A Tour Through The Greek Afterlife

So you decided to go and die in Ancient Greece did you?  Well you’re in luck, for today only we’ll be having a tour through the Afterlife.  So hold onto your sandals and pray to Hermes for luck because here we go!

The Styx

The first stop on our tour is the River Styx, and sadly, it’s our last stop for many people.  If you’re unlucky enough that your family didn’t put a coin under your tongue or two over your eyes, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck.  The ferryman, Charon, is stingy as Tartarus and never lets people ride for free.  While in some myths he ferries the river Acheron, you’ll still need a coin to get through.  Once across you’ll be taken to the Judges of the Underworld, who will decide where you go.

Notable People:

-Charon: Stingy ferryman and only way to cross the River Styx.  Said to be extremely filthy with eyes like jets of fire (maybe some eye drops man?).

-Cerberus: Three headed guard dog of the underworld.  Known for keeping souls from wandering back to the living and for being a big softie when it comes to music

Tartarus

Oh man, if you ended up here, you did something horrible in life.  Similar to the Christian version of Hell, it’s a huge pit filled with all the people who defied the gods.  From the titans to Tantalus, you’ll probably never be bored here, as you’ll have your eternal punishment to keep you busy.

Notable People:

-Tantalus: Tried to offer his son as a sacrifice to the gods.  Now he stands in a neck high pool of water with fruit hanging above him.  Every time he tries to reach up, the branches move out of his way and every time he tries to drink the water recedes.

-Titans: The precursors to the Greek Gods, they were thrown down here after the great battle.  Missing are Atlas, who holds up the sky, Prometheus, who created humans and then stole the fire from the gods, and Epimetheus, who fell in love with the doomed Pandora.

-Sisyphus: Chained Thanatos (Death) to a pole so that no one could die.  Is forever stuck rolling a boulder up a hill, as it nears the top, it then rolls back down.

Asphodel Meadows

Neither good nor bad, this is the middle ground of the afterlife.  Here you’ll enjoy wandering through never ending fields.  But this is only after you drink from the river Lethe, which will remove your memories from your previous life.

Notable People:

-None: No one remembers who they are

Elysium

The land of heroes, you’re extremely lucky if you end up here.  Filled with every delight you can possibly imagine, it’s only for those who were chosen by the gods or who distinguished themselves throughout their life.  Given the option of reincarnation, if they end up in Elysium three times, then they go to the Isle of the Blessed, and even better afterlife.

Notable People:

-Socrates: Famous philosopher who was forced to end his life by drinking hemlock

-Achilles: Great Greek hero, with one hell of an Achilles’ heel

Other Important People to Know

-Hades: Ruler of the Underworld and eldest of the Gods.  Sometimes considered a god of wealth, he rules the underworld fairly.

-Persephone: Hades’ queen, she is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus.  She lives in the underworld six months out of the year and is known to be a powerful ruler

-Thanatos: Death himself, he guards the gates of death.  Known for having been chained by Sisyphus.

-Erinyes: Also known as the Furies, these are winged women who avenge crimes done by children towards their parents.  Their names are Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera.

~Elyce

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