(2,548 words)

(Σίσυφος; Latin Sisyphus)

A. Myth

The only remnant today of the mythical existence of S. is the proverbial ‘Sisyphean’ labour imposed upon him in the Underworld after his death. The first reference to this comes in Odysseus’ tale of his descent into the Underworld, in the course of which he describes in detail the devious tortures devised for three notorious evildoers, Tityus, Tantalus and S., which he witnessed there (Hom. Od. 11,593–600): S., he says, must roll a gigantic boulde…

Cite this page
Hinz, Berthold, “Sisyphus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly Supplements I - Volume 4 : The Reception of Myth and Mythology, English edition by David van Eijndhoven, Christine Salazar, and Francis G. Gentry (2010). Original German-language edition: Mythenrezeption: Die antike Mythologie in Literatur, Musik und Kunst von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Herausgegeven von Maria Moog-Grünewald. Serie: Der Neue Pauly Supplemente 1. Staffel, herausgegeben von Hubert Cancik, Manfred Landfester und Helmuth Schneider, Band 5. Stuttgart, Germany. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH (2008). Consulted online on 21 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: 9789004183308, 20101111

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