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Hades

Lord of the Underworld

 

-Background info:

      Hades was the terrifying lord of the underworld. He was the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. These three brothers, the sons of Kronos and Rhea (titans), had a hard time deciding which god would rule a certain part of the Earth. Zeus received the sky, Poseidon got to rule the sea and therefore Hades was left with the underworld.

      Hades was considered an Olympian although he rarely visited Mount Olympus. He spent most of his time in the underworld. He was a greedy and gloomy god. He lived with his wife, Persephone, whom he kidnapped when she was picking flowers in a garden. She lived with Hades against her free will.  Most Olympians were scared of him and tried not to mention his name fearing he would hear them and come up. If they were to mention his name they would try to make it sound good by saying the Rich One since he owned all the treasures under the surface of the Earth, or they would call him the Hospitable One because he always had space for another soul.

-Hades and the Underworld:    

How did people reach the underworld? After some one died, they were buried. Hermes carried their soul down to the first entrance of the underworld. He traveled with them all the way until the end of Styx, the river of hate. This river practically circled the entire underworld. When they reached the end, Hermes handed the dead soul to Charon. Charon was the ferryman who took the dead people across another river to reach their final destination. However he was a greedy man and refused to transport anyone who did not pay. For that reason, whenever some one died, their family would place a coin under their tongue. If a person could not pay, they were to wander around the underworld until they somehow reached the entrance.

All of the human souls eventually reached the underworld. Once they entered Hades’ realm, they whirled around forever like some leaves on a windy autumn day. All these souls were guarded by a three-headed dog named Cerberus. He made sure none of the souls left the underworld, but he let all the new souls enter it.

In this dark depressing place, there are many rivers. Each one has its own symbolic meaning. This is a list of some rivers with  their names, and their importance.

1.      Acheron was the river of sadness.

2.      Cocytus was the river of lamentation.

3.      Lethe was the river of forgetfulness.           

4.      Phlegethon was the river of fire.

5.      Styx was the river of hate.

-The Symbol of Hades:

Hades did not have a symbol, he was just known for his job of ruling the Greek underworld.

-The Roman Name:

            The Roman god of the underworld was Pluto or sometimes called Dis Pater. Although he was the main god of the underworld, there were several mythological characters in Rome that were also related to the underworld. For example, Charun was a male demon that accompanied the dead souls to the underworld. He had a vulture's nose, pointed animal ears, and snakes instead of hair on his head. Culsa was a female demon that lived in the underworld. She always carried a torch and a pair of sharp scissors to cut the thread of life. Februus was the god of purification who lived in the underworld. These are all Roman figures that lived in the underworld or were related to it in any way.


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