A stunning fresco depicting Narcissus gazing at his own reflection has been uncovered during new excavations at Pompeii, the interim director of the archaeological site, Alfonsina Russo, announced on Thursday, reports the ANSA.


Pompeii Superintendent Massimo Osanna said the myth of Narcissus was a "very commonly found artistic topos in the ancient city". He said "the whole ambience is pervaded by the theme of 'joie de vivre', beauty and vanity, underscored also by the figures of maenads and satyrs who, in a sort of Dionysian courtship dance, accompanied the visitors inside the public part of the ancient house.
   
"It is a deliberately luxurious, and probably dating back to the last years of the colony, as is testified by the extraordinary state of conservation of the colours".

The discovery was made during a dig at the Regio V section of the ancient Roman city and comes just months after the unearthing of another specular fresco, depicting Jupiter taking the form of a swan to impregnate Spartan queen Leda. "The beauty of these rooms have led us to change our project and continue the excavation," Russo said. "In the future it will be possible to open up at least a part of this domus for the public to enjoy". The archaeologists who made the discovery told reporters:

"Refined decorations of the fourth style characterise the entire Room of Leda. Delicate floral ornamental elements, interspersed with griffins and cornucopia, flying cherubs, still lifes and scenes of animals fighting abound.  The harmony of these precious designs extended up to the ceiling, which collapsed in ruins under the wight of the volcanic stones called lapilli, but the fragments have been recovered by restorers who will put them back together. Also very interesting, in the atrium of Narcissus, is the still visible trace of a staircase that led to the floor above, but above all the discovery in the space of a the stairwell, which was used as a store room, of a dozen glass containers, eight amphorae and a bronze funnel. Then, there is a bronze 'situla' (container for liquids) which was discovered next to the impluvium."

Narcissus, in Hellenic and Roman mythology, was the son of a river god and a nymph who was distinguished for his striking beauty. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book III, Narcissus's mother was told by the blind seer Tiresias that he would have a long life, provided he never recognized himself. However, his rejection of the love of the nymph Echo drew upon him the vengeance of the gods. He fell in love with his own reflection in the waters of a spring and pined away, or killed himself; the flower that bears his name sprang up where he died.
   
The columns of the Prytaneion, a facility where members of government met in the period of ancient Greece, at the excavations of Panticapaeum have collapsed in Kerch, Crimea.


On January 28, they were reinforced by supporting blocks so that they would not fall, but it did not work, according to the local news outlet Kerch.FM. All fallen parts of the columns were withdrawn by museum staff, journalists said.

According to the administration of the East Crimean Historical and Cultural Reserve, the collapse occurred due to fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions.

Panticapaeum was an ancient Greek city on the eastern shore of Crimea, which the Greeks called Taurica. The city was built on Mount Mithridat, a hill on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century BC.

The ruins of the site located in the city of Kerch belong to Ukraine's cultural heritage.
In the run-up to Valentines day, let's do a little poem about not understanding love at all. Because let's be honest, love is not something that's easy to understand--or even, that can be understood. It's good, though. If Valentine's is a thing you do with your partner, here is your head's up that it's tomorrow. Prepare for some time spent together.


“As I was walking from the Peiraios beset
By troubles and despair, philosophy came over me.
And all the painters now seem to me to be ignorant
About love, and, to put it simply, so is everyone else
Who fashions images of him as a god.
For he is neither female nor male, and again,
He is not a god or mortal; nor is he foolish
Or wise, but he is drawn together from everywhere
And carries many shapes in one form.
For he has a man’s boldness with a woman’s restraint;
he has the senselessness of madness.
But the reason of a thinker; he has a beast’s ferocity,
The toil of the unbreakable, and the avarice of a god.
Indeed, by Athena and the gods, I do not understand
What love is, but still it is the type of thing
I have said only without this name.”

Alexis (fr.386k from his Phaedrus; found at Athenaeus 13.13)
[translation]
One of Hellenismos' most important festivals is the Anthesteria. It is held in honour of Dionysos Limnaios; of wine, and the dead. Elaion will hold a PAT ritual for the festival every day from 16 to 18 February at 10 am EST. Will you join us?


