Study Guide

Aeneas - Underworld Explorers

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Underworld Explorers

This exclusive clique is reserved for anyone who manages to go down to the Underworld and make it back out alive. This isn't exactly an easy thing to pull off, so you better bet that their parents are proud on awards day. Aeneas took a trip down to the Land of the Dead (with his pal the Cumaean Sibyl) to have a chat with his dead dad, Anchises. While he was there, he got the full details on the great empire his descendants would one day create. You may have heard of it—it was called Rome.


This hero of heroes traveled down to the Underworld and back again while on the last of his Twelve Labors, in which he wrestled the hellhound, Cerberus, and brought the beast back to the world above. For much more on this heroic feat, check out our files on "Heracles: The Twelve Labors."


This famous slayer of the Minotaur traveled down to the Underworld with his pal Pirithious, who wanted to take Persephone as his bride. Hades didn't take too well to somebody trying to steal his wife, so the Lord of the Dead trapped Pirithious and Theseus by freezing their butts to a rock. Only Theseus ever made it out of the Underworld, when he was freed by Heracles while the big guy was on his twelfth labor.


For this mega-famous Greek hero, making it to the Underworld was absolutely essential. Without the advice of the shade of Tiresias (whom he met while he was down there), he never would have made it back home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. For the full details on Odysseus's trip down under, check out our files on Homer's Odyssey.


The great musician Orpheus headed down to the Land of the Dead to bring back the soul of his dead wife, Eurydice. He didn't manage to get her out of there, but he did manage to make it back himself, which is still pretty impressive. For more deets, check out our files on "Orpheus and Eurydice."


Like Orpheus, Psyche made the trek to the Underworld for the sake of love. She traveled down under to borrow some of Persephone's beauty in order to win back the love of Cupid. We've got all the juicy details for you in our files on "Cupid and Psyche."


The god of Wine and Revelry traveled down to the Underworld the old fashioned way—by dying from dismemberment. But this guy made it back out by being reborn from the thigh of Zeus.


Just like Dionysus, this Egyptian god was said to have died and come back to life. Also like Dionysus, Osiris was said to have been dismembered and then put back together again. (Ouch).


This god from Japanese mythology traveled down to the Underworld to rescue his wife, Izanami-no-Mikoto, who died in childbirth. Just like with Orpheus, the rescue attempt failed—big time. Izanami-no-Mikoto had eaten the food of the Underworld and was trapped there. When her husband shined a light on her, he saw that she was a rotting corpse covered with maggots. Then she went all zombie on him and chased him out of the Underworld.

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