Mythology

The Most Epic Punishments Doled Out by Mythological Gods 

Edira Putri
Updated January 10, 2020 28.6k votes 5.5k voters 427.9k views 17 items

List Rules Vote up the punishments you really, really wouldn't want to endure.

These horrible punishments in mythology will make you thankful to live in a modern world, where there is a legitimate legal system to determine the punishments people get for bad acts. However cruel or unfair you think your law system is, it’s really nothing compared to the most severe punishments doled out by Greek and Roman gods .

Some people believe that good deeds will bring us rewards and bad deeds will bring us punishment. Some call it karma , others call it cosmic retribution or even religious reckoning. However, no one punishes like the great Greek gods. Maybe it’s because their power is supreme and they can do just about anything, but these punishments from the gods are cruel beyond common sense.

What follows are some of the worst punishments in mythology. If you believe that karma’s a b*tch, well, then these gods are even b*tchier. Vote up the punishments you really, really wouldn't want to endure.

Zeus Chained Prometheus ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Epic Punishments Doled Out by Mythological Gods
Photo: Anonymous/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
1
Zeus Chained Prometheus To A Rock Where An Eagle Would Eat His Liver Every Night

Zeus resented Prometheus for giving fire to mankind and generally being willful and defiant. For his disobedience, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock on the side of a mountain. But of course, that wasn't enough. Every night, an eagle would come and peck on his abdomen and munch on his liver.

His liver would then regenerated during the day so that the eagle could have at it, again and again, every night. Eventually, he was freed by Chiron, a centaur who gave his life for Prometheus's, and Heracles, who offed that pesky eagle. 

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Zeus Bound Ixion To An E... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Epic Punishments Doled Out by Mythological Gods
Photo: Jules-Élie Delaunay/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
2
Zeus Bound Ixion To An Eternally Burning Wheel

One day, Zeus was kind enough to invite Ixion to Olympus as a guest. However, when the mortal saw Hera, Zeus’s wife, he was attracted to her and made his move to seduce her. Zeus decided to test Ixion’s loyalty and made a cloud copy of his wife. Ixion fell for it and somehow impregnated the cloud-Hera, who later bore the monster Centaurus.

Zeus blasted Ixion with his powerful lightning bolt and bound him to a burning wheel that would spin forever. Ixion was forced to repeat the words "Repay your benefactor frequently with gentle favors in return" for eternity.

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Demeter Cursed Erysichth... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Epic Punishments Doled Out by Mythological Gods
Photo: Jan Steen/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
3
Demeter Cursed Erysichthon With An Insatiable Hunger

Erisychthon was a king with a serious case of hubris. He desired a large banquet table, so naturally, he cut down trees from Demeter's grove, because goddesses definitely don't mind when you disrespect them, right? Wrong. In retaliation, she cursed him with never-ending hunger. He would yearn for anything digestible and eat it, but the hunger was insatiable. In frustration, Erysichthon ended up eating his own flesh until he perished.

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Hera Transformed Lamia I... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Epic Punishments Doled Out by Mythological Gods
Photo:  Grb16/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
4
Hera Transformed Lamia Into A Monster

Zeus, the king of the gods, was not a very faithful husband. In fact, many women who were ill-fated enough to be his mistress (by will or by force) got caught by Zeus’s wife, Hera. Being a powerful goddess herself, Hera didn’t hold back from destroying her husband's mistresses. That brings us to the story of the poor Libyan queen, Lamia.

Upon finding out about Lamia’s affair with her husband, Hera transformed her into a gruesome creature with a craving to devour children, even her own.

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