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 ?
Changing the incentive and rewards systems to create departmental and college-wide cultures that value and recognize effective teaching has been a Sisyphean task.
Mauch of the University of Western Sydney set himself a Sisyphean task to try to convince his readers that Nomura whose ambassadorship in Washington ended with the attack on Pearl Harbor deserves better than to be remembered by Westem scholars only as "a well-intentioned, but bumbling and amateurish diplomat" who according to Professor Robert Butow had "no business being where he was" (p, xiiv).
Working conditions were dismal, mothers sometimes brought their children to work, and although the textile industry had a long history of sporadic organising, the company was known to break its contracts and the Sisyphean task had to start all over again.
Preserving a record of the fantastic stage designs that are built each year and disappear is a Sisyphean task.
Those who annually seek the funds to keep it airborne are facing a Sisyphean task.
This Sisyphean task is frustrated by multiple failures, interruptions, people coming down the narrow stairs, including a nanny with a baby carriage and a self-important music professor played by Billy Gilbert, a regular in the Hal Roach studio productions.
Getting the organization to see the theoretical value, to change their behaviors and attitudes is still a Sisyphean task.
With some MPs this is a Sisyphean task, a constant battle to get the more open answer and a task which inevitably sees the reporter left to pitch the question again and again.
With the government receiving abundant military support, lacking legitimacy and maintaining poor relations with the local communities in areas where extremist groups operate, the counter terrorism policy continues to be a Sisyphean task.
Such a Sisyphean task can seem particularly tedious when the data's statistical significance remains uncertain to the reader.
The EU has made accession a Sisyphean task for Turkey.
As usual, and as expected, these historians give us no intellectual shortcuts to the hard job of making peace, and the work of diplomats and peacemakers will remain a seemingly Sisyphean task.