The Greek God Hades, Lord of the Underworld
Hades is best known as the ruler of the underworld. It became his dominion after he and his brothers drew lots for their share of the universe. According to Iliad, Hades’ dominion lies between secret places of the earth. According to the Odyssey, one must cross Ocean to get there. Apr 08, · The fearsome god of the dead figures in few tales (it was best not to talk about him too much). But Hesiod relates the most famous story of the Greek god, which is about how he stole his queen Persephone.
If you're looking to talk to the dead while visiting Greece, turn to the legend of Hades. The ancient God of the Underworld is associated with the Bdst, the Oracle of the Dead, which visitors can still visit today though only ruins remain. In Ancient Greece, people visited the temple for ceremonies to communicate with the dead.
Like Zeus, Hades is usually represented as a vigorous bearded man. His symbols are the scepter and horn what is master insurance policy plenty. He's also often depicted with the three-headed dog, Cerberus. Hades's strengths include his wealth of the earth, especially precious metals; persistence; and determinedness.
His weaknesses include his passion for Persephone also known as Korethe daughter of Demeter and Zeus, and his own niece. He kidnaps her to be his wife. Hades is also impulsive and deceptive. Hades is married to Persephonewho must stay with him in the Underworld part of each year, and returns to the world of the living for the other part.
His wae include Cerberus, a three-headed dog in the "Harry Potter" movies, ror beast was renamed "Fluffy" ; black horses; black animals in general; and various other hounds. Hades's temple is the spooky Nekromanteion on the River Styx along the west coast of mainland Greece near Parga, still visitable today. Hades was also associated with volcanic areas where there are steam vents and sulfurous vapors. With permission from his brother Zeus, Hades sprang out of the cor and captured Zeus' daughter Persephone, dragging her off to be his queen in the Underworld.
Persophone's mother, Demeter, who was unaware of Zeus' agreement with Hades, searched the earth for her daughter what was hades best known for stopped all food from growing until she was returned. Eventually, a deal was worked out where Persephone would remain one-third of the year with Hades, one-third of the year serving as a handmaiden to Zeus at Mount Olympus, and one-third with her mother. Other stories skip Zeus's portion and uades Persephone's time just between Hades and her mom.
Though a major god, Hades is Lord of the Underworld and is not considered to be one of the more celestial and bright Olympian gods, despite the fact that fpr brother Zeus is king over them all. All of his siblings are Olympians, but he is not. Interestingly, the concept of Hades might have had roots as the dark side of Zeus, pertaining to the king's duties in the Underworld, but he was eventually considered to be a separate deity completely.
He is sometimes called Zeus of the Departed. His name loosely translates into "invisible" or "unseen," as the dead go away and are seen no more. Konwn Roman what was hades best known for, Hades' counterpart is Pluto, whose name comes from the Greek word plouton, which refers to the riches of the wsa.
As Lord of the Underworld, he was believed to know where all the precious gems and metals were hidden in the hadss. This is why he can sometimes be depicted with the Horn of Plenty. Hades can also be conflated with Serapis also spelled Sarapisa Greco-Egyptian deity who was worshipped alongside Isis at many temple sites in Greece.
A statue of Serapis-as-Hades with Cerberus at his side was found at a temple in the ancient city of Gortyn on Crete and is in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile.
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List of Partners vendors. Share Flipboard Email. DeTraci Regula is a freelance writer who has kown in Greek travel and tours for 18 years. Updated March 22, Cite this Article Format. Regula, deTraci.
Fast Facts on Hades. The Ancient Greek Underworld and Hades. Greek Goddess Demeter and the Abduction of Persephone. The 10 Greatest Heroes of Greek Mythology.
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Mar 22, · Hades's strengths include his wealth of the earth, especially precious metals; persistence; and determinedness. His weaknesses include his passion for Persephone (also known as Kore), the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, and his own niece. (He kidnaps her to be his wife.) Hades is also impulsive and deceptive. Hades is a god in Greek mythology who rules the land of the dead called the Underworld. He is one of the three most powerful Greek gods (along with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon). How was Hades usually pictured? Hades is usually pictured with a beard, a helmet or crown, and holding a two-pronged pitchfork or a staff.
Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth, long the province of Gaia , available to all three concurrently.
Hades was often portrayed with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus. The origin of Hades' name is uncertain, but has generally been seen as meaning "the unseen one" since antiquity. An extensive section of Plato 's dialogue Cratylus is devoted to the etymology of the god's name, in which Socrates is arguing for a folk etymology not from "unseen" but from "his knowledge eidenai of all noble things". Martin Litchfield West argues instead for an original meaning of "the one who presides over meeting up" from the universality of death.
This deity was a mixture of the Greek god Hades and the Eleusinian icon Ploutos, and from this he also received a priestess, which was not previously practiced in Greece. In Greek mythology , Hades, the god of the underworld , was the first-born son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea.
