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Hades

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Hades

Hades-et-Cerberus-III

God of
the Underworld, the dead, riches, misery and fear
Consort
Children
Melinoe, Erinyes, Makaria, and in some cases Zagreus
Siblings
Parents
Sacred Animals
The Screech Owl and a Black Ram
Sacred Plants
Cypress Tree, Asphodel Plant, Mint, White Poplar
Symbols
The Screech Owl, Cypress Tree, Kerberos, Mint, Asphodel Plant, Bident
Symbols of Power
The Helm of Darkness
Roman Names
Pluto

Hades is the Greek god of the Underworld, the dead, and riches. He is the eldest son of Kronos and Rhea and the elder brother of Poseidon and Zeus.

Mythology

Birth

Hades was one of the children of the Titans, Kronos  and Rhea. He was the oldest son, but the fourth oldest out of Kronos' and Rhea's six children after Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. His brothers were Poseidon and Zeus. Like his siblings, he was swallowed whole by Kronos, who was afraid that his children would one day surpass him. The others were eventually freed by thier youngest brother Zeus.

Titanomachy

During The Great War, Hades fought alongside the Olympians and helped a great deal with it. With the help of Hades, Poseidon, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera; Zeus was able to defeat Kronos and the Titans, thus ending the Great War. When the war ended, Poseidon, Hades and Zeus divided the world among themselves using lots, Poseidon getting to rule the sea, Zeus the sky, Hades got the Underworld and the Earth was neutral territory. It is said that Hades was always the gloomy one, and it is no wonder he got stuck with the Underworld.

Wife

Pluto-proserpine

Hades abduction of Persephone

Hades's wife, Persephone was the goddess of crops and spring, daughter of Demeter. Persephone was picking flowers, when Persephone was caught by the sight of a flower, the narcissus. Unnoticed by the maidens with her, Persephone went to pick up the flower. Out of nowhere, the ground split, and Hades himself rode out in his majestic chariot, guided by black-ash steeds. Grabbing Persephone, he rode back into the Underworld, and the gap sealed. Demeter, not able to find Persephone, became extremely sullen and saddened. Her sadness left the Earth to die. Nothing grew, nothing was green. This was the season of Winter, in which Demeter was sad. Going to Zeus, she found that Hades himself had taken Persephone. So Hermes was sent, and asked Hades for Persephone back. In the Underworld, Hades was showering Persephone with gold and riches, but she would have none of it. Hearing the news, she gladly was allowed to go back. But Hades persuaded Persephone to eat a third of a pomegranate. She went back to Demeter, happy again. And everything on Earth grew. But when Persephone told Demeter of the pomegranate, Demeter was struck with sadness. Anything eaten in the Underworld, would bind the digested to hell for their life. So Zeus had declared Persephone would spend 1/3 of the year in the Underworld, and the rest of the year coming back and living with Demeter. This is the reason that Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter was formed.

In another myth, a dead spirit boy (which Demeter had turned into a lizard, and was eaten by a hawk) came to Persephone and convinced her to eat six pomegranate seeds, and when Zeus found out he declared she had to go back to the Underworld for six months,one month for each seed.

In some other myths, when Persephone was abducted, Demeter was so sad and enraged that she made nothing on Earth grow except for the village of Eluesis as the people there provided her with shelter and food while she was searching the whole world for her daughter.

Asclepius

Another myth tells of Hades' involvement with Asclepius, a mortal son of Apollo who was a gifted healer and the world's first doctor. Asclepius was so gifted he was able to give mortals longer lives by curing plagues and showing them how to take care of themselves. Asclepius brought people back from the brink of death many times. Eventually though Asclepius started to bring people back from the dead for hefty sums of money. It was with this feat that Hades lost his temper and stormed up to Mount Olympus demanding that Asclepius pay the price for openly mocking death. Zeus appeased Hades by personally striking down Asclepius with a thunderbolt. Apollo, enraged at the death of his son, killed the younger generations of Cyclopes that forged the bolt. Enraged at Apollo's defiance Zeus forced him to serve a mortal king for a year as punishment. Asclepius was later deified as the god of healing.