The Anthesteria was held annually for three days, the eleventh to thirteenth of the month of Anthesterion. It is an ancestral festival, the oldest of the festivals for Dionysos in Athens, a time of reflection and trust in the new growing season to come, a time to celebrate with the spirits of the departed the indefatigable resurgence of life. The festival centered around the celebration of the maturing of the wine stored at the previous vintage, whose pithoi were now ceremoniously opened, and the beginning of spring. The three days of the feast were called Pithoigia (after πίθοι 'storage jars'), Khoes (χοαί 'libations') and Khytroi (χύτροι 'pots').

On the first day, the pithoi were brought to the city of Athens and opened in the temple of Dionysos. Everyone from age three and up wore garlands of new flowers, and many were present when the pithoi of new wine were opened, and a libations was offered to Dionysos before drinking of it. It was a truly celebratory day.

On the second day, all temples were closed, except the temple of Dionysos. Social order broke down on this day--as slaves were permitted to celebrate alongside everyone else--and there was a drinking contest in the afternoon where three liters of wine were drunk in complete silence, from khoes. Whomever finished first, won. At the end of the day, the garlands that had been worn were wound around their khoes which they then took to the priestess in charge of the sanctuary at the Limnaios (the marsh) to be dedicated. The wife of the Archōn Basileus--the Archon in charge of religious and artistic festivals--the Basilinna might have taken part in a sacred marriage with Dionysos, either with her husband acting as a conduit for Dionysos, or one of His priests. Geriai, priestesses or followers of Dionysos, might have assisted in this ritual, or would have held their own cult rituals on this day. Young women swung in trees and decorated them to commemorate the death of Erigone, as chronicled below.

On day three, everyone joined in a procession to the temple of Dionysos. It was a somber day consisting of the preparation of a mixture of a panspermia, grains and beans boiled together (a good recipe can be found here), along with honey which was offered to Hermes Khthonios on behalf of the spirits of the dead, especially those who died in Deukalion’s flood. The slaves, as well as the dead, were then told to go home, as 'the Anthesteria had ended'.

The origins of the Anthesteria are based in myth. After the battle of Troy, King Agamemnon returns home to his wife Klytaemnestra (Κλυταιμνήστρα). When Agamemnon returns, playwright Aeschylus in his Oresteia, writes Klytaemnestra as not having been faithful to her husband. She has taken as her new lover and husband Aegisthos (Αἴγισθος), cousin of Agamemnon, and when Agamemnon and his young slave come home, Klytaemnestra kills them both. Orestes (Ὀρέστης), son of Agamemnon and Klytaemnestra ends up killing Aegisthos, as well as his mother for her crime, under orders of Apollon. Yet, the matricide is a terrible offense in the eyes of the Theoi, and the Erinyes--Khthonic deities of vengeance--are sent to kill Orestes. They chased him relentlessly and upon reaching Delphi he is told by Apollon that he should go to Athens to seek Athena's aid.

Phanodemus (Athenaeus 10.437c-d) describes what happens to Orestes next, as it is this practice that was reenacted again and again, during the second day of the Anthesteria:

“When Orestes arrived at Athens after killing his mother, Demophon [king of Athens] wanted to receive him, but was not willing to let him approach the sacred rites [to Dionysos] nor share the libations, since he had not yet been put on trial [and had not yet been cleansed of miasma]. So he ordered the sacred things to be locked up and a separate pitcher of wine to be set beside each person [instead of sharing a drinking vessel as usual], saying that a flat cake would be given as a prize to the one who drained his first. He also ordered them, when they had stopped drinking, not to put the wreathes with which they were crowned on the sacred objects, because they had been under the same roof with Orestes. Rather each one was to twine them around his own pitcher and take the wreathes to the priestess at the precinct in Limnai, and then to perform the rest of the sacrifices in the sanctuary.”

As mentioned, Orestes arrives at Athens during an existing festival to Dionysos. It is posed that this festival was the Aiora, a festival instituted to commemorate the death of Erigone, her father, and their dog Maera. The story goes that Ikários (Ἰκάριος) was such a fine winemaker that he could produce wine so strong, those who drank it appeared to be poisoned. His skill turned out to be his undoing; Íkaros was killed by those who drank his wine, thinking the wine maker was out to kill them. His daughter Erigone was taken to his body by the family hound, Maera, whereupon both she and the dog committed suicide by hanging. It may have been that Dionysos was so angry over the murder and the following suicides, He punished Athens by making all of the city's maidens (or only the daughters of those who had killed Ikários) commit suicide in the same way. The citizens of Athens turned to the oracle of Delphi to stop these suicides, and the oracle told them to burry the three with honors, and appease their spirits. The Athenians buried the bodies with full honors, and a festival was founded where young Athenian women swung in swings, and hung ribbons, cups, and dolls in trees.

