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[209] Nec proavo. Tantalus was the father of Pelops, and consequently the great-grandfather of Menelaus. History, as related by the poets, has something in it very remarkable. He was king of Corinth, and entertaining the Gods at a banquet, to make trial of their divinity killed his son Pelops, and set him before them baked in a paste. They all abstained from the feast except Ceres, who tasted a part of his shoulder; for which reason, when he was restored to life, he had a shoulder given him of ivory. Tantalus, as a punishment for his impiety, was condemned in hell to a perpetual hunger and thirst, and obliged to stand up to the chin in water, and to have apples hanging just to his lips, without being able to touch either. There are some who give a different account of this matter: they tell us, that his crime was divulging the secrets of the Gods, and his punishment the fear of a great stone, always ready to fall upon his head. Ovid, Amor. lib. 3, makes the latter his crime, but gives the same account of his punishment as in the first part of this note: “Sic aret mediis taciti vulgator in undis;
Pomaque, quae nullo tempore tangat, habet.

Stygia. Styx was a river in hell, by which the Gods were said to swear when they pronounced an irrevocable oath.

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