Underworld

The underworld is the supernatural world of the dead in various religious traditions and myths, located below the world of the living.[1] Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld.

Yggdrasil, a modern attempt to reconstruct the Norse world tree which connects the heavens, the world, and the underworld.
The legs of the god Vishnu as the Cosmic Man depict earth and the seven realms of the Hindu underworld of Patala. The feet rest on cosmic serpent Shesha.

The concept of an underworld is found in almost every civilization and "may be as old as humanity itself".[2] Common features of underworld myths are accounts of living people making journeys to the underworld, often for some heroic purpose. Other myths reinforce traditions that entrance of souls to the underworld requires a proper observation of ceremony, such as the ancient Greek story of the recently dead Patroclus haunting Achilles until his body could be properly buried for this purpose.[3] Persons having social status were dressed and equipped in order to better navigate the underworld.[4]

A number of mythologies incorporate the concept of the soul of the deceased making its own journey to the underworld, with the dead needing to be taken across a defining obstacle such as a lake or a river to reach this destination.[5] Imagery of such journeys can be found in both ancient and modern art. The descent to the underworld has been described as "the single most important myth for Modernist authors".[6]

By religionEdit

This list includes underworlds in various religious traditions, with links to corresponding articles.

Albanian mythology Ferri
Aztec mythology Mictlan
Mesopotamian mythology Irkalla
Buddhism Patala, Naraka (also Niraya)
Celtic mythology Annwn, Mag Mell
Chinese mythology / taoism Diyu 地獄
Christianity Hell, Tártaro, Purgatory
Egyptian mythology Aaru, Duat, Neter-khertet, Amenti
Estonian mythology Toonela
Fijian mythology Burotu, Murimuria[7]
Finnish mythology Tuonela
Georgian mythology Kveskneli
Germanic mythology Hel, Niflheim
Greek mythology Elysium, Asphodel Meadows, Tártaros
Guanche mythology

Echeide, Guayota

Hinduism Patala, Naraka or Yamaloka
Hittite mythology Dankuš daganzipaš/Dankuš tekan (dark earth)
Hopi mythology Maski
Hungarian mythology Alvilág
Inca mythology Uku Pacha
Inuit mythology Adlivun
Jain mythology Naraka, Adho Loka (the lower world)
Japanese mythology/Shinto Yomi 黄泉, Ne-no-Kuni 根の国, Jigoku 地獄
Judaism Sheol, Gehenna, Abaddon, Tehom (in Kabbalah), Tophet, Tzoah Rotachat, Dudael
Korean mythology "Ji-Ok" 지옥 地獄
Latvian mythology Aizsaule
Lithuanian mythology Anapilis
Malay mythology Alam Ghaib (The unseen realm)
Indonesian mythology
Māori mythology Hawaiki, Rarohenga, Rangi Tuarea, Te Toi-o-nga-Ranga, Uranga-o-Te-Ra
Mapuche mythology Pellumawida, Degin, Wenuleufu, Ngullchenmaiwe
Maya mythology Metnal, Xibalba
Melanesian mythology (includes Fijian) Bulu, Burotu, Murimuria, Nabagatai, Tuma
Norse mythology Gimlé, Hel, Niflhel, Vingólf
Oromo mythology Ekera
Persian mythology Duzakh
Philippine mythology Kasanaan
Polynesian mythology Avaiki, Bulotu, Iva, Lua-o-Milu, Nga- Atua, Pulotu, Rangi Tuarea, Te Toi-o-nga-Ranga, Uranga-o-Te-Ra
Pueblo mythology Shipap
Roman mythology Inferi, Avernus
Romanian mythology Tărâmul Celălalt
Slavic mythology Nav, Podsvetie, Peklo, Vyraj
Sumerian mythology Kur, Hubur
Turko-Mongol Tamağ
Vodou mythology Guinee
Wagawaga (New Guinea) mythology Hiyoyoa

Underworld figuresEdit

This list includes rulers or guardians of the underworld in various religious traditions, with links to corresponding articles.

