|“||King Rhadamanthus has found you worthy.||”|
In Greek mythology, Rhadamanthus (Ῥαδάμανθυς; also transliterated as Rhadamanthys or Rhadamanthos) was a wise king, the son of Zeus and Europa. Later accounts even make him out to be one of the judges of the dead. His brothers were Sarpedon and Minos (also a king and later a judge of the dead). Rhadamanthus was raised by Asterion. He had two sons, Gortys and Erythrus. Other sources credit Rhadamanthys rather than Dionysus as the husband of Ariadne, and the father of Oenopion, Staphylus and Thoas. In this account, Ariadne was the daughter King Minos, Rhadamanthys' brother; another Ariadne was the daughter of Minos' grandson and namesake, who features in the Theseus legend, and was rescued by Dionysus.
According to one account, Rhadamanthus ruled Crete before Minos, and gave the island an excellent code of laws, which the Spartans were believed to have copied. Driven out of Crete by his brother, Minos, who was jealous of his popularity, he fled to Boeotia, where he wedded Alcmene. Homer represents him as dwelling in the Elysian Fields (Odyssey, iv. 564), the paradise for the immortal sons of Zeus.
According to later legends (c. 400 BC), on account of his inflexible integrity he was made one of the judges of the dead in the lower world, together with Aeacus and Minos. He was supposed to judge the souls of easterners, Aeacus those of westerners, while Minos had the casting vote (Plato, Gorgias, 524A).
In God of War III
The statue of King Rhadamanthus, along with the statues of his brothers Minos and Aeacus, are the judges of the Underworld, and judge the heart of every dead soul, determining if they will go to Elysium or Tartarus. When Kratos entered the Underworld in God of War III, he had to present himself before all three judges. Aeacus and Rhadamanthus could not decide on his fate, so it was up to Minos to make the final decision. Minos declared that the Underworld was not yet ready for Kratos, and so the three judges let the Spartan warrior continue his way. When Kratos obtained the Nemean Cestus he used it to destroy Rhadamanthus and the other two judges to release the Chain of Balance.