Ancient Origins One of the things that really stuck to me, whenever I took a mythology class in high school or even at university, was how stone-cold savage the Gods could be. I mean, as cautionary takes, these are terrifying. I can see how these stories would really help keep people in line, if they were afraid of Zeus’s creative tortures for eternity.
Between having the desire to seduce a bull, to starving for eternity but never dying, i’ll take whatever our modern day penal system an dish out, over some of these.
Wikipedia Commons Chained to a rock, and an eagle eats your liver, every night.
You know Prometheus? He stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. He was also a dick towards the gods.
So Zeus chained him to the side of a mountain, and every night, and eagle came to peck through his abdomen and eat his liver. It would then take all day to grow back, painfully, of course, then the eagle would return at sundown. This went on for a while.
Wikipedia Commons The eternally burning wheel.
One day Zeus decided to invite the mortal Ixion to Olympus, as his guest. Ixion then decided that he wanted to seduce Hera. To prevent that, Zeus made a copy of Hera out of clouds and Ixion seduced it and impregnated it.
To punish him, Zeus bound him to a burning wheel that would spin for all eternity, while Ixion was forced to repeat
“Repay your benefactor frequently with gentle favors in return” forever.
Picture house Insatiable hunger so strong, you eat yourself
A rich king named Erisychthon wanted a huge banquet hall, so he chopped down a sacred grove to Demeter.
She cursed him with never-ending hunger. He ate all his food, all the food he could buy, started in on his family, and finally, ate himself.
Wikipedia Commons Get teased with food that’s always out of reach.
Tantalus was one of the many mortal kids of Zeus, but he was also a thief and a murderer. He once killed his own son, invited the gods over for dinner, and fed them his kid.
As punishment, he was sent to the underworld, chained in a pool of water, and surrounded by a grove of trees. But anytime he reached for a fruit, the branches moved away. If he leaned down for water, it receded. He was left hungry and thirsty forever.
Pre Raphelite Sisterhood Turned into a child-eating monster.
Lamia was a Libyan Queen who had an affair with Zeus, so Hera turned her into a horrible monster with an appetite for children, including her own. He was also cursed with sleeplessness and a conscience, so she’d never rest and always reflect on what she’s done.
Wikipedia Commons Skinned alive, then turned into a stream.
A guy named Marsyas accidentally found a flute that belonged to Athena, so he challenged Apollo to a contest. The winner would get to do anything they wanted to the loser. Obviously, he lost.
Apollo then skinned him alive and nailed his skin to a tree. He later came back and decided to turn it into a wineskin. Oddly enough, Marsyas didn’t die. Some time later, Apollo returned, took pity, and turned him into a stream.
Wikipedia Turned into a deer, and your hunting dogs turn on you and rip you apart.
Actaeon was a hunter, who accidentally came across a nude Artemis taking a bath. She told him to never speak of this moment. In fact, never speak again. He agreed and promptly called his dogs back, so they could move on.
Artemis stuck to her word, and turned him into a stag. Now, his dogs didn’t recognize him, so they chased him through the woods, caught him, and tore him apart.
Got her hair turned into snakes.
Before Medusa had snake hair and could turn men into stone by looking at them, she was a gorgeous woman. So gorgeous that she attracted the eye of Poseidon, who raped her in Athena’s temple.
Since Athena couldn’t punish Poseidon, she went after the object of his lust, and deformed Medusa so she shouldn’t be such a temptress.
Imgur Cursed with loving a bull.
Pasiphae was married to Minos, the king of Crete. He had a white bull that he treasured so much, and he refused to sacrifice it to Poseidon. Enraged, he cursed Minos’ wife, making her lust for the bull.
The curse was so strong that she did mate with the bull wearing a cow costume, and gave birth to the Minotaur.
Wikipedia Commons Forced to push a boulder up a hill forever.
Sisyphus was a murderous king, who loved to slaughter his own people, as well as travellers coming through his kingdom. At one point, Zeus got pissed off and decided to punish him.
Sisyphus was forced to push a massive boulder up a steep hill, and nearly make it to the top, before it slipped from his grasp and rolled down. Then he’d have to do it again, forever.
Wikipedia Commons Turned into a cow, and chased by a stinging fly.
Io was a gorgeous woman and one of Zeus’ mistresses. Naturally, Hera found out and tried to kill her, so Zeus turned her into a cow to hide her. Nothing gets past Hera though, so she asked Zeus to gift her with his most precious cow, which was Io. He did.
Later, he helped Io escape, but Hera got her revenge. She sent a stinging gadfly to follow Io everywhere she went. That’s annoying.
Cyprus For Travellers Forced to be prostitutes, then turned into stone.
A group of women on the Island of Cyprus, didn’t want to accept Aphrodite’s beauty and divinity, so she hardened their hearts.
They lost all sense of shame and became prostitutes. The more they shared their bodies, the harder they got. Eventually, they all turned to stone.
Wikipedia Commons Forced to fill a leaky cauldron for eternity.
Two brothers each had 50 kids. One had 50 daughters and the other 50 sons. They were ordered to marry, but Danaus, didn’t want that, so he asked his daughters to kill their husbands on their wedding night. All but one did.
49 women were sent to the underworld and told to fill a cauldron from the River Styx and bathe their sins away. Once clean, they can rest. But the cauldron leaks, so they’ll forever be cursed.
Wikipedia Commons Given the gift of prophecy, but no one believes you.
Cassandra was a mortal who agreed to succumb to Apollo’s lust, if he gave her the gift of prophecy. He agreed.
HIs mistake was to grant this wish prior to the sex, so she then reneged on the deal. Instead of taking it away, he did something crueler; he made it so that no one would believe her. That’s eternally frustrating.
Greek Gods are savage.
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