judges of the dead

In Greek mythology, the three spirit judges of the underworld. They were Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthys. All three were mortal and a son of Zeus. Because of the wisdom of their judgments during their lives, Zeus granted them the honor of becoming a judge after death.

Aeacus became the guardian of the keys of Hades and, since he came from Europe, the judge of the shades from Europe. Rhadamanthys was the lord of Elysium and a judge of the shades from Asia, since that was his place of origin. Minos was the judge with the final vote.

Occasionally there is mention of a fourth judge, Triptolemus. He presided over the souls of those who were initiated in the Mysteries.1



  1. Plato. Apology, 41A.


  • Plutarch. Consolatio ad Apollonium, 36.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 1.2, 12.6.