In Homeric times the destiny awaiting man after death is one of totally unrelieved gloom. One passage in the 'Odyssey) gives a glimpse of something different in store for Menelaus: " To thee it shall not come In the horse-kind land of Argos to meet thy death and doom. But unto the fields Elysian and the wide world's utmost end, Where dwelbi tawny Rhadarnantbus. the Deathless thee shall send, Wherein are the softest life-days that men may ever gain; No snow and no ill weather, nor any drift of rain; But Oman ever waftetb the wind of the shrilly west, On menfolk ever breathing, to give them night and rest." From early Orphic poems: They who are pious in their life beneath the rays of the sun enjoy a gentler lot when they have died, in the beautiful meadow around deep-flowing Acheron? have paid the penalty for deeds unjust and now I am.come as a suppliant unto noble Persephone, beseeching her to be gracious, and to send me into the abodes of the pious? Pythagoras (589 a.c.): •When thou shalt have laid aside thy body, thou shalt rise, freed from mortality, and be come a god of the kindly skies? Heratlitus 500 (B.C.): °My body must descend to the place or dained, but my soul will not descend: being a thing immortal, it will ascend on high, where it will enter a heavenly abode? From the second The guilty souls of the dead straightway pay the penalty here on earth; and the sins committed in this kingdom of Zeus are judged by One beneath the ground, hateful Necessity enforcing the doom he speaks. But ever through nights and ever through days the same, the good receive an unlaborious life be neath the sunshine. They vex not with might of hand the earth or the waters of the sea for food that satisfieth not, but among the honored Gods, such as had pleasure in keeping of oaths enjoy a tearless life; but the others have pain too fearful to behold. Howbeit they who thrice on either side of death have stood fast and wholly refrained their souls from deeds unjust, journey on the road to Zeus to the tower of Cronus, where the ocean-breezes blow around the island of the blest, and flowers gleam bright with gold, some on trees of glory on the land, while others the water feeds; with wreathes whereof they entwine their arms and crown their heads? tschylus: " There thou shalt see in durance drear, 'Gains! god or guest or parents dear, Lilts thee who sinned, receiving their due meed.
For Hades, ruler of the nether sphere, Exactest auditor of human kind, Graved on the tablet of his mind Drab every trespass read." Sophocles: "But a good hope I cherish, that, come there, My father's love will greet me, yea and thine, My mother — and thy welcome, brother dear." Socrates in the •If death is, like sleep, even then I say that to die is gain: for eternity then is only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, 0 my friends and judges can be greater than this? If, indeed, when the pilgrim arrives in the world below, he is de livered from the professors of justice in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give judgment there, Minos and Rhadaman thus and Aeacus and Triptolemus, and other half gods who were righteous in their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. What would not a man give if he might con verse with Orpheus and Musmus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. Above all I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowl edge; as in this world, in also in that; and I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. . . Besides being hap pier in that world than in this, they will be fin mortal, if what is said is trite." "Is it not strange, my friends, that, after all I have said to convince you I am going to the society of the happy, you still think this body to be Socrates? Bury my lifeless body where you please; but do not mourn over it, as if that were Socrates. . . . It would be
wrong for me not to be grieved to die, if I did not think I should go to dwell with men who have departed from this life, and are better than any who are here. And be assured I hope to go and dwell among good men. I entertain a good hope that something awaits those who die, and that it will be better for the good than for the evil, as has been said long since." Xenophon introduces dying Cyrus to his chil dren: the paternal gods, my sons, respect one another, if you care to please me. For you surely do not imagine that you know clearly that I shall be nothing, when I have finished with my human life. For even now you never saw my soul, but you knew its existence from what it did. And have you not seen, what terrors the souls of those who have suffered injustice bring upon the criminals; what aveng ing spirits they send to the evil doers? And do you believe that the honors paid to the dead would continue, if their souls had no longer any power? I, indeed, 0 sons, have never be lieved that the soul while it is in a mortal body lives, and is dead when it is free from it: for I see that even these mortal bodies live only so long as the soul is in them. Nor can I believe that the soul will be without reason, after it has been separated f torn this unreason ing body; but when the mind has' been sepa rated, unmixed and pure from the body, then it is likely that it will be most rational. • . . Consider also that nothing is nearer to human death than sleep, and that the soul of man seems then most divine, and sees then some thing of the future, because it is then most free. If then these things are as I believe, and the soul leaves the body, do what I ask from reverence for my soul. But if it is not so, and the soul remains in the body and dies, even then do not do or think anything impious or unholy for fear of the eternal, the omniscient, the omnipotent gods, who hold together this order of all things, flawless, unfading, unfail ing and inconceivable by its greatness and by its beauty." Euripides: "Let now the dead bodies be covered by the earth, and each go away whence it came into the body; the breath to the mther, the body to the earth." Plato ('Phedo)): °Those who have been pre-extinent for holi ness of life are released, from this earthly prison, and go to their pure home which is above, and dwell in the puret •earth; and those who have duly purified themselves with philos ophy, live henceforth altogether, without the body, in mansions fairer far than these, which may not be descrid, and of which the time would fail me to tell.° soul of each of us is an immortal Spirit and goes to other immortals to give an account of its actions., Those who have lived a holy life, when they are freed from this earth and set at large, will arrive at a pure abode above, and live through all future time. They arrive at habitations more beautiful than tt is easy to describe.° Popular verses on Harmodius and Aristogiton: Dearest Harrnodius, thou art surely not dead, Thou dtvelkort, they say, in the isles of the blest, the swift-footed Achilles, Where the son of Tydeus, the brave Diomedes, dwells.
Greek inscription on a daughter: leave thy grief, remembering the soul which Zeus has rendered immortal and undecaying to me for all time, and has now carried into the starry sky." Epitaph (trans. by Hon. Lionel A. Tollemachc): " Dying, thott art not deadl—thou. art gone to a happier country, And in the aisles of the blest thou rejoiceet in weal and abundance, There, Pinta, is thy hone in the peace of Elysian meadows. Meadows with Asphodel strewn, and peace unblighted with sorrow.
Winter molests theeno longer, Mt heat nor disease; ease; and thou shalt not klunger or thirst any more; but, unholpen of man and unheedful, Spotless and fearless of sin, thou exultest in view of Yea, and thy gods ape thy light, and their glory is ever upon thee: