signifies the gods of the lower world, in contradistinction from those of heaven, or from the Olympian gods. In Greek the Inferi
are designated by the terms οἱ κάτω
, οἱ χθὸνιοι
, οἱ ὑπὸ γαῖαν
, οἱ ἔνερθε
, or οἱ ὑπένερθε Δεοὶ
; whereas the gods of heaven, Superi,
are termed οἱ ἄνω
But the word inferi is still more frequently used to designate the dead, in contradistinction from those living upon
the earth (Apulei. de Mag.
p. 69); so that apud inferos
is equivalent to " in Hades," or "in the lower world." The Inferi therefore comprise all the inhabitants of the lower world, the gods, viz. Aides or Pluto, his wife Persephone, the Erinnyes, and others, as well as the souls of departed men.
The gods of the lower world are treated of in separate articles.
The descriptions of the proper burial of the dead, whereby alone the souls were enabled to come to rest in the lower world; of the sacrifices offered on the tombs of the dead, as well as of the notions entertained by the ancients about the conditions of the souls of the departed in their future state, belong to a Dictionary of Antiquities; while the roads leading to the lower world and the various sites assigned to it by the ancients are questions which belong to mythical geography.