The Full Wiki

Tartarus: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In classic mythology, below Heaven, Earth, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus. As a place of punishment, it can be considered a hell. The classic Hades, on the other hand, is more similar to Old Testament Sheol.

Like other primal entities (such as the earth and time), Tartarus is also a primordial force or deity.


Tartarus in Greek mythology

Greek underworld
Famous Inmates

In Greek mythology, Tartarus is both a deity and a place in the underworld even lower than Hades. In ancient Orphic sources and in the mystery schools Tartarus is also the unbounded first-existing entity from which the Light and the cosmos are born.

In Hesiod's Theogony, c. 700 BC, the deity Tartarus was the third force to manifest in the yawning void of Chaos.

As for the place, the Greek poet Hesiod asserts that a bronze anvil falling from heaven would fall 9 days before it reached the Earth. The anvil would take nine more days to fall from Earth to Tartarus. In The Iliad (c. 700), Zeus asserts that Tartarus is "as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth." As a place so far from the sun and so deep in the earth, Tartarus is hemmed in by three layers of night. It is a dank and wretched pit engulfed in murky gloom. It is one of the primordial objects that sprung from Chaos (along with Gaia (Earth) and Eros (Desire, or (sexual) Love).

While, according to Greek mythology, The Realm of Hades is the place of the dead, Tartarus also has a number of inhabitants. When Cronus, the ruling Titan, came to power he imprisoned the Cyclopes in Tartarus. Some myths also say he imprisoned the three Hecatonchires (giants with fifty expressions and one hundred arms). Zeus released them, and defeated Campe, to aid in his conflict with the Titan giants. The gods of Olympus eventually defeated the Titans. Many, but not all of the Titans, were cast into Tartarus. Epimetheus, Metis, and Prometheus are some Titans who were not banished to Tartarus. Cronus was imprisoned in Tartarus. In Tartarus, the Hecatonchires guarded prisoners. Later, when Zeus overcame the monster Typhon, the offspring of Tartarus and Gaia, he threw the monster into the same pit.

Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld, Attic black-figure amphora, ca. 530 BC.

Originally, Tartarus was used only to confine dangers to the gods of Olympus. In later mythologies, Tartarus became the place where the punishment fits the crime. For example Sisyphus, who was punished for telling the father of Aegina, a young woman kidnapped by Zeus for one of his sexual gratifications, where she was and who had initially taken her. Zeus considered this an ultimate betrayal and saw to it that Sisyphus was forced to roll a large boulder up a mountainside, which, when he reached the crest, rolled back down, repeatedly.

Also found there was Ixion, one of the mortals invited to dine with the gods. Ixion began to lust after Zeus's wife, Hera, and began to caress her under the table, but soon ceased at Zeus's warning. Later that night, having given Ixion a place to sleep, Zeus felt the need to test the guest's tolerance and willpower. Constructing a cloud-woman to mirror Hera in appearance, Zeus sent her, known as Nephele, to Ixion's bed. He promptly slept with and impregnated the false Hera. As his punishment, he was banished to Tartarus to forever roll strapped to a wheel of flames, which represented his burning lust.

Tantalus who was also graciously invited to dine with the gods, stole ambrosia and nectar, the food of the gods, and took it down to Earth to share with the human race. The gods were furious and banished Tantalus from Mt. Olympus. Tantalus decided to take revenge on the gods. Tantalus murdered and roasted his son Pelops as a feast for the gods, even though human meat was forbidden for them to eat. Demeter, one of the goddesses who preferred to walk with the mortals, graciously accepted the food, but was immediately repulsed when she bit into the left shoulder. The gods all became violently ill and immediately left for Mt. Olympus. As his punishment for such a heinous act, Tantalus was chained to a rock in the middle of a river in Tartarus with a grape vine hanging just out of reach above his head. Cursed with unquenchable thirst and unending hunger, Tantalus constantly tried to reach the water or food, but each time, the water and grapes would recede out of his reach for eternity. It is from Tantalus's name and torment that we derive the English word "tantalise".

According to Plato (c. 400), Rhadamanthus, Aeacus and Minos were the judges of the dead and chose who went to Tartarus. Rhadamanthus judged Asian souls; Aeacus judged European souls and Minos was the deciding vote and judge of the Greek.

Plato also proposes the concept that sinners were cast under the ground to be punished in accordance with their sins in the Myth of Er. Kronos (the ruler of the Titans) was thrown down into the pits of Tartarus by his children.

