From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Tantalos : From Greek mythology, a "cardinal sinner" in Tartaros who tried to trick the gods into eating the flesh of their own son, Pelops. The punishment was to stand in a river with fruit trees overhead, hungry and thirsty. When he tries to eat, fruit blows out of his hand; when he tries to drink, the water flows away, according to Elizabeth Vandiver, Classics scholar and authority on Greek mythology and Greek tragedy including the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Homer, and Virgil. This definition is based on her course Classical Mythology from The Teaching Company.