Sisyphus

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Sisyphus

(sĭs`ĭfəs), in Greek mythology, son of Aeolus and founder and king of Corinth. Renowned for his cunning, he was said to have outwitted even Death. For his disrespect to Zeus, he was condemned to eternal punishment in Tartarus. There he eternally pushed a heavy rock to the top of a steep hill, where it would always roll down again. Albert Camus' essay The Myth of Sisyphus is based on this legend.

Sisyphus

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sisyphus, asteroid 1,866 (the 1,866th asteroid to be discovered, on December 5, 1972), is approximately 7.6 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 2.6 years. Sisyphus was a mythological figure whose punishment in the underworld was to roll a stone up a hill, only to have it roll back to the bottom, and then have to push it up the hill, over and over again for eternity. According to Martha Lang-Wescott, Sisyphus represents “determination; dogged persistence; to start over (again or anew); to repeat effort.” Jacob Schwartz gives this asteroid’s astrological significance as “determined action on hopeless or repetitive tasks, ‘returning to square one.’” This asteroid’s key phrase is “start over.”

Sources:

Lang-Wescott, Martha. Asteroids-Mechanics: Ephemerides II. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1990.
Lang-Wescott. Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids. Rev. ed. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1991.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

Sisyphus

 

in Greek mythology, the son of Aeolus (the guardian of the winds) and the builder and king of Corinth.

After his death, Sisyphus was condemned in Hades to roll a heavy stone up a hill, which, every time it nearly reached the top, rolled down again. Hence the expression “Sisyphean labor,” which signifies endless and ineffective hard work and torments. Various myths have been preserved that explain why such a severe punishment befell Sisyphus. According to one myth, he is tormented for having disclosed the gods’ secrets. Sisyphus was portrayed in ancient Greek dramas, including non-extant works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. He has been represented in modern literature (A. Camus, R. Merle) and in art (Titian). [23–1053–]


Sisyphus

 

a genus of dung beetles whose black or brown body is 5-12 mm long. The legs are very long. The anterior tibiae are dentate, whereas the posterior tibiae are bent and lack denticles. There are 16 species, distributed mostly in the tropics of Africa and Asia. There is only a single species, S. schaefferi, in the USSR (southern region). Like the scarab, Sisyphus feeds on the excrement of animals, mostly ungulates. Before eating the dung, the beetle rolls it into small balls.

Sisyphus

man condemned to roll up a hill a huge stone which always rolls back before he gets it to the top. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1006]

Sisyphus

condemned to impossible task for his avarice. [Gk. Myth.: Wheeler, 1011]
See: Greed

Sisyphus

condemned in Hades to roll boulder uphill which would immediately roll down again. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 244; Gk. Lit.: Odyssey; Rom. Lit.: Aeneid]
References in periodicals archive ?
Ever mindful of the Sisyphean task of going through this gateway, which can be costly and sometimes impossible (due to an inability to keep balanced relations with all three countries), it is unequivocally obvious that any outsider who wishes to make a mark in the region must work on an arrangement to keep at least one corner of the gateway (Egypt, Turkey or Iran) open.
The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable people -- those who believe that whatever wrinkle in the tax code benefits them is an eternal entitlement.
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EPA, he writes, has become bogged down with the Sisyphean task of assessing the impacts of thousands of new pesticides pouring out of the industrial research pipeline.