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In classical mythology Elysium, also known as the Elysian Fields, was the paradise reserved for the heroes immortalized by the gods. Ancient Greek poets imagined it as the abode of the blessed after death. The first known use of the place-name as a word for a blissful state enjoyed by mere mortals is found in Shakespeare's Henry V. Following the Bard, many other writers over the centuries have used "Elysium," as well as "Elysian Fields," to refer to paradisiacal places or states. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was the first to summon "Elysian" as an adjective for the blissful quality emanating from such places.

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