The Anthesteria might sound like a confusing festival, and it was, in a way. The three days were almost completely separate events, but have a few things in common. It's a fertility festival, but birth is linked to death. All life is linked to death, after all, and both birth and death were miasmic events. After the rough winter, everything was dead: the soil, the remaining food stores, people... miasma tainted everything. So, as new life began from the ashes of the old, Dionysos was invoked and sacrificed to, to cleanse the old, to remove the miasma resting upon the earth and the people. It is not odd to find mythology connected to this festival which is so strongly linked to miasma, birth and death.

How does a modern Hellenist celebrate the Anthesteria? The first day should focus upon the fertility aspects of the festival: the coming abundance of flowers, wine, and fruit now the spring is almost upon us. Day two began at night, and was filled with... well... sex. People were intoxicated, enthusiastic about the upcoming spring and the end of winter, and they tended to find each other in the dark of night. I would suggest starting there for day two, if you have the option.

On this second day, I cover all other shrines I have in the house but the one on which I will honor Dionysos, to prevent them from becoming tainted with miasma. This is optional, of course. Do think about Orestes, and what he was forced to do--fail either his father by not punishing his killer, or fail his mother by killing her, and dooming himself, regardless--and think about hard decisions you have had to make, and ask forgiveness for them. If you are of legal age and have the opportunity to do so, empty a glass of wine, and feel it swirl in your stomach, as restless as the spirits of the mythic dead who will come up from the Underworld tomorrow. Swing on a swing, as high as you can, and revel in the feeling. Decorate trees with knick-knacks. If you made yourself a garland, take it outside, preferably somewhere wet, and beg that Dionysos accept it and cleanse you of the pollution you carry within you. Again, this night is perfect for making love, especially in honor of Dionysos.
Keep your shrines covered for the third day if you chose to do this, as miasma has not yet been lifted, and the dead roam the earth freely. Give honors to family members and others who were close to you, who have died. Speak with them and try to find closure. Make them a meal; a panspermia is best, but eggs, leeks and garlic also work well. There are different stories surrounding the eating of the panspermia yourself. Some say no one was to eat from it, but Walter Burkert in 'Greek Religion' notes:

"On the 13th Anthesterion, the day of the Pots, grains of all kinds are boiled together in a pot along with honey. This is the most primitive cereal dish of the early farmers, older than the discovery of flour-milling and bread-baking; in funeral customs it has survived down to the present day. But the idea of food for the dead, conjoined to an abridged version of an ancient source, has lead to the mistaken view that the living were actually prohibited from eating from the Pots. According to the full text, it is only the priests who are barred from eating this food, in accordance with the fact that all sanctuaries are closed on the Choes day. The meal of pottage is linked to the myth of the flood: once the water had subsided, the survivors threw everything they could find into a pot and cooked it as their first meal after the cataclysm, an occasion for summoning up new courage and yet in memory of the dead. One sacrifices to the chthonic Hermes for the sake of the dead and eats from the Pots in the certainty of life regained. The day of defilement is over, the masks and the dead lose their rights: 'Out you Keres, the Anthesteria are over' became a proverbial saying."

Yet, Harrison in 'Themis: A Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion' has the following to say:
"The panspermia has not, I think, been rightly understood. In commenting on it before, misled by the gift-theory of sacrifice, I took it to be merely a 'supper for the souls.' No doubt as such it was in later days regarded when primitive magical rites had to be explained on Olympian principles. But it was, to begin with, much more. The ghosts had other work to do than to eat their supper and go. They took that 'supper', that panspermia, with them down to the world below and brought it back in the autumn a pankarpia. The dead are Chthonioi, 'earth people', Demetreioi, 'Demeter's people,' and they do Demeter's work, her work and that of Kore the Maiden, with her Kathodos and Anodos."

Where you stand, you must decide for yourself. Personally, I will not taste of the panspermia. Like with the Deipnon, however, setting outside the meal will lift the miasma from your person and the house, so afterwards, you can uncover your shrines again if you covered them in the first place.

