Hades is the place of the dead, 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. Kronos and many of the other Titans were banished to Tartarus, though "Prometheus, "Epimetheus, "Metis and most of the female Titans were spared (according to "Pindar, Kronos somehow later earned Zeus' forgiveness and was released from Tartarus to become ruler of "Elysium). Another Titan, "Atlas, was sentenced to hold the sky on his shoulders to prevent it from resuming its primordial embrace with the Earth. Other gods could be sentenced to Tartarus as well. "Apollo is a prime example, although Zeus freed him. The Hecatonchires became guards of Tartarus' prisoners. Later, when Zeus overcame the monster Typhon, he threw him into "wide Tartarus".[7]

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. For example:

According to "Plato (c. 427 BC), "Rhadamanthus, "Aeacus and "Minos were the judges of the dead and chose who went to Tartarus. Rhadamanthus judged Asian souls, Aeacus judged European souls and Minos was the deciding vote and judge of the Greek.

Plato also proposes the concept that sinners were cast under the ground to be punished in accordance with their sins in the "Myth of Er.

There were a number of entrances to Tartarus in Greek mythology. One was in "Aornum.[15]

Roman mythology[edit]

In Roman mythology, Tartarus is the place where sinners are sent. "Virgil describes it in the "Aeneid as a gigantic place, surrounded by the flaming river "Phlegethon and triple walls to prevent sinners from escaping from it. It is guarded by a "hydra with fifty black gaping jaws, which sits at a screeching gate protected by columns of solid "adamantine, a substance akin to diamond – so hard that nothing will cut through it. Inside, there is a castle with wide walls, and a tall iron turret. "Tisiphone, one of the "Erinyes who represents revenge, stands guard sleepless at the top of this turret lashing a whip. There is a pit inside which is said to extend down into the earth twice as far as the distance from the lands of the living to "Olympus. At the bottom of this pit lie the "Titans, the twin sons of "Aloeus, and many other sinners. Still more sinners are contained inside Tartarus, with punishments similar to those of Greek myth.

Biblical pseudepigrapha[edit]

Tartarus occurs in the "Septuagint of Job, but otherwise is only known in Hellenistic Jewish literature from the Greek text of "1 Enoch, dated to 400–200 BC. This states that God placed the archangel "Uriel "in charge of the world and of Tartarus" (20:2). Tartarus is generally understood to be the place where 200 fallen "Watchers ("angels) are imprisoned.[16]

Tartarus also appears in sections of the Jewish Sibylline Oracles. E.g. Sib. Or. 4:186.

New Testament[edit]

In the "New Testament, the noun Tartarus does not occur but tartaroo (ταρταρόω, "throw to Tartarus"), a shortened form of the classical Greek verb kata-tartaroo ("throw down to Tartarus"), does appear in "2 Peter 2:4. "Liddell–Scott provides other sources for the shortened form of this verb, including "Acusilaus (5th century BC), "Joannes Laurentius Lydus (4th century AD) and the "Scholiast on "Aeschylus' "Eumenides, who cites "Pindar relating how the earth tried to tartaro "cast down" "Apollo after he overcame the Python.[17] In classical texts, the longer form kata-tartaroo is often related to the throwing of the "Titans down to Tartarus.[18]

The "ESV is one of several English versions that gives the Greek reading Tartarus as a footnote:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell [1] and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

Footnotes [1] 2:4 Greek Tartarus

"Adam Clarke reasoned that Peter's use of language relating to the Titans was an indication that the ancient Greeks had heard of a Biblical punishment of "fallen angels.[19] Some Evangelical Christian commentaries distinguish Tartarus as a place for wicked angels and Gehenna as a place for wicked humans on the basis of this verse.[20] Other Evangelical commentaries, in reconciling that some fallen angels are chained in Tartarus, yet some not, attempt to distinguish between one type of fallen angel and another.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Of uncertain origin ("Tartarus". "Online Etymological Dictionary).
  2. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony 116–119.
  3. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony 820–822.
  4. ^ "Hyginus, Fabulae Preface.
  5. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 720–725.
  6. ^ "Homer, "Iliad 8.17.
  7. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 868.
  8. ^ Hamilton, Edith. "Brief Myths." Mythology.
  9. ^ "Ancient Greeks: Is death necessary and can death actually harm us?". Mlahanas.de. Archived from the original on 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  10. ^ "Homer, "Odyssey 11.593–600.
  11. ^ "Pindar, "First Olympian Ode.
  12. ^ "Odyssey xi.582-92; Tantalus' transgressions are not mentioned; they must already have been well known to Homer's late-8th-century hearers.
  13. ^ The Danish government's third world aid agency's name was changed from DANAID to "DANIDA in the last minute when this unfortunate connotation was discovered.
  14. ^ "Virgil "Aeneid 6.585-594
  15. ^ "The Greek Myths (Volume 1) by "Robert Graves (1990), page 112: "... He used the passage which opens at Aornum in Thesprotis and, on his arrival, not only charmed the ferryman Charon..."
  16. ^ Kelley Coblentz Bautch A Study of the Geography of 1 Enoch 17–19: "no One Has Seen what I Have Seen" p134
  17. ^ A. cast into Tartarus or hell, Acus.8 J., 2 Ep.Pet.2.4, Lyd.Mens.4.158 (Pass.), Sch.T Il.14.296. Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.
  18. ^ "Apollodorus of Athens, in Didymus' Scholia on Homer; "Plutarch Concerning rivers
  19. ^ Clarke Commentary "The ancient Greeks appear to have received, by tradition, an account of the punishment of the 'fallen angels,' and of bad men after death; and their poets did, in conformity I presume with that account, make Tartarus the place where the giants who rebelled against Jupiter, and the souls of the wicked, were confined. 'Here,' saith Hesiod, Theogon., lin. 720, 1, 'the rebellious Titans were bound in penal chains.'"
  20. ^ Paul V. Harrison, Robert E. Picirilli James, 1, 2 Peter, Jude Randall House Commentaries 1992 p267 "We do not need to say, then, that Peter was reflecting or approving the Book of Enoch (20:2) when it names Tartarus as a place for wicked angels in distinction from Gehenna as the place for wicked humans."
  21. ^ Vince Garcia The Resurrection Life Study Bible 2007 p412 "If so, we have a problem: Satan and his angels are not locked up in Tartarus! Satan and his angels were alive and active in the time of Christ, and still are today! Yet Peter specifically (2 Peter 2:4) states that at least one group of angelic beings have literally been cast down to Tartarus and bound in chains until the Last Judgment. So if Satan and his angels are not currently bound in Tartarus—who is? The answer goes back~again~to the angels who interbred with humans. So then— is it impossible that Azazel is somehow another name for Satan? There may be a chance he is, but there is no way of knowing for sure. ..."


) ) WikipediaAudio is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the WikiMedia Foundation.