Elysium, Or Elysian Fields, among the Greeks and Romans, the dwelling place of the blessed after death. While the oriental and most other peoples sought this abode in the upper regions of the sky, the Greeks placed it in the west, on the ends of or beneath the earth, where the sun goes down. According to Homer, Elysium was a plain on the ends of the earth, where men live without toil or care, where there is neither snow nor winter storms nor rains; where the lovely and cooling zephyrs blow unceasingly with light murmur; and where dwelt Rhadamanthus, who, in the upper world, was the justest of men. The position of Elysium changed with the progress in geographical knowledge, proceeding further and further to the west. Hesiod speaks of the happy isles of the ocean, and other writers supposed it to be somewhere in the Atlantic, till Pindar and the later poets put it beneath the earth. According to the later description, the meads of Elysium three times in a year brought forth the most beautiful flowers. The inhabitants enjoyed the reward for their virtues on earth, and whoever had three times resisted a temptation to do evil attained to this abode. A never-setting sun shone upon them, and melancholy was removed far away.

The airs, fragrant and tinted with purple, breathed softly from the sea, the flowers were twined into wreaths for the dwellers, peaceful wave-less rivers flowed by, and horse races, games, music, and conversation occupied the hours. According to Homer, Rhadamanthus alone ruled Elysium, being admitted there as the representative of justice. Hesiod knows Elysium as the Isles of the Blessed, where Cronos rules, and Titans and heroes dwell.