He had three older sisters, Hestia , Demeter , and Hera , as well as a younger brother, Poseidon , all of whom had been swallowed whole by their father as soon as they were born. Zeus was the youngest child and through the machinations of their mother, Rhea, he was the only one that had escaped this fate. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. After their release, the six younger gods, along with allies they managed to gather, challenged the elder gods for power in the Titanomachy , a divine war.
The war lasted for ten years and ended with the victory of the younger gods. Following their victory, according to a single famous passage in the Iliad Book XV , ln. Zeus received the sky, Poseidon received the seas, and Hades received the underworld,  the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth.
Some myths suggest that Hades was dissatisfied with his turnout, but had no choice and moved to his new realm. Hades obtained his wife and queen, Persephone , through abduction at the behest of Zeus. This myth is the most important one Hades takes part in;  it also connected the Eleusinian Mysteries with the Olympian pantheon, particularly as represented in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter , which is the oldest story of the abduction, most likely dating back to the beginning of the 6th century BC.
Aidoneus, the Ruler of Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also, for honor, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells. Despite modern connotations of death as evil, Hades was actually more altruistically inclined in mythology.
Hades was often portrayed as passive rather than evil; his role was often maintaining relative balance. That said, he was also depicted as cold and stern, and he held all of his subjects equally accountable to his laws. Hades ruled the dead, assisted by others over whom he had complete authority.
The House of Hades was described as full of "guests," though he rarely left the Underworld. He strictly forbade his subjects to leave his domain and would become quite enraged when anyone tried to leave, or if someone tried to steal the souls from his realm.
His wrath was equally terrible for anyone who tried to cheat death or otherwise crossed him, as Sisyphus and Pirithous found out to their sorrow. While usually indifferent to his subjects, Hades was very focused on the punishment of these two people; particularly Pirithous , as he entered the underworld in an attempt to steal Persephone for himself, and consequently was forced onto the "Chair of Forgetfulness". During his lifetime, he became a famous and talented physician, who eventually was able to bring the dead back to life.
Feeling cheated, Plouton persuaded Zeus to kill him with a thunderbolt. After his death, he was brought to Olympus where he became a god. Besides Heracles , the only other living people who ventured to the Underworld were also heroes : Odysseus , Aeneas accompanied by the Sibyl , Orpheus , to whom Hades showed uncharacteristic mercy at Persephone's urging, who was moved by Orpheus' music,  Theseus with Pirithous , and, in a late romance, Psyche.
None of them were pleased with what they witnessed in the realm of the dead. In particular, the Greek war hero Achilles , whom Odysseus conjured with a blood libation , said:. O shining Odysseus, never try to console me for dying. I would rather follow the plow as thrall to another man, one with no land allotted to him and not much to live on, than be a king over all the perished dead.
The consort of Hades was Persephone , daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone did not submit to Hades willingly, but was abducted by him while picking flowers in the fields of Nysa her father, Zeus, had previously given Persephone to Hades, to be his wife, as is stated in the first lines of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.
In protest of his act, Demeter cast a curse on the land and there was a great famine; though, one by one, the gods came to request she lift it, lest mankind perish and cause the gods to be deprived of their receiving gifts and sacrifices, Demeter asserted that the earth would remain barren until she saw her daughter again.
Zeus then sends for his son, Hermes , and instructs him to go down to the Underworld in hopes that he may be able to convince Hades to allow Persephone to return to Earth, so that Demeter might see Persephone and cause the famine to stop.
Hermes obeys and goes down to Hades' realm, wherein he finds Hades seated upon a couch, Persephone seated next to him. Hermes relays Zeus' message, and Hades complies, saying,. And while you are here, you shall rule all that lives and moves and shall have the greatest rights among the deathless gods: those who defraud you and do not appease your power with offerings, reverently performing rites and paying fit gifts, shall be punished for evermore. Afterwards, Hades readies his chariot, but not before he secretly gives Persephone a pomegranate seed to eat; Hermes takes the reins, and he and Persephone make their way to the Earth above, coming to a halt in front of Demeter's temple at Eleusis, where the goddess has been waiting.
Demeter and Persephone run towards each other and embrace one another, happy that they are reunited. Demeter, however, suspects that Persephone may have eaten food while down in the Underworld, and so she questions Persephone, saying:.
Speak out and hide nothing, but let us both know. For if you have not, you shall come back from loathly Hades and live with me and your father , the dark-clouded son of Cronos and be honored by all the deathless gods; but if you have tasted food, you must go back again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you shall be with me and the other deathless gods.
But when the earth shall bloom with the fragrant flowers of spring in every kind, then from the realm of darkness and gloom thou shalt come up once more to be a wonder for gods and mortal men. And now tell me how he rapt you away to the realm of darkness and gloom, and by what trick did the strong Host of Many beguile you? Persephone does admit that she ate the food of the dead, as she tells Demeter that Hades gave her a pomegranate seed and forced her to eat it.
