Tartarus, A Realm of Punishment
Like Mother Earth, Gaea, and Father Sky, Uranus, Tartarus came into existence from the void of Chaos. It was not only a primordial force, but also a place, a deep abyss located far below Hades, where the most wicked were sent after death to suffer and be tormented for their crimes. According to Plato, a famous philosopher of ancient Greece, this is where the souls of the dead were judged. Greek poet Hesiod said that Tartarus was the third god to come alive at the beginning of time, after Chaos and Gaea. He also stated (in other words) that the distance from Hades to Tartarus was the same as the distance between the earth and the sky. In Homer’s epic Iliad, Zeus, the god of Olympian gods, said the same.
Tartarus and Gaea, together, bore Typhon, a giant serpent monster who challenged Zeus for his seat as the most supreme. After a large, violent battle, when the monster finally lost, he was imprisoned in Tartarus. It is also possible that he was instead buried under Mount Etna.
When the Titan Cronus ruled over the second generation of gods, he kept the one-eyed Cyclopes in Tartarus, along with the Centimanes, giants that had a hundred hands and fifty heads. These creatures were stronger than Cronus and the other Titans, which is probably why Zeus freed them–to get the help he and the other Olympians needed to win the ten year war. The thunder god first had to defeat the Campe, or a monster that was basically a female dragon. When he did, he set the giants loose and together, they overpowered the Titans. Cronus and the others were imprisoned in Tartarus while some such as Prometheus and Metis were spared from an eternity of torment.
Aeacus, Minos and MinosRhadamanthus were kings who later become judges who decided which souls went to Hades and which went to Tartarus.
Greek mythology is made up of a series of factual events and fiction ideas that were simply a result of human imagination.
In ancient Greek, Tartarus was used to refer to a primeval deity who came into existence prior to the Olympian gods. Historically, however, Tartarus is not known as a god but as a place. In this concept, Tartarus is an underworld place that is depicted as a pit where eternal punishment is reserved for those who went against the wishes of the Olympian gods. This version of Tartarus changed with time as some Greek ideologists described it as a form of hell where people who sinned on earth were punished.
Unlike the Olympians or Titans, Tartarus was seen as an element. He was not known as the deity of a pit, but the real pit. He was often described as the god of Abyss. Tartarus was the son of Aether and Hemera who descended from Chaos. Chaos was known in ancient Greek as the first god. As a deity, Tartarus is affiliated with his sister, Gaia who was the earth deity. The two were linked to some of the most evil creatures that existed in ancient Greek. As a god, Tartarus was ranked as the third in power after Chaos (the first deity) and Gaia (earth). Some Greek ancient ideologies like Hyginus argue that Tartarus was the offspring formed from the union between Aether and Gaia, which contradicts other arguments.
The consort between Tartarus and Gaia led to the creation of Echidna who was known as the Mother of All Monsters. Echidna was created as half woman and half snake. Typhoeus also came from the union of Tartarus and Gaia. Typhoeus was the Father of All Monsters and was believed to have fire-flashing eyes and a winged body. The lower part of his body was made of enormous viper coils that would stretch to the top of his head and produce a hissing sound.
When Typhoeus and Echidna united, they produced some of the most fierce monsters of the underworld. These creatures included Cerberus, The Hydra, The Nemean Lion, The Chimera, The Sphinx, and The Caucasian Eagle.
Tartarus was responsible for carrying the souls of sinners from earth to hell. The hell was depicted as a pit where these souls would be punished for eternity. The Greeks believed that Tartarus represented a dark place in the underworld where souls of the dead could not escape.
Based on the Greek ancient sources, information of Tartarus as a god is limited since most people considered the term to represent a hell-pit. According to Greek ideologists, if you had a bronze anvil dropped from earth, it would take it approximately 9 days to reach Tartarus.
Sovereign deities like Ouranos used Tartarus as a place to incarcerate those who plotted against them, including their children. Some of the inhabitants of Tartarus are Cyclopes, Kronos, some Titans like Prometheus, King Sisyphus, King Tantalus, Ixion, Danaides, giant Tityos, and King Salmoneus. Each of these prisoners is associated with atrocious acts that attracted varying levels of punishment in Tartarus. According to the oldest Greek mythologies, Tartarus was also used as a place to confine any being that posed a threat to the gods of Olympus.
Rhadamanthus, Aeacus, and Minos were said to be the judges who identified the souls that would be sent to Tartarus. Rhadamanthus was the judge for Asian souls, Aeacus the judge of European souls, and Minos the Greek judge.
With time, however, Hades came to overthrow Tartarus as the ruler of the underworld (hell-pit). Nonetheless, Tartarus continued to exist. It is from Tartarus that the Light and the cosmos came into existence.
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