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Questions tagged [underworld]

For questions on the mythical realm of the dead, typically far underground, where the deceased go after death.

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Drinking water from the River Lethe

They were all required to drink a measure of the water, and those who were not saved by their good sense, drank more than the measure, and each one as he drank forgot all things. Found here in ...
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What is the 'White Rock' in Greek mythology?

I just found this term, White Rock, or Leucas, while reading about the Underworld here. As men and women die, Hermes leads their souls to the Underworld, past the streams of Oceanus, past the White ...
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Was there a hell or place of suffering after death in Norse mythology?

Was there a hell or place of suffering after death in Norse mythology. If so, was it eternal? What caused a person to go there?
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What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

There are countless depictions of Cerberus with various number of heads or additional parts such as snake heads or tails. Some even say that Cerberus did not refer to a dog or hound at all, but rather ...
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Does anyone else sample the food of the Underworld?

Most of us know the story behind the seasons in Greek Mythology, but just to recap... Hades kidnapped the daughter of Demeter, Persephone. Demeter went in search for her, lead by Hecate's torches. ...
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When was the pool of Mnemosyne first mentioned as part of the Underworld waters?

Beyond lay Erebus, which could be taken for a euphonym of Hades, whose own name was dread. There were two pools, that of Lethe, where the common souls flocked to erase all memory, and the pool of ...
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Why are the three Judges of the Underworld Zeus's sons?

The Judges of the Dead in Greek Mythology are Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. Minos was a tyrant king of Crete. He made war with Athens because his son died there. He demanded 14 virgin youths, 7 ...
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How did Hades get Kerberos?

Kerberos (Latin: Cerberus) is the three headed dog that guards the entrance of the Underworld. He is most known for being captured by Heracles for his 12th labor. But it is never mentioned how ...
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How long was Theseus in the Underworld?

This is the way I see it. Heracles rescued Theseus from the Underworld. But now I'm left with the question, "If Heracles and Theseus were alive at the same time, how did Theseus ever get any glory?" ...
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Why was Adonis allowed to leave the Underworld?

Adonis is a Greek hunter who caught the eye of Aphrodite. One day, he was out hunting and wounded a boar. The animal was in so much pain, it killed Adonis. Adonis died, but was allowed to leave the ...
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Who had a Nekyia vs a Katabasis?

A Nekyia (νέκυια) is a ritual to summon the dead. An example of this is Odysseus in the Odyssey. A Katabasis (κατάβασις) is a journey into the Underworld while still living. Heracles is one hero who ...
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Hades, in Greek Mythology, was he really a bad guy, or just a hard to understand God?

I'm writing a research paper on Hades, king of the underworld, and I really wanted to know if Hades was really a bad guy. I have many pages of evidence saying that he isn't. But I would like to know ...
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When and why did necromancy became a bad thing?

Talking about Europe and cultures that influenced it... Why and since when was the revival of the dead considered evil? In Greek mythology bringing back a loved one is hard or comes at a price, but ...
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Who was the spirit entity who Solomon commanded to help build the temple?

Entity? Demon? Spirit? Who was or is he? How or by who’s power was this bieng controller?
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What is the source of the story of Hades trapping Pirithous and Theseus in the Chairs of Forgetfulness?

Apparently, there is a version of the Pirithous and Theseus story that has Hades trapping the pair in the Underworld by having them sit on the Chairs of Forgetfulness: This happened, some think, ...
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Why did Hades let Heracles rescue Theseus?

Why would Hades allow Heracles to rescue Theseus after he and Pirithous came down to kidnap Persephone?
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Why is Heracles in the Underworld?

Odysseys during his travel to the Underworld in Book XI of the Odyssey meets the "phantom" of the deified Heracles: And after him I marked the mighty Heracles—his phantom; for he himself among the ...
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How would a body be prepared for the Greek afterlife?

The only thing I know is that one must place a coin under the tongue to pay Charon, the ferry man of the Underworld.
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Stories of living people that journeyed into the underworld and back?

This is inspired from: What items are necessary for a mortal to travel safely in the underworld? Which living people made it into the underworld and back? What are their stories, and what ...
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What items are necessary for a mortal to travel safely in the underworld?

I am currently working on a performance where the hero has to make it through the underworld and back. I am assuming there are things such a traveller could bring with them to safely complete the ...
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1answer
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Use of the terms “Dīs” and “Orcus” in the Aeneid

The common terms used to refer to the Greek/Roman god of death are Hades or Pluto, yet in the Aeneid, the god of death is commonly referred to as Dīs. Further, the realm of Hades (the Underworld, ...
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Are there any saints or heroes in mythology who ally with death?

I am looking for any information about mythical heroes or holy figures who ally with death. I found list of Death Deities on Wikipedia. But I do not know, where to start searching information about '...
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What is the inspiration behind the dark forest in Dante?

The entrance to Dante's underworld is situated somewhere in a dark forest: Midway in the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard ...
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How did the Assyrians imagine the underworld?

There's an exhibit of two reconstructed Assyrian graves in the Pergamon Museum. The description on the display vaguely mentioned the "Mesopotamians" thought the underworld was very similar to the ...
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Who is the boatman that took away Sinfjotli's corpse?

In chapter 10 of the Saga of the Völsungs, Sigmund's son Sinfjotli dies. His corpse is presumably carried to the underworld by a mysterious boatman, in a manner reminiscent of the Greek ferryman of ...
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What is the name of the lake in Frogs?

In Aristophanes' Frogs, Dionysus crosses a lake to reach Hades. The lake is where we first (and last) meet the eponymous frogs of the play, and Aristophanes does not name it. We do know, however, that ...
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Who was the ruler of the Japanese Yomi?

The Japanese Underworld (Yomi) is said to be ruled by Izanami. However, in the tale of Ōkuninushi, Susanno is said to reside there as its king. In addition to that, Izanamzi told Inzangi that she had ...
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Was Hermes originally mortal?

In Greek mythology the story of the birth of the god Hermes makes it sound as if he was originally mortal and that he somehow managed to bribe his way into becoming the twelfth [i.e. the last] of the ...
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How did Hades get to know Persephone?

Hades, the Underworld god, probably only knew about the Underworld. So why would he even know about Persephone, much less be attracted to her? If he did see above the ground, please tell me how he ...
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801 views

What exactly was Sisyphus' punishment?

Sisyphus' punishment was to roll a rock up a hill forever, but then why couldn't he just drop it? Why couldn't he get it to the top?
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Looking for source: Woman refuses to drink from the River Lethe

I saw a "story from Greek mythology" referenced in my morning paper, and I'd never heard it before. A woman came to the River Styx and asked to be taken across into that dark land. [The ferryman] ...
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Why is the ferry toll for Charon placed in the dead person's mouth?

In Greek mythology, the deceased pays a ferryman, Charon, to take them across the river Styx. Apparently this reflects a common custom in the funeral rites of antiquity. Sometimes, though not always, ...
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Why did Charon collect a toll at the River Styx

Charon is known as the ferryman of the River Styx, letting certain people cross the river with a fee. Charon himself is well known for helping many significant heroes in multiple Greek legends. He ...
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What is the River Styx?

The River Styx is mentioned quite a lot when a Greek hero meets his demise. However is this really a body of water in Hades? Is it made out of something else? What is the River Styx?
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Why is Kore and Persephone interchangeable in the myth regarding Hades wife?

In Greek mythology, Kore and Persephone were interchangeable as Hades' wife. Which is it? Kore or Persephone?