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Tantalaus (Tan-tu-los) was the great king of Sibylus, Lydia who pleased all twelve Olympians. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Plouto. He would often invite the gods to dinner at his great palace. Thus, Tantalaus thought he had nothing good enough to offer them as, being gods, they would already have access to the most delectable of foods. But Tantalaus had a son who he loved deeply named Pelops. So one evening, he killed his son and served his body to the gods.
All the gods saw through this ruse except Demeter, who ate Pelop's shoulder. However, Zeus did not like human sacrifices. To punish Tantalaus for his sin, the gods sent him to Tartarus where water went up to his neck and fruit hung above his head. And whenever he tried to drink the water or grasp at the fruit, it would move away from him. Also, to intimidate him, a rock hung over his head, ready to crush him. His son was then revived and given a replacement shoulder by Hephaestus.
| Preceded by:|
Omphale (as Queen)
| King of Lydia|
| Succeeded by|