- "Rhadamanthys" redirect here. For the antagonist character of Saint Seiya, see Wyvern Rhadamanthys.
In Greek mythology, Rhadamanthus (Ῥαδάμανθυς; also transliterated as Rhadamanthys or Rhadamanthos) was a wise king, the son of Zeus and Europa. Later accounts even make him out to be one of the judges of the dead. His brothers were Sarpedon and Minos (also a king and later a judge of the dead).
Other sources (e.g. Plutarch, Theseus 20) credit Rhadamanthys rather than Dionysus as the husband of Ariadne, and the father of Oenopion, Staphylus and Thoas. In this account, Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, Rhadamanthys' brother; another Ariadne was the daughter of Minos' grandson and namesake, who features in the Theseus legend, and was rescued by Dionysus.
Driven out of Crete by Minos, who was jealous of his popularity, he fled to Boeotia, where he wedded Alcmene. Homer represents him as dwelling in the Elysian Fields (Odyssey iv. 564), the paradise for the immortal sons of Zeus.
According to later legends (c. 400 BC), on account of his inflexible integrity he was made one of the judges of the dead in the lower world, together with Aeacus and Minos. He was supposed to judge the souls of easterners, Aeacus those of westerners, while Minos had the casting vote (Plato, Gorgias 524A).
References in Literature
In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode The Magicks of Megas-tu, Rhadamanthus is invoked by the character Lucien in order to make the Enterprise operational in an alternate universe in which magic works like science does in our universe.
In the poem "The Delphic Oracle Upon Plotinus" by William Butler Yeats, "Bland Rhadamanthus" is depicted as beckoning to Plotinus.
In asserting the Christian doctrine of forgiveness, William Blake's poem "The Everlasting Gospel" contains the lines "For what is Antichrist but those / Who against Sinners Heaven close / With Iron bars, in Virtuous State, / And Rhadamanthus at the Gate?"[clarification needed]
In Books 4 and 7 of Homer's Odyssey
In the manga series Saint Seiya, Rhadamanthys appears as one of the Three Judges of the Underworld as in Greek Mythology, along with Minos and Aeacus, and is also one of Hades' Celestial Star Spectres. He wears the Wyvern Surplice and plays a significant antagonistic role in the Hades story arc, before being killed by Gemini Kanon.
In John Wright's Golden Age trilogy, the protagonist, Phaeton (see Phaëton), belongs to Rhadamanthus Mansion of the Silver-Gray Manorial Schola. Rhadamanthus is also the name of the resident artificial intelligence, advisor and servant to its house members.
He is mentioned briefly in Harlan Ellison's short story "Goodbye to All That," published in McSweeney's Mammoth Treasure of Thrilling Tales.
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- Mill on the Floss; book 1 Boy and Girl p.46