The Anthesteria is a festival of deep, emotional, involvement, and it is best celebrated by emerging yourself as completely as you can. As with any rites to Dionysos, transformation within yourself is almost always a consequence. The Anthesteria is a heavy festival, but filled with joy, regardless, because you are working towards spring. Burdens will be lifted from you. Rejoice with us and you will get through these festivals just fine. You can find the rituals here and join the community here. Enjoy!
The ancient Hellenes had an odd view of blood; for one, they made a very clear distinction between human blood and animal blood, and ascribed powers of pollution and purification to it. It's a fascinating--if not somewhat dark topic--and I'd like to take a moment to discuss blood and blood rituals in ancient Hellas today.

To a modern practitioner, 'blood' most likely has a negative connotation to it; it's considered miasmic, after all, at least the blood of humans. Miasma--the lingering aura of uncleanliness in regards to a person or space through which contact is made with the Gods--is a constant concern for the modern practitioner, and judging by the amount of purification rituals and methods we have available from the ancient Hellenes, it was for them as well.

Human blood has connotations of death; bleeding is a human thing, a weakening, an act that brings us closer to death even though we may have only cut our thumbs. We still spill our life's blood. While the ancient Hellenes studiously avoided talking about menstrual blood and the menstrual cycle of women, this reasoning is exactly why I feel menstruating women were most likely barred from religious rites: especially to the men who dictated these rules, a woman loosing blood would be a terrifying thing; a literal bloodletting and something that brings the woman closer to death and more in tune with her humanity. Miasma are those things that taint us as human while we long to be in the presence of the Gods, and take it from me, very few things make a woman feel more humbly human than suffering through her period.

Animal blood in Hellenism has an entirely different connotation; not only was it a religious sacrifice, but it was used as a purifier as well. During an animal sacrifice, the animal was killed by a blow to the head or the slitting of the throat. Even if the animal was killed by a blow to the head, the throat was slid afterwards, and the blood was collected. Some blood was sprinkled on the front of the altar and poured into the fire as part of the sacrifice; a representation of the animal's life force, and along with the barley groats that were tossed into the fire previously, a purifier.

Animal blood as a purifier was especially important in the ritual absolution of murderers. If we look at the Eumenides by Aeschylus, we can see how Apollon has purified Orestes of the murder of his mother by killing a swine and holding it out over him, letting the blood of the animal drip down over his head and hands. In this regard, the blood serves to make visible the blood guilt--Orestes is literally covered in blood, more so than he ever was during or after the murder of his mother--and then have something physical to wash away, taking the blood guilt with it. It's one of the many steps of Orestes' redemption which is only complete when Athena absolves him, but it starts with the presentation of a substitute to the daimons of vengeance, and the physical manifestation of blood guilt.

"Taught by misery, I know many purification rituals, and I know where it is right to speak and equally to be silent; and in this case, I have been ordered to speak by a wise teacher. For the blood is slumbering and fading from my hand, the pollution of matricide is washed away; while it was still fresh, it was driven away at the hearth of the god Phoebus by purifying sacrifices of swine. It would be a long story to tell from the beginning, how many people I have visited, with no harm from association with me." [276]

This link between blood and the tension between death and life shows more often in Hellenic mythology; the blood from the vein on the left side of Médousa's head was allegedly capable of killing, but Asclepius, a great healer, used the blood from the veins on the right side of the head for saving lives. Dionysos--a God very close to the cycle of life and death due to his troubled birth--was intricately linked with blood. There are many stories on His birth, but two are of importance to this post. In one, he is born from Semele and Zeus, and while Semele is pregnant with Him, Hera plants seeds of doubt in her mind about the father of the child truly being Zeus. Semele asks Zeus to reveal Himself to her in his true form, and when he is left with no other option, He does so, killing her in the process. Zeus takes pity on His child, and takes Him into either His thigh or testicle, where He is eventually born from.

In the other version of the myth, stemming from Krete, Dionysos is the child of Zeus and Persephone (or Demeter). In this version, Dionysos is born, but ripped to pieces by Titans, under orders of a jealous Hera. Zeus smites the Titans, but is too late to save anything of Dionysos but His heart, which He gets implanted into His thigh like the first myth, or implants into Semele.

In both versions of the myth, Dionysos is twice-born, hence his epithet 'Dimêtôr' (Διμητωρ). Dionysos was considered a fertility God, but also closely related to nature's eternal cycle of birth and death. The ancient Hellens considered the moment a plant--especially the grape--began to grow for the first time after being planted its first birth, and counted its second birth when it became laden with ripened fruit. As Dionysos is so closely related to  the grape vine, it was Dionysos Himself that was considered being born once from the earth and again from the vine--and as such, wine was literally his blood. Many of His festivals allude to this, and the wine so copiously drunk during them often has a bitter connotation because of it.

