Tantalus

Tantalus
/tan"tl euhs/, n., pl. Tantaluses for 2.
1. Class. Myth. a Phrygian king who was condemned to remain in Tartarus, chin deep in water, with fruit-laden branches hanging above his head: whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water and fruit receded out of reach.
2. (l.c.) Chiefly Brit. a stand or rack containing visible decanters, esp. of wines or liquors, secured by a lock.

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In Greek mythology, the king of Sipylus (or Phrygia).

An intimate friend of the gods, he was allowed to dine at their table until he offended them by repeating their secrets on earth. Another version of the myth held that he killed his son Pelops and served him to the gods. In the underworld he was placed up to his neck in water, which flowed away every time he tried to drink, just as the branches overhead swung out of reach whenever he tried to pick the fruit from them.

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Greek  Tantalos,  

      in Greek legend, son of Zeus or Tmolus (a ruler of Lydia) and Pluto (daughter of Cronus and Rhea) and the father of Niobe and Pelops. He was the king of Sipylus in Lydia (or of Phrygia) and was the intimate friend of the gods, to whose table he was admitted. The punishment of Tantalus in the underworld was occasioned by one of several crimes, according to various ancient authors: (1) He abused divine favour by revealing to mortals the secrets he had learned in heaven. (2) He offended the gods by killing his son Pelops and serving him to them, in order to test their power of observation. (3) He stole nectar and ambrosia, the food of the gods, from heaven and gave them to mortals, according to Pindar's first Olympian ode.

      According to Homer's Odyssey, Book XI, in Hades Tantalus stood up to his neck in water, which flowed from him when he tried to drink it; over his head hung fruits that the wind wafted away whenever he tried to grasp them (hence the word tantalize). According to Pindar's first Olympian ode, a rock hung over his head ready to fall and crush him.

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  • Tantalus — von Willi Glasauer, 1864 Tantalos (altgriechisch: Τάνταλος; lateinisch: Tantalus) ist in der griechischen Mythologie der Stammvater des Geschlechts der Tantaliden. Er frevelte gegen die Götter und zog damit einen Fluch auf sein Haus, der über… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tantalus — Tan ta*lus, n. [L., from Gr. Ta ntalos.] (Gr. Myth.) 1. A Phrygian king who was punished in the lower world by being placed in the midst of a lake whose waters reached to his chin but receded whenever he attempted to allay his thirst, while over… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tantălus [1] — Tantălus, 1) s. Tantalos; 2) Anführer der Lusitanier nach dem Tode des Viriathus; bemächtigte sich Segontias, wurde aber bald von den Römern unter Servilius Cäpio eingeschlossen u. mußte sich ergeben …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Tantălus [2] — Tantălus, Vogel, s. Nimmersatt …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Tantălus — Tantălus, Vogel, s. Nimmersatt …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tantalus — Tantalus, myth., reicher König von Phrygien, Vater des Atreus und Thyestes, ein Liebling der Götter, frevelte aber gegen sie und wurde dafür in die Unterwelt gestoßen, wo er bis an den Hals im Wasser steht, aber seinen glühenden Durst nicht… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Tantalus — Gk. Tantalos, king of Phrygia, perhaps lit. the Bearer or the Sufferer, by dissimilation from *tal talos, a reduplication of PIE root *tel , *tol to bear, carry, support (see EXTOL (Cf. extol)). Cf. TANTALIZE (Cf. tantalize) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Tantalus — [tan′tə ləs] n. [L < Gr Tantalos] Gr. Myth. a king, son of Zeus, doomed in the lower world to stand in water that always recedes when he tries to drink it and under branches of fruit that always remain just out of reach …   English World dictionary

  • Tantalus — In Greek mythology Tantalus (Greek Τάνταλος) was a son of Zeus [Euripides, Orestes .] and the nymph Plouto. Thus he was a king in the primordial world, the father of a son Broteas whose very name signifies mortals ( brotoi ). [Noted by Kerenyi… …   Wikipedia

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  • tantalus — noun /ˈtæntələs/ a) A stork of the genus Mycteria (formerly Tantalus), especially the American wood ibis, Mycteria americana. ,1904: Yes, there was a tantalus containing brandy and whisky on the sea chest. Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of… …   Wiktionary

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