More broadly, hell figures in religious cosmologies as the opposite of heaven, the nadir of the cosmos, and the land where God is not.In world literature the journey to hell is a perennial motif of hero legends and quest stories, and hell itself is the preeminent symbol of evil, alienation, and despair.).Those who succeeded won immortality by identification with Osiris or with the sun.Those who failed were devoured by a crocodile-headed monster, tormented by demons, or worse; yet rarely is there the suggestion of eternal condemnation.Gold tablets found buried in graves throughout Greece and southern Italy, dating back to the 4th century , offer an Orphic account of the geography of the otherworld, warning the deceased to shun the waters of forgetfulness and to recite the passwords that admit one to the company of the blessed.
Texts such as the Book of the Dead, the Book of Amduat, and the Book of Gates exhaustively describe the perilous journey through the 12 zones of the underworld (corresponding to the 12 hours of night) and the harrowing judgment over which Osiris presides.
The deceased needed both magical and moral power to be acquitted of offenses when appearing before Osiris.
Elaborate ritual provisions were made, therefore, to translate the deceased from a mortal to an immortal condition; they included mummifying the body, adorning the tomb with prayers and offerings, and equipping the deceased with spells, amulets, and formulaic affidavits of innocence to win safe passage and ensure success at the divine tribunal.
Drought descends upon the earth as a result, but the gods help revive Inanna, who escapes by offering her husband as a replacement.
This ransom secures the fecundity of the earth and the integrity of the grain stores by reinforcing the boundary between hell and earth.