Definition: A son of the king of the gods Zeus, Tantalus was the mortal king of Sipylos. He had been offered the food of the gods, but abused the privilege in some way. The most famous version of his crime was making a feast for the gods at which he served them his son Pelops. As a result, Tantalus was punished by never being able to slake his thirst despite being surrounded with water, nor appease his hunger, while always in the presence of food. It is the punishment of Tantalus for which he is best known. We are familiar with the name Tantalus through the Eglish word tantalize, which is based on the punishment Tantalus eternally endured. Tantalus was the grandfather of Atreus and Thyestes, and the great-grandfather of Agamemnon and Menelaus.