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Greek Heroes» Sisyphus» Myths about Sisyphus » The Hybris of Sisyphus and the Delusion of Death

Last Update: 30 Nov -0001

The Hybris of Sisyphus and the Delusion of Death

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was famous for his feat to break the boundaries of human capabilities and win over death.

Sisyphus, the king of Ancient Corinth, was renowned for his smartness and craftiness, but was deceitful and of violent nature at the same time, causing sever problems to the gods.

As a punishment, the gods sent Charos, the angel of the dead, to come up to earth and take Sisyphus down to the Underworld; however, Sisyphus managed to trick Charos and chain him in Tartarus, the gloomiest place of the Underworld. From that moment on, no mortal on earth died anymore, not even the weak and old ones, nor did anybody make sacrifices to the gods of the Underworld.

Charos got finally rescued by Ares, the god of war, so he could go and take Sisyphus to bring him anew down to the Underworld. But even at this point did Sisyphus manage to deceive the death, for he had made a plan beforehand; he had ordered from his wife Merope to leave him unburied and not make any sacrifices to the gods.

Hades and his wife Persephone kept waiting for a sacrifice to come, but to no avail- until one day, Sisyphus approached Hades, asking him to let him go to his wife for three days and remind her of her duties. Hades gave in and this way Sisyphus escaped from the Underworld and returned to his glorious palace, continuing his debauched life.

Outraged by all his deceits, the Olympian gods punished Sisyphus in a very dreadful, yet meaningless way: he was cursed for eternity to roll a rock up to a hill, but right after the rock had reached the summit, he would lose control, making the rock roll back down again.

Sisyphus finally lost his life and went to the Underworld of Hades.

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