Asphodel Meadows


Asphodel Meadows

The Asphodel Meadows is a section of the Ancient Greek underworld where indifferent and ordinary souls were sent to live after death. Hades, the Greek name for the underworld (also the name of the god Pluto) is divided into two main sections: Erebus and Tartarus. Erebus was where the dead first entered the underworld. Charon ferried the dead across the river Styx where they then went into Tartarus. Tartarus is the section of the underworld where the dead would spend all of eternity in the place where judgment would order them. Tartarus is then divided into three subsections: the Elysian Fields, the Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus. The Elysian Fields were for the good and heroic souls where they would be forever happy, similar to the Christian Heaven. Tartarus was where the evil and treacherous souls were sent to live out eternity in horrible punishment, similar to the Christian Hell.

Geography

The Asphodel Fields is where the souls of people who lived lives of near equal good and evil rested. It essentially was a plain of Asphodel flowers, which were the favorite food of the Greek dead. It is described as a ghostly place that is an even less perfect version of life on earth.Some depictions describe it as a land of utter neutrality. That is, while the people are neither good nor evil, so are their lives treated, as they mechanically perform their daily tasks. Other depictions have also stated that all residents drink from the river Lethe before entering the fields, thus losing their identities and becoming something similar to a machine. This somewhat negative outlook on the afterlife for those who make little impact was probably passed down to encourage militarism in Greek cultures as opposed to inaction. In fact, those who did take up arms were believed to be rewarded with everlasting joy in the fields of Elysium.


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