In Greek and Roman mythology, Elysium was the place of rest for the dead who were blessed by the gods. It was also known as the Elysian Fields or the Elysian Plain. Originally only heroes whom the gods had made immortal went to Elysium. Eventually, it became the destination of anyone who had lived a righteous life.
immortal able to live forever
underworld land of the dead
Writers disagree about the location of Elysium. The Greek poet Homer* said it was located at the ends of the earth by the banks of the Oceanus River. Hesiod* and Pindar* claimed Elysium was in the Isles of the Blessed, which were to be found in the Western Ocean. Later Greek and Roman mythology placed Elysium in the underworld. In Virgil's Aeneid *, the hero Aeneas* sees his father in the Elysian Fields. The major street in Paris known as the Champs Elysées takes its name from this mythical place.
See also Afterlife.
1. Land of the dead in Classical Antiquity.
2. Place where a state of ideal or perfect happiness may be achieved, so, by extension, a charming, exquisitely beautiful, tenderly elegiac landscaped garden, often embellished with monuments and even real tombs, as at C18 Elysées of Maupertuis and Ermenonville in France.
3. Landscaped Picturesque cemetery, such as Père-Lachaise, Paris (from 1804), and Mount Auburn, Cambridge, MA (1831).
Racine (ed.) (2001);