The signification of the Punishments of Tartarus

The New Fables—attributed to Phædrus
The meaning is to be considered, not the mere words.
The story of Ixion, whirling round upon the wheel, teaches us what a rolling thing is fortune. Sisyphus, with immense labour, pushing the stone up the lofty hill, which ever, his labour lost, rolls back from the top, shows that men’s miseries are endless. When Tantalus is athirst, standing in the midst of the river, the greedy are described, whom a sufficiency of blessings surrounds, but none can they enjoy. The wicked Danaïds carry water in urns, and cannot fill their pierced vessels; just so, whatever you bestow on luxury, will flow out beneath. Wretched Tityus is stretched over nine acres, presenting for dire punishment a liver that ever grows again: by this it is shown that the greater the extent of land a man possesses, the heavier are his cares. Antiquity purposely wrapped up the truth, in order that the wise might understand—the ignorant remain in error.