Persephone's eating the pomegranate seed binds her to Hades and the Underworld, much to the dismay of Demeter. Zeus, however, had previously proposed a compromise, to which all parties had agreed: of the year, Persephone would spend one third with her husband. It is during this time, when Persephone is down in the Underworld with her husband, that winter falls upon the earth, "an aspect of sadness and mourning.
Theseus and Pirithous pledged to kidnap and marry daughters of Zeus. Theseus chose Helen and together they kidnapped her and decided to hold onto her until she was old enough to marry. Pirithous chose Persephone. They left Helen with Theseus' mother, Aethra , and traveled to the Underworld. Hades knew of their plan to capture his wife, so he pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast; as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there.
Theseus was eventually rescued by Heracles but Pirithous remained trapped as punishment for daring to seek the wife of a god for his own. Heracles ' final labour was to capture Cerberus. First, Heracles went to Eleusis to be initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries.
He did this to absolve himself of guilt for killing the centaurs and to learn how to enter and exit the underworld alive. He found the entrance to the underworld at Taenarum.
Athena and Hermes helped him through and back from Hades. Heracles asked Hades for permission to take Cerberus. Hades agreed as long as Heracles didn't harm Cerberus.
When Heracles dragged the dog out of Hades, he passed through the cavern Acherusia. The nymph Minthe , associated with the river Cocytus and loved by Hades, was turned into the mint plant by a jealous Persephone.
Leuce was the most beautiful of the nymphs and a daughter of Oceanus. Hades fell in love with her and abducted her to the underworld. She lived out the span of her life in his realm, and when she died, the god sought consolation by creating a suitable memorial of their love: in the Elysian Fields where the pious spend their afterlife, he brought a white tree into existence. It was this tree with which Heracles crowned himself to celebrate his return from the underworld.
Once, when a plague hit Aonia , region in Boeotia , the people consulted the Oracle of Delphi, and the god replied that the should make an appeal to the gods of the Underworld; they had to sacrifice two young maidens to appease the anger of Hades and Persephone. The girls that were chosen were Metioche and Menippe , the daughters of Orion. The girls accepted solemnly in order to save their countrymen.
As they were led to the altar to be sacrificed, Hades and Persephone took pity in both of them, and transformed them into comets. Hades, as the god of the dead, was a fearsome figure to those still living; in no hurry to meet him, they were reluctant to swear oaths in his name, and averted their faces when sacrificing to him. Since to many, simply to say the word "Hades" was frightening, euphemisms were pressed into use. Since precious minerals come from under the earth i. Sophocles explained the notion of referring to Hades as Plouton with these words: "the gloomy Hades enriches himself with our sighs and our tears.
He spent most of the time in his dark realm. Formidable in battle, he proved his ferocity in the famous Titanomachy , the battle of the Olympians versus the Titans , which established the rule of Zeus. Feared and loathed, Hades embodied the inexorable finality of death: "Why do we loathe Hades more than any god, if not because he is so adamantine and unyielding?
When the Greeks propitiated Hades, they banged their hands on the ground to be sure he would hear them. While some suggest the very vehemence of the rejection of human sacrifice expressed in myth might imply an unspoken memory of some distant past, there is no direct evidence of such a turn.
The person who offered the sacrifice had to avert his face. One ancient source says that he possessed the Cap of invisibility. His chariot, drawn by four black horses, made for a fearsome and impressive sight. His other ordinary attributes were the narcissus and cypress plants, the Key of Hades and Cerberus , the three-headed dog. This is believed to hold significance as in certain classical sources Hades ravished Kore in the guise of a snake, who went on to give birth to Zagreus-Dionysus. He also notes that the grieving goddess Demeter refused to drink wine, as she states that it would be against themis for her to drink wine, which is the gift of Dionysus, after Persephone's abduction, because of this association; indicating that Hades may in fact have been a "cover name" for the underworld Dionysus.
Evidence for a cult connection is quite extensive, particularly in southern Italy, especially when considering the death symbolism included in Dionysian worship;   statues of Dionysus   found in the Ploutonion at Eleusis gives further evidence as the statue bears a striking resemblance to the statue of Eubouleus  also known as the youthful depiction of the Lord of the Underworld.
The statue of Eubouleus is described as being radiant but disclosing a strange inner darkness. Archaic artist Xenocles portrayed on one side of a vase, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, each with his emblems of power; with Hades' head turned back to front and, on the other side, Dionysus striding forward to meet his bride Persephone, with a kantharos in his hand, against a background of grapes.
Both Hades and Dionysus were associated with a divine tripartite deity with Zeus. Among the other appellations under which Hades or Pluto is generally known, are the following:  . Hades was depicted so infrequently in artwork, as well as mythology, because the Greeks were so afraid of him. Sometimes, artists painted Hades as looking away from the other gods, as he was disliked by them as well as humans.
As Plouton , he was regarded in a more positive light. He holds a cornucopia , representing the gifts he bestows upon people as well as fertility, which he becomes connected to.
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