THE ANCIENT MYTH OF
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
The word “tantalizing” refers to something that is
desired but that will never be achieved. The word is commonly used today but its
origin comes from the story of Tantalus.
Tantalus was invited to have dinner with Zeus in
Olympus. It was here that he behaved inappropriately and stole the god’s
ambrosia. Ambrosia is food or drink that bestows immortality on whoever consumes
it. He took the ambrosia back to his own people and also told them of the gods
secrets. Tantalus also offered a sacrifice to the gods. The sacrifice was his
son, Pelops, and he offered him as a sacrifice after cutting him up and boiling
him before serving him to the gods to eat. The gods knew what was being put
before them and therefore did not partake of the feast. One god, Demeter, did
not know that they were being served a boy and so she ate part of the boy’s
shoulder. Zeus ordered Fate to bring the boy to life again and so she placed his
parts in a sacred cauldron, rebuilt his shoulder, and was brought back to life.
The gods were furious with Tantalus for the sins
that he had committed including theft from the gods, human sacrifice, and
cannibalism. To punish him for his wrongdoings, Tantalus was made to stand in a
pool of water. There was a tree with branches of fruit that hung just above
where he stood. When he reached up to take a piece of fruit, the branches would
raise out of his reach. If he bent down to take a drink from the water in which
he stood, the water would also move out of his reach.
The story of Tantalus and his sins still lives on
today. Whenever someone refers to something as “tantalizing”, they are
inadvertently referring to the story of a sinful man who suffered through
miserable punishment in wishing for something that he would never have.
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