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by Micha F. Lindemans
Among many religions the lowest part of the world, usually represented as the realm of the god or goddess of the dead. It is here that the spirits of the deceased stay. The underworld is seperated from the world of the living by an impassable abyss or river (such as the Styx). The entrance to this realm is often guarded by a huge monster, such as the Greek Cerberus and the Norse Garm. The Greeks and the Romans had their Hades; the Egyptians Duat; in the ancient Indian mythology eggshaped worldview Brahmanda it was called Naraka; the Germans called it Helheim; the Incas called it Uca Pacha; the Aztec referred to the underworld as Mictlan; and the Maya believed in Mitnal.

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