There are many hidden references to blood in Hellenic mythology and ritual. It's both a corrupter and a purifier; a gateway to birth, and to death; a manifestation of the divine and of humanity. This is only an introduction on the subject--at best--but I hope it at least serves as something to ponder on.
It's been a while since I missed my 9am deadline, but I went way over today because life exploded, so I am going to leave you with some words of beauty today and then head to bed: Pindar's Paean VI, for the Delphians to Pytho. The poem was performed at Delphi for a festival called the 'theoxenia', at which Gods were entertained. More tomorrow!


O golden Pytho, that art famed for thine oracles! I beseech thee, by the Olympian Zeus, with the Graces and Aphrodite, to welcome me at this sacred season as a prophet of the tuneful Pierides. For, beside the water of Castalia, with its outlet of brass, I have no sooner heard a sound of dancing reft of men, than I have come to relieve the need of the townsmen, and of mine own honour.
I have obeyed my dear heart, even as a son obeyeth his kind mother, and have come down to Apollo's grove, the home of garlands and of banquets, where, beside the shadowy centre of the earth, the maidens of Delphi fiill often beat the ground with nimble step, while they sing the son of Leto.
And, whence the strife of the immortals arose, of this the gods are able to prompt sage poets; while, for mortal men, it is impossible to find it.

Some random mythology today! In early Hellenic cosmogony Tartaros was the great pit beneath the earth. The cosmos was imagined as a great sphere or void, with the upper half of its shell formed by the dome of heaven, and the lower half by the pit of Tartaros. Inside, this cosmic sphere was divided in two by the flat disc of earth. Above was the dwelling place of gods and men, and below was the gloomy, storm-wracked prison of the Titanes. Haides, the realm of the dead, was originally quite distinct from the pit of Tartaros. It was located either at the very ends of the earth, beyond the river Okeanos and the setting of the sun; or in the hollow depths of earth's belly. Tartaros on the other hand, lay as far beneath Haides as the sky lay above the earth. Tartaros was secured with a surrounding wall of bronze set with a pair of gates, guarded by the hundred-handed Hekatonkheir giants, warders of the Titanes.

Later classical writers reimagined Tartaros as the hellish prison-house of the damned. Plato, in 'Gorgias' describes the then-modern views on Tartaros:

"Now in the time of Kronos there was a law concerning mankind, and it holds to this very day amongst the gods, that every man who has passed a just and holy life departs after his decease to the Isles of the Blest (Nesoi Makaron), and dwells in all happiness apart from ill; but whoever has lived unjustly and impiously goes to the dungeon of requital and penance which, you know, they call Tartaros." [523a]

Throughout Hellenic mythology, quite a few people were locked away in Tartaros and for no reason at all, I felt the need to collect some of these today, along with their cautionary tales.


King Sísyphos
Sísyphos (Σίσυφος) was a king; the king of Ephyra, the area now known as Corinth to be exact. For those who enjoy figuring out the convolutd family trees of the ancient kings, he was the son of King Aeolus of Thessaly and Enarete, and the father of Glaucus, Ornytion, Almus, and Thersander by the nymph Merope, the brother of Salmoneus, and the grandfather of Bellerophon through Glaucus. He was a very bright man, with a good mind for ruling. Unfortunately, he was also a proud man, and a deceitful one at that. He ruled his city with an iron fist, and killed visitors, breaking xenia and raising the ire of Zeus Xenios.

Sísyphos is not generally known for his deeds in life; he is far better known for his deeds in death. According to Hellenic mythology, Sísyphos is condemned to roll a rock up to the top of a mountain in Tartaros, only to have the rock roll back down to the bottom every time he reaches the top. The Gods, it seems, are well aware that working a dead end job without pay-off is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. There are various stories about Sísyphos and how he earned this fate. Apollodorus, in his Library, writes the following:

"Sisyphus is punished in Hades by rolling a stone with his hands and head in the effort to heave it over the top; but push it as he will, it rebounds backward. This punishment he endures for the sake of Aegina, daughter of Asopus; for when Zeus had secretly carried her off, Sisyphus is said to have betrayed the secret to Asopus, who was looking for her." [1.9.3]

According to Pherecydes (Frag. 78 in Müller, Fragmenta Historicum Graecorum, i. p. 91) Sísyphos told Asopus that Zeus had carried off his daughter Aegina, but continues to say that Zeus punished him by sending Death after him. Cunning as he was, Sísyphos managed to trick Death and bound him, so that men ceased to die, until Ares came to the rescue, released Death, and gave Sísyphos to Him. Before he died, however, Sísyphos told his wife Merope to omit his funeral rites, so that Hades, being deprived of his customary offerings, would be persuadable to let him go back to life in order to complain of his wife’s neglect. Hades did, indeed, let him go to deal with his wife, but when he refused to return, and had to be fetched back by Hermes, his well-known punishment ensued.

