|Sisyphus is the son of Aeolus (the
king of Thessaly) and Enarete, and founder of Corinth. He
instituted, among others, the Isthmian Games. According
to tradition he was sly and evil and used to way-lay
travelers and murder them. He betrayed the secrets of the
gods and chained the god of death, Thanatos, so the
deceased could not reach the underworld. Hades himself
intervened and Sisyphus was severely punished.
In the realm of the dead, he is forced to roll a block of stone against a steep hill, which tumbles back down when he reaches the top. Then the whole process starts again, lasting all eternity. His punishment was depicted on many Greek vases. He is represented as a naked man, or wearing a fur over his shoulders, pushing a boulder.
According to some sources, Sisyphus was the father of Odysseus by Anticlea, before she married Laertus. They also mention Theseus as the hero who freed the country of Sisyphus.