The Ancient Library
 

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On this page: Hades Realm of (continued)

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HADES, REALM OF.

consciousness and judgment, and this as an exceptional gift of Persephone. But they have the power of drinking the blood of animals, and having done so they recover their consciousness and power of speech. The soul therefore is not conceived as en­tirely annihilated. The ghosts retain the outer form of their body, and follow, but instinctively only, what was their favourite pursuit in life. Orion in Homer is still a hunter, Minos sits in judgment, as when

that Homer several times mentions that the Erinyes punish perjurers after death. We are forced then to conclude that the ancient belief is, in this instance, found side by side with the later and generally received idea, that the dead, even without drinking blood, preserved their consciousness and power of speech. Connected with it is the notion that they have the power of influencing men's life on earth in various ways The most ancient belief knows nothing of future

THE KKALM OF HADES. (Vase from Canosa: Munich, Pinakothek, No. 849.)

alive. Perhaps the punishments inflicted in Homer on Tltyus, Tant&lus, and Sisyphus (for Ixion, the Danaldfis, PeirlthSus, and others belong to a later story) should be regarded in this light. The penalties in­flicted on them in the upper world may be merely transferred by Homer to their ghostly existence. For the idea of a sen­sible punishment is not consistent with that of an unconscious continuance in being. It must be remembered, at the same time,

rewards of the righteous, or indeed of any complete separation between the just and the unjust, or of a judgment to make the necessary awards. The judges of the dead are in the later legend Minos, Rhadaman-thys, jEacus, and TriptSlemus. It was a later age, too, which transferred Elysium and Tartftrus to the lower world, Elysium as the abode of the blessed, and Tartarus as that of the damned. In the earlier be­lief these regions had nothing to do with

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