Tantalus was a mythical man, beloved by the gods and often invited to dine with them. He decided to test their omniscience by feeding up his own son at a banquet. The gods were outraged, and punished him in Tartarus. He suffered eternal hunger and thirst, but could never quite reach the food and drink surrounding him. Tantalus was the first of the line of the House of Atreus, mentioned above.