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.
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