Fast Facts: Hades
- Pronunciation: HAY-dees
- Origin: Greek
- Role: God of the Greek Underworld
- Parents: Cronus and Rhea
- Children: Macaria and Melinoe
- Symbol: Helmet
- Other Names: Pluto, Dis Pater, Orcus, Plouton
Who Is Hades?
Hades was the ancient Greek chthonic god of the underworld, which eventually took his name. Hades was often portrayed with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus.
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.
In Greek mythology, Hades, the god of the underworld, was a son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He had three sisters, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera, as well as two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, the youngest of the three.
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.
- He was wearing the kunee, helmet made by the Cyclops that had the power to make invisible all those who wore it.
- He is often represented with a bident (fork with two teeth) in his hand unlike Poseidon who holds a trident.
- He also owned herds, which grazed on the island of Erythia, the red island.
- In certain portraits, snakes also appeared to be attributed to Hades as he was occasionally portrayed to be either holding them or accompanied by them.
Realm Of Hades:
In older Greek myths, the realm of Hades is the misty and gloomy abode of the dead (also called Erebus) where all mortals go when they die. Very few mortals could leave Hades once they entered. The exceptions, Heracles and Theseus, are heroic.
There were several sections of the realm of Hades, including Elysium, the Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus.
The five rivers of the realm of Hades, and their symbolic meanings, are Acheron (the river of sorrow, or woe), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Lethe (oblivion), and Styx (hate), the river upon which even the gods swore and in which Achilles was dipped to render him invincible.
Hades rarely intervenes in legends. Apart from the story of the rapture, which belongs to the cycle of Demeter , it can be seen only in another myth, this time with that of Heracles .