/sis"euh feuhs/, n. Class. Myth.a son of Aeolus and ruler of Corinth, noted for his trickery: he was punished in Tartarus by being compelled to roll a stone to the top of a slope, the stone always escaping him near the top and rolling down again.
* * *In Greek mythology, the king of Corinth who was punished in Hades by having to roll a huge stone up a hill over and over again.He was the son of Aeolus and the father of Glaucus. When Death came to fetch him, Sisyphus had him chained up so that no one died until Ares came to free Death. Before being taken to the underworld, Sisyphus asked his wife to leave his body unburied. When he reached Hades he was permitted to go back to earth to punish his wife, and he lived to a ripe old age before dying a second time. His trickery resulted in his punishment in Hades.
* * *in Greek mythology, the cunning king of Corinth who was punished in Hades by having repeatedly to roll a huge stone up a hill only to have it roll down again as soon as he had brought it to the summit. This fate is related in Homer's Odyssey, Book XI. In Homer's Iliad, Book VI, Sisyphus, living at Ephyre (later Corinth), was the son of Aeolus (eponymous ancestor of the Aeolians) and the father of Glaucus. In post-Homeric times he was called the father of Odysseus through his seduction of Anticleia; cunning obviously provided the link between them. Sisyphus was the reputed founder of the Isthmian Games. Later legend related that when death came to fetch him, Sisyphus chained him up so that no one died until Ares came to aid Death, and Sisyphus had to submit. In the meantime, Sisyphus had told his wife, Merope, not to perform the usual sacrifices and to leave his body unburied. Thus, when he reached the underworld he was permitted to return to punish her for the omission. Once back at home, he continued to live to a ripe old age before dying a second time.Sisyphus was, in fact, like Autolycus and Prometheus, a widely popular figure of folklore—the trickster, or master thief. Clearly, he is everlastingly punished in Hades as the penalty for cheating Death; but why he is set to roll a great stone incessantly is a puzzle to which no convincing answer has yet been given. It appears to belong with other Greek imaginings of the world of the dead as the scene of fruitless labours.The figure of Sisyphus inspired an existentialist classic, Albert Camus's Myth of Sisyphus: Essay on the Absurd (1942).
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