While Hades is the main realm of the dead in Greek mythology, Tartarus also contains a number of characters. In early stories, it is primarily the prison for defeated gods; the Titans were condemned to Tartarus after losing their battle against the Olympian gods, and the hecatoncheires stood over them as guards at the bronze gates. When Zeus overcomes the monster Typhus, born from Tartarus and Gaia, he hurls it too into the same abyss.
However, in later myths Tartarus becomes a place of punishment for sinners. It resembles Hell and is the opposite of Elysium, the afterlife for the blessed. When the hero Aeneas visits the underworld, he looks into Tartarus and sees the torments inflicted on characters such as the Titans, Tityos, Otus and Ephialtes, and the Lapiths. Rhadymanthus (and, in some versions, his brother Minos) judges the dead and assigns punishment.