From Phantis
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sisyphus (Greek Σίσυφος), in Greek mythology, was a king punished in the underworld by being set to roll a huge rock up a hill throughout eternity.

Sisyphus was a King of ancient Ephyra which later became the city of Corinth. When Zeus took Aegina, Sisyphus told her father, the river god Asopus, her whereabouts. Asopus then pursued Zeus who barely escaped.

Zeus in anger, punished Sisyphus by sending him to Hades, however, Sisyphus managed to imprison Hades and escape. The god Ares freed Hades and took Sisyphus back to the Underworld but Sisyphus again escaped through trickery. As a punishment for his trickery, Sisyphus was once more sent to Hades and was compelled to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but as it reached the top of the hill the rock always would roll down again and he had to begin again (Odyssey, xi. 593). Accordingly, pointless or interminable activities are often described as Sisyphean. Sisyphus was a common subject for ancient writers and was depicted by the painter Polygnotus on the walls of the Lesche at Delphi (Pausanias x. 31).