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Greek Hell


I don't know about modern Hellenists specifically but here's wiki's article on the Greek underworld: Greek underworld - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fields of Punishment
The Fields of Punishment was a place for those who had created havoc on the world and committed crimes specifically against the gods. Hades himself would make the individual's punishment of eternal suffering based on their specific crime. For Tityos, who attempted to rape Leto, this was being staked to the ground while two vultures fed on his regenerating liver.'
Fields of Asphodel
The Asphodel Meadows was a place for ordinary or indifferent souls who did not commit any significant crimes, but who also did not achieve any greatness or recognition that would warrant them being admitted to the Elysian Fields. It was where mortals who did not belong anywhere else in the Underworld were sent.
Elysium was a place for the especially distinguished. It was ruled over by Rhadamanthus, and the souls that dwelled there had an easy afterlife and had no labors. Usually, those who had proximity to the gods were granted admission, rather than those who were especially righteous or had ethical merit.[9] Heroes such as Kadmos, Peleus, and Achilles also were transported here after their deaths. Normal people who lived righteous and virtuous lives could also gain entrance, such as Socrates, who proved his worth sufficiently through philosophy.

There is also something about if you attain Elysium you can choose to be reborn and if you attain Elusium 3 times you go to eternal happiness.

Hopefully some Hellenists can elaborate on their beliefs or where the wiki falls short.


Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
It's important to understand that in Greek mythology, there are typically many divergent and conflicting understandings of various gods and otherworldly places. The same is true with the underworld. I would not go to Wikipedia for information on Hellenic religion. I would go to this site, which thoroughly sources and documents all of its information with actual excerpts from Greek texts.

Theoi said:
It should be noted that the archaic Greek poets represented Tartaros in quite a different fashion. For them it was the great cosmic pit beneath the earth, home of the Titan gods, Night and the storm winds (see Tartaros the cosmic pit). It was only in the 5th century B.C. that Tartaros was reimagined as a type of hell, in contrast to the paradise of Elysium.

This site has two distinct pages that address these different visions of this portion of Lord Hades' realm:

Ταρταρος as the prison of the Titans
Ταρταρος as a foil to the Πεδιον Ηλυσιον (Elysian Fields)

In general, it would be a mistake to conflate the Greek vision of the afterlife with that held by Christians or Muslims. The overwhelming majority of mortals are said to end up in Asphodel, no matter which rendition you're looking at. Only extremely noteworthy individuals end up anywhere else. All in all, the Hellenic religion's understanding of the underworld is very complicated, and I myself have not made enough study of it to provide much expertise on the matter. And I don't know what contemporary Hellenics interpret the literature as.


Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
I'm not a Hellenist, but of all the traditional Pagan pantheons, the Hellenic one is the only one I incorporate at all into my path. I keep thinking I should incorporate it more so, but working with traditional Pantheons has never particularly been my thing for various reasons.

Saint Frankenstein

Wanderer From Afar
Premium Member
I've never heard followers of Hellenismos talk about Tartaros. They tend to be Ophites and focus on rebirth until they reach apotheosis.


Well-Known Member
Sallustius, in On the Gods, wrote
"The truth simply is that ... when we become evil we make the gods our enemies ... because our sins prevent the light of the gods from shining upon us and put us in communion with spirits of punishment. And if by prayers and sacrifices we find forgiveness of sins ... we heal our own badness and so enjoy the goodness of the gods. Th say that the divine turns away from the evil is like saying that the sun hides from the blind."
"Souls are punished when they have gone forth from the body..."


Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
No, none of them believe in "Hell." "Hell" proper is a Christian and Islamic concept, not a Pagan one, and using that term in an attempt to describe Pagan concepts of the underworld or after life - Hellenistic or otherwise - can lead to many misguided conclusions. Hellenism has an underworld and afterlife concept. And, as mentioned, it's complicated, changed throughout history, and is described in many different ways from the sources we have available. You'll get different ideas if you read the philosophers, different ideas if you read the poets, and everyday people probably had different ideas on top of that. There's no consensus around which to base some set doctrine on, and Paganisms tend to emphasize orthopraxy over orthodoxy anyway.


Active Member
Do modern Greek Mythology faiths believe in a Hell that is like torture?,or what do you/they believe?
Try Tartarus, the prison for the fallen angels and the Rephaim (giants).

The words despair, misery, sadness and fear take real form down there. As soon as a rapha (wraith) locks on to you, you cannot move. The pressure builds up on your head and shoulders crushing you down into the razor sharp skin flake dust.

That place does not even give a person the chance to make their last dying scream as their ribs break and cut into their empty lungs. From there on it just gets worse as the spirit leaves the disintegrating body on an automatic slow descent down into the black dusty landscape of Hades.
Old greek literature and it's praise for life and glory, Gods and the astonishing descriptions of Tartarus are way difficult to comprehend. To comprehend how such a religion could offer psychological comfor to it's adepts.
I think there's much more in mysteries and traditions that we don't know than the simple descriptions of Tartarus. I don't know, I feel something is missing about it.

Plato in the Republic draws a some-kind picture of Hell wanting to warn Greeks about morals... Like they didn't fear anything like that. Or anyone feared the same Tartarus whatsoever? It's confusing.