In Greek mythology, the Danaids (or Danaides) were condemned to an
eternity of trying to fill an ever-draining barrel with water which
they carried in sieves.
"The Danaids Condemned to Fill Bored Vessels with Water: The Danaids
(or Danaides) were the fifty daughters of Danaus, King of Argos. At
the command of their father they married the fifty sons of Aegyptus
and were to murder them on their wedding nights. All but Hypermnestra,
wife of Lynceus, fulfilled their father's bloody command. As
punishment, the Danaids were dispatched to Hades where they were
condemned to everlastingly draw water into a bottomless barrel."
Art of the Print: The Danaids Condemned to Fill Bored Vessels with Water
"Danaus had fifty daughters and his brother Aegyptus had fifty sons. A
match between their daughter was proposed by Aegyptus, but Danaus was
unwilling. He and his fifty daughters fled to Argos, where they found
refuge for a while. But the fifty sons of Aegyptus found them and
Danaus came up with a plan to help his daughters escape the unwanted
marriage. He pretended that he was willing at last for the marriage,
but he secretly gave each of his fifty daughters a sharp knife and
told them, 'On your wedding night, kill your husbands with these so
that you may escape this marriage.'
On their wedding nights, all fifty daughters, except one called
Hypermnestra, killed their husbands. When they died, they were
assigned the task of filling up a leaking jar with water carried in a
sieve. Hypermnestra, who had spared her husband Lynceus, lived happily
and went without punishment after death."
ThinkQuest: The Danaids
"In Hades, as a penalty for their crime, the Danaides were condemned
to pour eternally water in bottomless vessels."
Plato and His Dialogues: Cities and Locations of Ancient Greece
Much more lore about the Danaids, including their names (according to
Apollodorus) may be found here:
Greek Mythology Link: Danaids
My Google search strategy:
Google Web Search: danaids OR danaides water
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