Rhadamanthus, son of Zeus and Aegina in Greek mythology, gained recognition for his acts of justice and consequently became a judge of the dead in the lower world along with Aeacus and Minos. In Purgatory, Rhadamanthus made the final determination whether to allow the deceased to redeem himself or to condemn him forever.
Thomas Carlyle refers to Rhadamanthus in discussing the negative consequences of railway construction. He perceives the hasty development of this new mode of transportation as directly causing "a state of progressive dissolution;" a breakdown of stable British communities. Rhadamanthus, he postulates, would most likely bring doom to these "foolish railway people", condemning them to "hang in Heaven as a Locomotive Constellation, and be a sign forever!"
Last modified 23 October 2002