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A trouble-making mortal who tried to outwit the Gods

Son of AEOLUS, he was a rogue too far. A swindling cattle dealer who raped and pillaged his way to a kingdom. His very name means 'too clever', which he was by more than half. Even AUTOLYCUS failed to outwit him.

He did nasty things to people with stones, not throwing, but piling on top and crushing. The end came when he upset ZEUS by disclosing his whereabouts for a reward while ZEUS was up to his naughties.

ZEUS got in touch with his brother HADES and they agreed it was time SISYPHUS got his come-uppance, or in this instance go-downance.

When HADES came to take him into protective custody, SISYPHUS feigned such interest in the knots HADES had used to tie his wrists that HADES offered him an action replay demonstration. Before you could say 'SISYPHUS is a smart ass', it was HADES who was bound and taken to a dungeon.

With HADES out of action nobody could die, which upset ARES because it took all the fun out of battles. So ARES found and released HADES and they set out to nab SISYPHUS, who just had time to yell to his wife not to bury any body he forced to leave behind.

Reaching the Underworld, SISYPHUS kicked up a mighty fuss with PERSEPHONE, claiming he was still alive because he'd not had a funeral yet. He asked for three days compassionate leave to sort things out and she concurred.

Naturally he did not return. ZEUS sent HERMES to sort him out. HERMES put him in a neck hold and dragged him off, ignoring pleas, cajolery, questions or anything else. No messing this time.

For being such a troublemaker SISYPHUS was given hard labor involving rolling a boulder up to the top of a hill. "Just roll it up to the top and let it go down the other side and you're out of here."

But of course it never happens. Every time SISYPHUS gets to the top the boulder slips and rolls back down again. Better luck next time after time after time...

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Article last updated on 03 January 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Sisyphus is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Location : Ancient Greece
Gender : Male
Type : Legendary Mortal
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 627

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