Ixion, Tantalus and Sisyphus in the Underworld

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Ixion, Tantalus and Sisyphus in Hades, on a relief on the side panel of a Roman sarcophagus, in the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Homer's Tantalus suffers from eternal hunger and thirst. Here he is at left raising water to his lips, only to find it escape him. According to later versions a stone hangs over him and his torment lies in his fear that it ios falling upon him.

Sisyphus, on the right, half-kneeling makes painful efforts to rise with the stone on his back, only to have it fall down and leave him to begin once more.

Ixion, meanwhile is bound to the huge wheel in the centre, to atone for his attack on the goddess Hera.