• The Greek Underworld
    (The Greek Underworld!)

    The Underworld Map!

    The following rivers surrounding the Greek underworld:

    ·        Acheron: The River of Woe

    ·        Cocytuys: The River of Wailing

    ·        Lethe: The River of Forgetfulness

    ·        Pyriphlegethon: The River of Fire

    ·        Styx: The river of Hate


    To enter the underworld:

    It was required to cross the River Styx. A ferryman named Charon ferried the spirits of the dead across the rivers to the underworld. Both the Greeks and Romans buried their dead with a coin in the mouth to pay Charon for the trip.


    After crossing the river, the dead would pass gates guarded by a three-headed dog, Cerberus. Next the spirits came before one of the judges of the dead (one of the three sons of Zeus) who directed the soul to one of three areas of the underworld Elysium, the Asphodel Fields, or Tartarus. Though in practice, it was only the gods or goddess who directed a person wither to Elysium or Tartarus.



    Elysium was the island for a chosen few. The gods permitted only Heroes or extremely important/good people to enter into this area.


    Asphodel Fields

    The Asphodel Fields were for the spirits of the Average Greek. The majority of the population would be directed to here after death. Those who went to the Asphodel Fields were people who were neither particularly good or evil during their lives.



    Tartarus was an area for those who were to be punished. In this place punishments were severe and unending. It was to Tartarus that Zeus sent the Titans after winning the battles against them. Mortals also could end up in Tartarus for crimes such as raping a daughter, hording wealth, committing fraud, and other more severe crimes.

    ·        Two famous members of Tartarus are:

    1.       Tantalus 

    2.       Sisyphus



    Rymer, Eric. “The Underworld.”  2008. History Link. qtd. from Everything Classical Mythology (Bolton 2002)

    9 Nov. 2008. http://www.historylink102.com/greece2/underworld.htm