There was a number of entrances to Tartarus in Greek mythology. One was in Aornum.[1]

Tartarus in Roman mythology

In Roman mythology, Tartarus is the place where sinners are sent. Virgil describes it in the Aeneid as a gigantic place, surrounded by the flaming river Phlegethon and triple walls to prevent sinners from escaping from it. It is guarded by a hydra with fifty black gaping jaws, which sits at a screeching gate protected by columns of solid adamantine, a substance akin to diamond - so hard that nothing will cut through it. Inside, there is a castle with wide walls, and a tall iron turret. Tisiphone, one of the Erinyes who represents revenge, stands guard sleepless at the top of this turret lashing a whip. There is a pit inside which is said to extend down into the earth twice as far as the distance from the lands of the living to Olympus. At the bottom of this pit lie the Titans, the twin sons of Aloeus and many other sinners. Still more sinners are contained inside Tartarus, with punishments similar to those of Greek myth.

New Testament

The term "Tartarus" is found only once in the Bible, at 2 Peter 2:4: "God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tartarus, delivered them into pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment." It would seem to be a synonym of the "Abyss". In Luke 8:31, the Legion of demons begs Jesus not to send them to the Abyss. "The Beast" of Revelation, will come up out of the Abyss (Revelation 11:7; 17:8). Satan will be thrown into the Abyss for 1000 years (Revelation 20:3).

The term "Hades" appears in the religious texts of New Testament times as a translation of the Old Testament Sheol.

In most English Bibles, the word Tartarus is simply translated as Hell, even though early Christian writers usually used the term Gehenna, the Hinnom Valley, to mean hell.[citation needed] In some sense, this dark place matches the term's traditional meaning, a dark pit in which the Supreme God has cast his spirit enemies. However, it is separate from the Lake of Fire which is the place of eternal fiery punishment that most people think of when they think of "Hell". This is evidenced in Revelation 20, where Satan is released from the Abyss (v. 3) and later thrown in the "Lake of Burning Sulfur" (v. 10), where he will be "tormented day and night forever and ever".

Biblical Pseudipigrapha

The Book of Enoch, dated to 400-200 B.C., states that God placed the archangel Uriel "in charge of the world and of Tartarus" (20:2). In 1 Enoch, Tartarus is generally understood to be the place where the fallen Watchers are imprisoned.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ The Greek Myths (Volume 1) by Robert Graves, 1990), page 112: "... He used the passage which opens at Aornum in Thesprotis and, on his arrival, not only charmed the ferryman Charon..."

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun




  1. In Greek paganism, a dark and gloomy part of the realm of Hades, reserved for the damned, the wicked, such as the Titans, etc.
Wikipedia has an article on:


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Greek word occurring only in 2 Pet 2:4, although it is common in the classical writers as the lower part, or abyss of hades, where the shades of the wicked were supposed to be imprisoned and tormented. In Peter it is used as the destination of the angels that sin.

Most translate this simply as 'hell', but some (including the Jehovah's Witnesses) believe this to mean the lowest part of the abyss. It is often thought of as equivalent to Gehenna. It was regarded, commonly, as beneath the earth; as entered through the grave; as dark, dismal, gloomy; and as a place of punishment. Compare Job 10:21f, and see Mt 5:22.

Facts about TartarusRDF feed


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Tartarus is a brute chieftain working with the covenant. He first appears on the first level of Halo 2 given the Arbiter the Mark of Shame. He dies on the last level of Halo 2 by the Arbiter while he is activating Delta Halo.