Aboriginal mythology Baiame (Kamilaroi), Eingana
Akkadian mythology Allu, Anu, Anunnaku, Ereshkigal, Etemmu, Gallu, Humbaba, Mamitu, Nergal, Utnapishtim
Albanian mythology E Bukura e Dheut
Turko-Mongol Erlik
Armenian mythology Spandaramet
Aztec mythology Mictlantecuhtli, Mictecacihuatl, Chalmecacihuilt, Chalmecatl
Babylonian mythology Erra, Nergal, Ninlil, Sursunabu, Ur-shanabi, Utnapishtim
Balinese mythology Batara Kala, Setesuyara
Bon mythology gNyan
Buddhism Yama
Canaanite mythology Mot, Arsay
Celtic mythology Aed, Arawn, Cwn Annwn, Donn, Gwyn ap Nudd, Manannán mac Lir, Pwyll
Chinese mythology Gui, Yanluo
Christianity Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub
Egyptian mythology Aken, Aker (strictly only the gatekeeper), Am-heh, Amunet, Ammit, Andjety, Anubis, Apep, Apis, Astennu, Ha, Imiut (if the Imiut was ever considered a god), Isis, Mehen, Naunet, Nehebkau, Nephthys, Nun, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Seker, Thoth
Elamite mythology Jabru
Estonian mythology Vanapagan
Etruscan mythology Charun, Culsu, Februus, Mania, Mantus, Nethuns, Tuchulcha, Vanth
Fijian mythology Degei
Finnish mythology Kalma, Kipu-Tyttö, Kivutar, Lovitar, Surma, Tuonen akka, Tuonetar, Tuoni, Vammatar
Greek mythology Cerberus, Charon, Hades, Pluto, Keres, Persephone, Thánatos
Georgian mythology sasuleti
Haida mythology Ta'xet, Tia
Hattian mythology, Hittite mythology Lelwani
Hinduism Yama
Hopi mythology Maasaw
Hungarian mythology Ördög
Ibo mythology Ala
Incan mythology Supay, Vichama
Indonesian mythology (ancient Javananese, Sundanese and Balinese) Batara Kala guardian for sinners souls' underworld, Dewi Sri guardess for the righteous souls' underworld
Inuit mythology Pana, Sedna
Japanese mythology Izanami-no-Mikoto, Jikininki, Shikome, Shiryō, Susanoo-no-Mikoto
Kassite mythology Dur
Khmer mythology Preas Eyssaur
Latvian mythology Veļi, Veļu māte, Zemes māte
Lithuanian mythology Velnias, Velinas
Levantine mythology Mot, Arsay
Lunda mythology Kalunga
Maori mythology Hina, Hine-nui-te-Po, Kewa, Mahiuki, Rohe, Whiro
Maya mythology Hun-Came, Vucub-Came, Kisin
Melanesian mythology (includes Fijian mythology) Degei, Ratumaibulu, Samulayo
Narragansett mythology Chepi
Navaho mythology Estsanatlehi
Niquiran mythology Mictanteot
Norse mythology Garmr, Hel, Ran
Ugrian mythology Heini-iki
Orokolo mythology Kiavari
Persian mythology Angra Mainyu, Azhi Dahaka, Peri
Philippine mythology Magwayen/Maguayen, Sidapa
Phoenician mythology Horon
Phrygian mythology Men
Polynesian mythology Hikuleo, Hina, Hine-nui-te-Po, Kanaloa, Kiho-tumu, Makea Tutara, Mahiuki, Mahu-ike, Marama, Mauri, Merau, Milu, Miru, Rimu, Rohe, Whiro
Prussian mythology Picullus
Pueblo mythology Iyatiku
Roma (Gypsy) mythology Beng
Roman mythology Cerberus, Dea Tacita, Dis Pater, Egestes, Fames, Inferi Dii, Larenta, Letum, Libitina, Mors, Orcus, Pluto, Proserpina, Viduus
Romanian mythology Diavolu, Satana, Necuratu, Scaraoschi
Russian mythology Dyavol, Satanaya
Saami mythology Yambe-akka
Salish mythology Amotken
Siberian mythology Chebeldei, Kul
Slavic mythology Crnobog, Flins, Marzana, Nyia, Veles (god)
Sumerian mythology Edimmu, Ekimmu, Endukugga, Enmesarra, Ereshkigal, Gidim, Gula, Irkalla, Kur, Namtar, Nergal, Neti, Nindukugga, Ninlil, Urshanabi, Ziusudra
Syrian mythology Reshep
Tamil mythology Cur
Thracian mythology Heros
Turkic mythology Erlik
Vodou Baron Cimetière, Baron La Croix, Baron Samedi, Ghede, Maman Brigitte, Marassa Jumeaux
Wagawaga mythology Tumudurere
Welsh mythology Annwfn or Annwn
Yoruba mythology Esu, Oya
Yurak mythology Nga
Zuni mythology Uhepono

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Underworld". The free dictionary. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  2. ^ Isabelle Loring Wallace, Jennie Hirsh, Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (2011), p. 295.
  3. ^ Radcliffe G. Edmonds, III, Myths of the Underworld Journey: Plato, Aristophanes, and the 'Orphic' Gold Tablets (2004), p. 9.
  4. ^ Jon Mills, Underworlds: Philosophies of the Unconscious from Psychoanalysis to Metaphysics (2014), p. 1.
  5. ^ Evans Lansing Smith, The Descent to the Underworld in Literature, Painting, and Film, 1895-1950 (2001), p. 257.
  6. ^ Evans Lansing Smith, The Descent to the Underworld in Literature, Painting, and Film, 1895-1950 (2001), p. 7.
  7. ^ T. Williams, J. Calvert, Fiji and the Fijians, Heylin, 1858.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Hell at Wikimedia Commons