Sisyphus

One of the few other myths Hades played a major antagonistic part in was the myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus was a clever and charismatic king who feared death and made up his mind to find a way to evade Hades. Sisyphus trapped Hades when he came to reap his soul and though Hades escaped and would drag Sisyphus to the Underworld anyway Sisyphus had told his wife not to bury him with fare and so his ghost was sent back to ask for his last rites but Sisyphus instead remained in the world of the living as an undead, content to live forever in life rather then go to the Underworld. Hades did not wish to be trapped and tricked again so he told Sisyphus that for every day he lived one of his people would die. For a long time Sisyphus escaped death by offering one of his people in return and being a beloved king his people were willing to offer themselves to Hades on his behalf. But tired of Sisyphus scheming one day Hades called for the soul of Sisyphus's wife as offering. Sisyphus was terrified of living without her and so he finally conceded. His wife gave him his last rites at last and Sisyphus went to the Underworld. Hades was so angry at Sisyphus for holding the natural order hostage that he arranged a special punishment for him. Hades put Sisyphus on the edge the pits of Tartarus but told Sisyphus that his schemes would be overlooked and he had a chance to go to the paradise of Elysium if and only if he could roll a large boulder up a hill; Sisyphus quickly agreed fearing the punishments of Tartarus and tried to push the boulder up the hill but it fell, frantically he tried again and it fell. Sisyphus would keep trying to push the boulder up the hill so he would never be brought to be punished in the fiery pits and one day he could get out and go to Elysium, but Hades never told him the boulder, like all parts of the Underworld, obeyed his wishes and would always roll down and that that was his punishment. So Sisyphus continues to try to escape Tartarus forever punished by his own ambitions.

Heracles

Hades was also featured in the myth of Heracles. When Heracles raided Pylos, Hades was present. No one knows whether he was surveying the souls or fighting with the people of Pylos. Heracles, either way, shot Hades in the heel with one of his arrows. This caused Hades to ascend Olympus in order to be healed by the immortal healer, Paean.

Minthe

According to Ovid, Hades pursued and would have won the nymph Minthe, associated with the river Cocytus, had not Persephone turned Minthe into the plant called mint by trampling her into the ground.

Symbols

220px-EasternScreechOwl-Rufous

Screech Owl the bird of Hades

  • The Screech Owl is the sacred bird of Hades
  • Cypress Tree are the trees sacred to Hades, Aphrodite, and Artemis.
  • Cerberus, was his three headed pet dog is a symbol of his.
  • The pitchfork is Hades' weapon, and one of his symbols.
  • The helmet of Hades that allowed him to become invisible

Personality

Contrary to modern depictions, Hades wasn't downright evil. Ironically, he had a better sense of justice than Zeus ever did. Unlike other gods, Hades rarely cheated on his wife. The constant misery of the souls in the Underworld, and chronic loneliness often made Hades depressed and brooding. Hades took his duties very seriously, unlike the other gods and rarely visited the earth. He was dreaded by Zeus's children and the other lesser gods.

Physical Description

Hades is usually described as having pale skin, cold and sharp eyes, straight jet black hair, and like all gods sported an athletic build.

Powers and Abilities

Hades is one of the most powerful Greek gods, rivaled only by his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon. He ruled the Underworld and had control over the dead and riches (metals and precious stones), and as such had some power over the earth. He possessed a powerful helmet which rendered him completely imperceptible to most beings. Hades also inspired so much fear, that he could drive humans insane just by his mere presence. It is also noted that Hades had control over darkness.

Unlike his brothers, Hades did not enjoy the status of an Olympian and had no control over the weather.

Trivia

  • Hades' name in Roman Mythology is Pluto, though some people confuse him with the god Dis Pater, another Roman god of the Underworld, who had his place taken by Pluto. Dis Pater was sometimes used to refer to Hades.
  • Unlike his brothers, and most gods, Hades never caused harm to any mortal without provocation. The only mortals who received his punishment were Pirithous, who attempted to kidnap Hades' wife, Theseus who assisted Pirithous and arguably Asklepios whose healing was so great he began returning the dead to life. Hades' only other relation to mortals was the fact that he placed them in specific parts of the Underworld, depending on how good or evil they were in life. This relatively peaceful nature of his is never portrayed in any popular culture depiction of him, where he is always an evil character.
  • The Helm of Darkness is sometimes called The Helm of Terror, because it can make someone invisible or it can show them their greatest fears.
  • Even though he is a God of Olympian caliber, Hades is not an Olympian and as such does not have a throne on Mount Olympus, instead residing in the Underworld.
  • He rules and possessed the riches and wealth under the earth. Hades controls the demons and spirits in the underworld. The Underworld is sometimes called Hades.
  • Hades has a pet 3-headed dog named: Cerberus.
  • His Roman name is Pluto

Images of Hades

Images of Things Sacred to Hades

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