Bio: Tartarus started life as the nephew of a venerable and religious pack leader known as Maccabeus. He took on the childhood nickname of "Tartar". Wearing the scarlet armor of a Brute Captain, the young Tartarus was part of his uncle's crew of one of the few Brute-controlled ships in the Covenant, the Rapid Conversion. The Elites did not approve of a Brute controlling a ship and had disabled many of it's key features such as weaponry, gravity lifts, and other useful mechanics, but Maccabeus' faith in the Great Journey helped him turn a blind eye to this unfair treatment. Soon a Grunt Deacon named Dadab and his companion, a Huragok named Lighter Than Some, found themselves on board the Rapid Conversion after escaping the destruction of their ship, the Minor Transgression, a Kig-Yar pirate ship. Maccabeus summoned Tartarus at the pair's explosive arrival and would later become a protector of the Engineer when the resentful Drones on board set out to kill it for taking their job, repair and maintenance of the vessel. He journeyed to Harvest during the first contact between the Brutes and the Humans, in a staged offer of peace that soon erupted into battle. Tartarus found himself aboard a Spirit Dropship that was soon destroyed, although he did not evacuate until he had tried everything to save Ritul, a young pack mate of his, from the destruction. Ritul burned to death before Tartarus could save him. After being attacked by the Humans in a trap designed by Loki, the Rapid Conversion was left severely damaged with Maccabeus on board. After Tartarus returned to the crippled ship he confronted Maccabeus about the legitimacy of their search for holy artifacts. Tartarus then challenged his uncle in the ritualistic manner of Brutes to a fight to the death. With the victor emerging as the Chieftain. He made concession to his wounded opponent by imposing a handicap on himself. He successfully killed Maccabeus and received his uncle's weapon, the Fist of Rukt. Tartarus began his ascent to the upper echelons of power.[1]Even back before the First Battle of Earth, Prophet of Truth had trusted Tartarus enough to dismiss the Elite Honor Guards that usually never left the Prophets unprotected in order to speak to him alone. Tartarus had scoured the wreckage of the Covenant attack coordination station Unyielding Hierophant after its destruction at the hands of the Master Chief, Grace (who died there), Fred, Will, and Linda. Tartarus reported the Covenant Fleet preparing to attack Earth was largely destroyed, and an artifact of the Forerunners that was able to bend time and disrupted Slip space almost entirely lost but for three small chips, the rest of which were lost in Slipspace after Corporal Locklear destroyed it with C-7 Foaming Explosive, which he presented to Truth. He was instructed to reward the surviving pilots well, then "Execute them all. Quickly. Quietly." He was also requested to bring the Supreme Commander, who was unable to stop the destruction of Alpha Halo, before the Council to let "his fate match the magnitude of his failure." Tartarus branded the Commander with the Mark of Shame and took him to the Mausoleum of the Arbiters for his execution. When the Sangheili was pardoned and promoted to Arbiter, Tartarus was obviously displeased, but kept silent out of respect for the Prophets. Tartarus provided aerial support for the Arbiter during his mission to assassinate Sesa 'Refumee on Threshold. The Arbiter encountered the Oracle during his duel with 'Refumee, the Heretic leader and Tartarus swiftly captured it and returned to High Charity.

The Sacred Icon: Using information gained from the Oracle, Truth and Mercy sent the Arbiter and Tartarus on a mission to obtain the Sacred Icon on Delta Halo. However, as soon as the Icon was obtained, Tartarus betrayed the Sangheili, apparently acting on orders from the Prophets. Simultaneously, Tartarus captured Sgt. Johnson and Miranda Keyes, therefore gaining leverage against the humans. He also captured Sergeants Stacker and Banks, and took them to be used as Reclaimers in order to activate Installation 05. He chose Miranda Keyes and left the three Sergeants in the hands of his Captains with the words; "Mine will do. Kill the others."

Death: While trying to get Miranda Keyes to cooperate in the Control Room, Tartarus was confronted by the Arbiter. Doing as the Hierarchs and his faith commanded, he forced Keyes to unify the Index with Delta Halo's control panel, thereby activating the ring thus began to fight the Sangheili, who fought along side the Arbiter and Sgt. Johnson. Tartarus used The Fist of Rukt to a devastating effect, killing several of the attacking Elites. Tartarus introduces the Gravity Hammer while fighting off the Arbiter. Johnson, armed with a Beam Rifle, managed to lower Tartarus's shields. Tartarus continued to fight the Elites, but he succumbed to the ferocity of the Arbiter and Elites' attack. (Although you might not kill Tartarus yourself, occasionally another Elite will kill him.)

Halo stub
This Halo-related article is a stub. You can help by adding to it.

Stubs are articles that writers have begun work on, but are not yet complete enough to be considered finished articles.

The Halo Series
Halo: Combat Evolved | Halo 2 |Halo 3
Halo Wars | Halo 3: ODST | Halo: Chronicles
Covenant | Forerunner | The Flood | United Nations Space Command
Cortana | Gravemind | Master Chief | Prophet of Truth | Tartarus | The Arbiter | The Prophets
MJOLNIR battle armor | Plasma Pistol | Vehicles | Weapons
Red vs. Blue
Books: Contact Harvest | First Strike | Ghosts of Onyx | The Fall of Reach | The Flood

This article uses material from the "Tartarus" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address