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Pronunciation : tan-TUH-luhs

(Greek Mortal) TANTALUS

King of Lydia, the problem causing son of Zeus and a nymph called Plouto.

Tantalus was allowed to dine with the Gods, basically because Zeus was his dad, and repayed the favour by stealing ambrosia to sell to mortals. He gossiped too, a lot, and whatever secrets he didn't actually hear whilst abusing the gods hospitality on Olympus he simply made up. Headline makers were a speciality, true or not.

He made every effort to wind up Zeus but his plan to have the gods prove their divinity by guessing the mystery meat in his specially prepared stew was an all time low, even by his standards. The gods thought it was audacious and knew right away that it was actually made from his son Pelops, all except Demeter who was so busy mourning Persephone she munched her way through his shoulder without even realising.

Zeus put Pelops back together using ivory to replace the missing bits and Tantalus was ferried to the underworld by Apollo to face the torment of eternal thirst and hunger. Standing shoulder deep in a pool of wonderfully clean water with fruit trees dangling their branches deliciously overhead, he could neither eat nor drink as they reacted to his body movements and always stayed just out of reach. What a tantalizing torture.
Family Tree ...
Parents : Zeus and Plouto
Spouse : Don't know, sorry
Offspring : Pelops
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'TANTALUS' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 18 Mar 2014
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