Sisyphus, the son of the god of all winds, Aeolus, was the founder of the city of Corinth, which in ancient times was called Ether.

No one in all of Greece could match Sisyphus’ in cunning, cunning, and dexterity of mind. Thanks to his cunning, Sisyphus amassed innumerable riches in Corinth; the fame of his treasures spread far and wide.

When the god of death, the gloomy Thanatos, came to him to take him down to the sad realm of Hades, Sisyphus, who had previously sensed the approach of the god of death, deceitfully deceived the god Thanatos and chained him. Then the people of the earth stopped dying. There were no more magnificent funerals anywhere; the people also stopped offering sacrifices to the gods of the underworld. The order established by Zeus on earth was disturbed. And the thunderer Zeus sent to Sisyphus the mighty god of war Ares. Ares freed Thanatos from bondage, and Thanatos snatched Sisyphus’ soul and took it to the realm of the shadows of the dead.

But here, too, the cunning Sisyphus succeeded. He told his wife not to bury his body and not to offer sacrifices to the underworld gods. His wife obeyed him. Hades and Persephone waited a long time for the funeral sacrifices. But they are gone and gone! Finally, Sisyphus approached the throne of Hades and said to the ruler of the realm of the dead:

“Oh, lord of the souls of the dead, great Hades, equal in power to Zeus, let me go to the bright earth. I will order my wife to offer you rich sacrifices and I will return to the realm of shadows.”

Persephone oversees Sisyphus in the Underworld, an Attic black-figured amphora, ca. 530 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen

So Sisyphus deceived the ruler Hades and he freed him to go to earth. Of course, Sisyphus did not return to the kingdom of Hades. He remained in his lavish palace and feasted merrily, rejoicing that he was the only one of all mortals to return from the dark realm of shadows.

Hades became angry and sent Thanatos again to take Sisyphus’ soul. Thanatos appeared in the palace of the most cunning of mortals and found him at a magnificent feast. The god of death, hated by both gods and men, took out the soul of Sisyphus; now Sisyphus’ soul flew away forever into the realm of shadows.

In the afterlife, Sisyphus suffers severe punishment for all his cunning, all the deceptions he has committed on earth. He is doomed to climb a huge rock on a high steep mountain. Sisyphus worked hard. Large drops of sweat flow from it due to hard work. The top is getting closer; a little more effort and an end to Sisyphus’ work! But the stone slipped from his hands and rolled down with a crash, raising clouds of dust. And Sisyphus sets to work again.

Thus Sisyphus rolls the stone forever and can never reach the goal – the top of the mountain.

Exposed according to the poems “Iliad” by Homer and “Heroines” by Ovid, A. Kuhn