Tantalus is the son of the god Zeus and the nymph Plouto and a king in the primordial world. His wifes' identity is given as Dione meaning " the goddess", Euryemista the daughter of the river-god Xanthus from Anatolia , and Euryanessa the daughter of the river-god Pactolus also from Anatolia. Pelops, Niobe, and Broteas were his children.

The Story of Tantalus


Tantalus is known for being invited to Zeus' table to feast with the gods but stole ambrosia and nectar from them, brought it back to his people, and reavealed the secrets of the gods. He offered his son Pelops as sacrifice to the gods so he cut him up and boiled him and then served him as food. The gods knew of his plan and didn't touch the food but Demeter who was upset about the loss of her daughter Persephone didn't realize it was Pelops and ate part of his shoulder. Zeus ordered Demeter to bring Pelops back to life so she put his body in a sacred cauldron rebuilding his shoulder with a wrought of ivory made by Hephaestus. When Pelops was brought back to life he was kidnapped by Poseiden and was taken to Olympus. Pelops is later thrown out of Olympus for being so angry at his father. Tantalus became one of the inhabitants of Tartarus, the deepest portion of the underworld, cursed with eternal thirst and hunger with food and water always just out of reach. He was the founder of the cursed House of Atreus where variations of wrongdoings occured. The ancient greeks claimed to be horrified with Tantalus' evildoings calling it cannabalism, human sacrifce, and parricide. Tantalus is the origin of the english word "tantalize" meaning that when someone is "tantalizing" someone else, that person is making something desirable for somene else just out of reach.