King Tántalos
This king cut up his son Pelops, boiled him, and served him as food when he was invited to dine with the Gods. He also stole the ambrosia from the Gods and told his people its secrets. Another story mentioned that he held onto a golden dog forged by Hephaestus and stolen by Tántalos' friend Pandareus. Tantalus (Τάνταλος) held onto the golden dog for safekeeping and later denied to Pandareus that he had it. Tántalos' punishment for his actions was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any. Over his head towered a threatening stone like that of Sisyphus. From the 'Odysseia':

"I [Odysseus] saw Tantalus in agonising torment, in a pool of water reaching to his chin. He was tortured by thirst, but could not drink, since every time he stooped eagerly the water was swallowed up and vanished, and at his feet only black earth remained, parched by some god. Fruit hung from the boughs of tall leafy trees, pears and pomegranates, juicy apples, sweet figs and ripe olives. But whenever the old man reached towards them to grasp them in his hands, the wind would sweep them off into the shadowy clouds." [Bk XI:541-592]

Ixion
Ixion (Ἰξίων), king of the Lapiths (Λαπίθαι), fell in love with Hera after being invited up to Olympos by Zeus. Zeus decided to test his integrity after He discovered His guest' lust for Hera. Zeus created the cloud nymph Nephele (Νεφέλη)in Hera's image. Ixion made love to her and fathered the Kentaurs (or just one, Kentaurus, who became the father of the Centaur race). Needless to say, Ixion failed miserably. He was expelled from Olympus and blasted with a thunderbolt. Zeus then ordered Hermes to bind Ixion to a winged fiery wheel that was always spinning. Therefore, Ixion is bound to a burning solar wheel for all eternity, at first spinning across the heavens, then into Tartaros. The Corona Australis is this very wheel, with Ixion tied to it. Apollodorus, in his 'Bibliotheca': 


"Ixion fell in love with Hera and tried to rape her, and when Hera told Zeus about it, Zeus wanted to determine if her report was really true. So he fashioned a Cloud (Nephele) to look like Hera, and laid it by Ixion's side. When Ixion bragged that he had slept with Hera, Zeus punished him by tying him to a wheel, on which he was turned by winds up in the air. The Cloud (Nephele) bore Kentauros (Centaurus) from Ixion’s seed." [E.1.20]

The Danaides
It is said that these fifty daughters of Danaus (or just forty-nine, or forty-eight, or forty-seven of them) murdered their husbands and were punished in Tartarus by being forced to carry water in a jug to fill a bath which would thereby wash off their sins, but the jugs were actually sieves so the water always leaked out. Ovid in his 'Metamorphoses' poetically describes their fate:

"The Belides their leaky vessels still
Are ever filling, and yet never fill:
Doom'd to this punishment for blood they shed,
For bridegrooms slaughter'd in the bridal bed."

King Salmoneus
This king may have banked himself a place in Tartaros by trying to pass himself off as Zeus, causing the real Zeus to smite him with a thunderbolt. He impersonated the divinity by driving around in a chariot dragging bronze kettles to make thunder, and casting torches in the air for lightning. Salmoneus was the great-grandson of Deukalion, survivor of the Great Deluge. Virgil, in his 'Aeneid':

"Salmoneus, suff'ring cruel pains, I found, For emulating Jove; the rattling sound Of mimic thunder, and the glitt'ring blaze Of pointed lightnings, and their forky rays. Thro' Elis and the Grecian towns he flew; Th' audacious wretch four fiery coursers drew: He wav'd a torch aloft, and, madly vain, Sought godlike worship from a servile train. Ambitious fool! with horny hoofs to pass O'er hollow arches of resounding brass, To rival thunder in its rapid course, And imitate inimitable force! But he, the King of Heav'n, obscure on high, Bar'd his red arm, and, launching from the sky His writhen bolt, not shaking empty smoke, Down to the deep abyss the flaming felon strook." [6..585]