In Greek mythology, the lowest depths of the underworld. It was a region of eternal darkness where the evil were punished after death for having offended the gods. Here Zeus confined the Titans, who were prevented from escaping by hundred-armed giants. Later classical authors sometimes used Tartarus interchangeably with Hades to designate the entire underworld.
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In classic Greek mythology, below Heaven, Earth, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). It is either a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides within Hades (the entire underworld) with Tartarus being the hellish component. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus. As a place of punishment, it can be considered a hell. The classic Hades, on the other hand, is more similar to Old Testament Sheol.
Like other primal entities (such as the earth and time), Tartarus is also a primordial force or deity.
In Greek mythology, Tartarus is both a deity and a place in the underworld even lower than Hades. In ancient Orphic sources and in the mystery schools Tartarus is also the unbounded first-existing "thing" from which the Light and the cosmos is born.
As for the place, the Greek poet Hesiod asserts that a bronze anvil falling from heaven would fall 9 days before it reached the Earth. The anvil would take nine more days to fall from Earth to Tartarus, making it approximately 40,000 miles deep. In The Iliad (c. 700), Zeus asserts that Tartarus is "as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth." As a place so far from the sun and so deep in the earth, Tartarus is hemmed in by three layers of night, which surround a Beryllium wall which in turn encompasses Tartarus. It is a dank and wretched pit engulfed in murky gloom. It is one of the primordial objects which sprung from Chaos (along with Gaia (Earth) and Eros (Love)).
While, according to Greek mythology, Hades is the place of the dead, Tartarus also has a number of inhabitants. When Kronos, the ruling Titan, came to power he imprisoned the Cyclopes in Tartarus. Some myths also say he imprisoned the three Hecatonchires (giants with fifty heads and one hundred arms). Zeus released them, and defeated Kampe, to aid in his conflict with the Titan giants. The gods of Olympus eventually defeated the Titans. Many, but not all of the Titans, were cast into Tartarus. Epimetheus, Metis, and Prometheus are some Titans who were not banished to Tartarus. Cronus, father of the big three, was imprisoned on Tartarus. In Tartarus, prisoners were guarded by the Hecatonchires. Later, when Zeus overcame the monster Typhon, the offspring of Tartarus and Gaia, he threw the monster into the same pit.
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 Sisyphus, who was punished for telling the father of Aegina, a young woman kidnapped by Zeus for one of his sexual gratifications, where she was and who had initially taken her. Zeus considered this an ultimate betrayal and saw to it that Sisyphus was forced to roll a large boulder up a mountainside, which, when he reached the crest, rolled back down, again and again.
Also found there was Ixion, one of the mortals invited to dine with the gods. Ixion began to lust after Zeus' wife, Hera, and began to caress her under the table, but soon ceased at Zeus' warning. Later that night, having given Ixion a place to sleep, Zeus felt the need to test the guest's tolerance and willpower. Constructing a cloud-woman to mirror Hera in appearance, Zeus sent her, known as Nephele, to Ixion's bed. He promptly slept with and impregnated the false Hera. As his punishment, he was banished to Tartarus to forever roll strapped to a wheel of flames, which represented his burning lust.
Tantalus who was also graciously invited to dine with the gods, felt he should repay them for their kindness and hospitality, but in his pride, decided to see if he could deceive the gods. Tantalus murdered and roasted his son Pelops as a feast for the gods. Demeter, one of the goddesses who preferred to walk with the mortals, graciously accepted the food, but was immediately repulsed when she bit into the left shoulder. The gods all became violently ill and immediately left for Mt. Olympus. As his punishment for such a heinous act, Tantalus was chained to a rock in the middle of a river in Tartarus with a berry bush hanging just out of reach above his head. Cursed with unquenchable thirst and unending hunger, Tantalus constantly tried to reach the water or food, but each time, the water and berries would recede out of his reach for eternity. It is from Tantalus's name and torment that we derive the English word 'Tantalise'.
According to Plato (c. 400), 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 the Myth of Er.
In most English Bibles, the word Tartarus is simply translated as Hell, even though early Christian writers usually used the term Gehenna, the fiery pit, to mean hell. In some sense, this dark place matches the term's traditional meaning, a dark pit in which the Supreme God has cast his spirit enemies. But it is separate from the Lake of Fire, which is the place of eternal fiery punishment that most people think of when they think of "Hell". This is evidenced in Revelation 20, where Satan is released from the Abyss (v. 3) and later thrown in the "Lake of Burning Sulfur" (v. 10), where he will be "tormented day and night forever and ever".
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DEBUSSY: 3 Mélodies De Verlaine. Beau Soir; FAURÉ: Poém D'un Jour. L'Horizon Chimérique. 4 Mélodies; SCHUBERT: Der Schiffer. Meeresstille. Fahrt Zum Hades. Auf der Donau. Erlafsee. Gondelfahrer. Rückweg. Am Strome. Gruppe Aus Dem Tartarus
May 01, 2013; DEBUSSY 3 mélodies de Verlaine. Beau soir. FAURÉ Poém d'un jour. L'Horizon chimérique. 4 mélodies. SCHUBERT Der Schiffer....