Definition of Elysium
The definition of Elysium: The Underworld according to classical mythology was the abode of the ghosts, shades or souls ruled over by the Greek god Hades or the Roman god Pluto. Elysium was an area of the Underworld of Hades which was a heavenly place, peaceful and beautiful, where those who are favored by the gods could go when they died.
Journey to Elysium
To gain access to Elysium the souls of the dead first had to cross the River Styx ferried by Charon the boatman. The River Styx was the principal river of the underworld and had to be crossed to pass to the regions of the dead. The mortal life of the dead soul was judged in Hades by the gods and judges of the Underworld. The judges of the underworld of Hades were Minos for the regions of Erebus, Rhadamanthus for Tartarus, Aeacus for Elysium and Pluto and Proserpina as sovereigns over the whole of the Underworld of Hades. The gods and judges would decide which part of Hades the dead soul would go to. Hades consisted of five different regions one of which was the district of joy and bliss which was called Elysium.
Elysium and the other Regions of Hades
The myths and legends relating to the five different regions of Hades are as follows:
The Fields of Asphodel contained beings which brought misery to mortal men such as war, discord, labor, grief, and and all the most frightful monsters of the imagination taken from mythology such as Gorgons and Harpies ***
The River Styx - All the departed souls had to pass the waters to enter into the Underworld of Hades ***
The melancholy and gloomy region called Erebus which began immediately on the bank on the other side the River Styx. Erebus was divided again into several particular districts or regions for different souls including the place for infants, the place for all who had been put to death without a cause, the place for those who put an end to their own lives. After this were the fields of mourning, full of dark woods and forest and inhabited by those who died of love and lastly was an open country which was allotted for the souls of departed warriors.
The road from Erebus divided into two, of which the right hand road led to Elysiumand the left hand road to Tartarus
The fourth district was Tartarus, or the region of torments and punishment after death ***
The fifth district was the region of joy and bliss which was called Elysium
Facts and Myths about Elysium and the Elysian Fields
Elysium was the place of the blessed inhabited by those who died for their country, those of pure lives, truly inspired poets, the inventors of arts, and all who have done good to mankind. It was a delightful region where souls could converse with whom they pleased. Elysium, a paradise for those who found favour with the gods. The home of heroes and the virtuous. Fields of the pale liliaceous asphodel and poplars grew in Elysium. This gave rise to the name of the place known as the Elysian Fields which were the final resting place of the blessed chosen by the gods - paradise or heaven.
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