CHTHONII

ΧΘΟΝΙΟΙ

Signifies the gods of the lower world, in contradistinction from those of heaven, or from the Olympian gods. In Latin designated by the term Inferi and in Greek by hoi katô, hoi chthonioi, hoi hupo gaian, hoi enerthe, or hoi hupenerthe theoi; whereas the gods of heaven, Superi, are termed hoi anô, hupatoi and ouranioi. But the word inferi is still more frequently used to designate the dead, in contradistinction from those living upon the earth (Apulei. de Mag. p. 69); so that apud inferos is equivalent to in Hades," or "in the lower world." The Inferi therefore comprise all the inhabitants of the lower world, the gods, viz. Aides or Pluto, his wife Persephone, the Erinnyes, and others, as well as the souls of departed men. The gods of the lower world are treated of in separate articles. The descriptions of the proper burial of the dead, whereby alone the souls were enabled to come to rest in the lower world; of the sacrifices offered on the tombs of the dead, as well as of the notions entertained by the ancients about the conditions of the souls of the departed in their future state, belong to a Dictionary of Antiquities; while the roads leading to the lower world and the various sites assigned to it by the ancients are questions which belong to mythical geography.