Tantalus, a son of Zeus and the nymph Plouto, known for having stolen nectar and ambrosia from Zeus’ table and for offering his son, Pelops, as a sacrifice to the gods (most of whom withstood the temptation to accept the offer). Tantalus’ punishment, proverbial for temptation without satisfaction, was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any. Over his head towers a threatening stone.