The nymph Minthe, associated with the river Cocytus, loved by Hades, was turned into the mint plant, by a jealous Persephone.. When Demeter realized her daughter was missing, she frantically searched for her. Hades was happy with the match, but knew Persephone herself would object.  The dog is often portrayed next to the god as a means of easy identification, since no other deity relates to it so directly. They gave Chronus wine laced with a purgative that forced him to vomit up the children he had swallowed. The war that followed was called the Titanomachy. Reckoning by this reverse order is preferred by, Poseidon speaks: "For when we threw the lots I received the grey sea as my abode, Hades drew the murky darkness, Zeus, however, drew the wide sky of brightness and clouds; the earth is common to all, and spacious Olympus. Hades ruled the Underworld and was therefore most often associated with death and feared by men, but he was not Death itself — it is Thanatos, son of Nyx and Erebus, who is the actual personification of death, although Euripides' play "Alkestis" states fairly clearly that Thanatos and Hades were one and the same deity, and gives an interesting description of Hades as being dark-cloaked and winged; moreover, Hades was also referred to as Hesperos Theos ("god of death & darkness").  On pottery, he has a dark beard and is presented as a stately figure on an "ebony throne. As a punishment, he was consigned to Tartarus where he would forever push a boulder up a great hill. Thanatos was the personification of the end of life. The rhetorical question is Agamemnon's. 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. As the ruler of the dead, the Greeks were hesitant to bring too much attention to Hades. 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. His rages were rare and he never displayed particular joy, sorrow, or jealousy. None other of the deathless gods is to blame, but only cloud-gathering Zeus who gave her to Aides, her father’s brother, to be called his buxom wife. 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?" Worship of Hades seemed to have been limited to funeral rites and a few scattered cults. Zeus knew, however, that Demeter would once again allow the grains to fail if she suffered losing her daughter to Hades forever. To the ancient Greeks, the underworld as a realm that was as concrete and complex as the earth they walked on. Unlike his brothers, Hades was not known for his love affairs. Modern linguists have proposed the Proto-Greek form *Awides ("unseen"). Hades represented the finality and mystery of dying. After being rescued by Zeus from the belly of Cronus, Hades joins him in the Titanomachy. In fact the most common name given for him in Greece, Plouton, was linked to their word for wealth, ploutos. Then Demeter mourned and the fields once again died. Some myths suggest that Hades was dissatisfied with his turnout, but had no choice and moved to his new realm.. Aeneas – In later Roman accounts, Aeneas made a similar journey to consult his father after the Trojan War. , 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. More importantly, they knew Demeter would never consent to her daughter being taken to the underworld. He intended to be an honorable husband, and through marriage to him Persephone would gain great power as the queen of his realm. The name Plouton, which was changed to Pluto by the Romans, was a way to speak of Hades in positive terms and avoid his association with death. Heracles' final labour was to capture Cerberus. There they would have to walk under the watchful eyes of many of the most feared beings in Greece. Zeus, however, had previously proposed a compromise, to which all parties had agreed: of the year, Persephone would spend one third with her husband.  Even Odysseus in his Nekyia (Odyssey, xi) calls up the spirits of the departed, rather than descend to them. Hades was often portrayed with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus. When Persephone was in the world of the living plants grew, but in the winter when she returned to Hades life withered. 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.  This nature and aspect of Hades and Zeus displayed in the Orphic stories is the explanation for why both Hades and Zeus are considered to be the father of Melinoë and Zagreus. Hades agreed as long as Heracles didn't harm Cerberus. The Cyclopes, in particular, were skilled craftsmen and gave the three leaders of the rebellion great gifts. For most of Greek history, however, the average person expected to have a dreary, joyless afterlife. Of the other gods, only Hecate heard the girl’s cries and only Helios saw her being taken away. After many years of fighting, Zeus and his allied received help from Gaia, the Mother Earth who had given birth to the original twelve Titans. Eurydice was killed by vipers on their wedding day. The songs Orpheus wrote in her memory were so touching that the nymphs who heard them urged him to go to the underworld to find her.  The Orphics in particular believed that Zeus and Hades were the same deity and portrayed them as such. By eating the pomegranate he had given her, the goddess had forever tied herself to the underworld and death. Later Greek philosophy introduced the idea that all mortals are judged after death and are either rewarded or cursed. While the victorious gods established their new home on Mount Olympus, Hades retreated to the underworld to rule over the dead. He rarely left his realm. Like many people, the Greeks preferred not to think too much about the fact that they and everyone they knew would someday die. 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. The far side of the river was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog defeated by Heracles (Roman Hercules). Like the people whose souls ended up there, it was a neutral place. In Roman mythology, the entrance to the Underworld located at Avernus, a crater near Cumae, was the route Aeneas used to descend to the realm of the dead. Hades and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated their father and the Titans to end their reign, claiming rulership over the cosmos. None of them were pleased with what they witnessed in the realm of the dead. She became one of the most important figures in Greek religion. As the wife of Hades, Persephone was one of the few beings allowed to travel freely between the lands of the living and the realm of the dead. The consort of Hades was Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter..  Nicander uses the form Hegesilaus (Ἡγεσίλαος).  Hades was not, however, an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel, and unpitying, he was still just. Finally, Hecate approached her and said that she had heard Persephone cry out as she was taken away, but the goddess of witchcraft had not seen the man who took her. 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. The word sisyphean is still used to describe an impossible and laborious task.  Zeus Meilichios and Zeus Eubouleus are often referred to as being alternate names for Hades..  Zeus was portrayed as having an incarnation in the underworld identifying him as literally being Hades and leading to Zeus and Hades essentially being two representations and different facets of the same god and extended divine power. They expanded on the idea of Elysium and presented a more positive version of the Asphodel Fields. The entrance was not only guarded by the pains of human life, including Diseases, War, and Hunger, but is also watched by the Furies, Famous monsters like the Gorgons, Harpies, Chimera, and Hydra also waited by the entrance. Martin Litchfield West argues instead for an original meaning of "the one who presides over meeting up" from the universality of death. 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. The person who offered the sacrifice had to avert his face. The goddess swore that she would not set foot on Olympus or the earth until she could see her daughter. They went to Helios, knowing that from his position high in the sky the god of the sun could see everything that happened during the day. Was Hades a place or a god? Zeus was the only one of the divine siblings to escape this fate when their mother hid him from Chronus. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. The three brothers then turned their minds to ruling the universe they had conquered. Hades was one of the six children of Chronus and Rhea, the Titans. In time, Persephone settled into her role as queen of the underworld. 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. In the forecourt of the palace of Hades and Persephone sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. When he was grown, he returned to challenge his father for supreme power. This realm sat below the rest of the underworld and was a place of darkness and despair. There was no suffering there, but there was no joy either. The Titans had been banished there after the war and some claimed that Chronus had taken kingship in this dreadful place. , He was also referred to as Zeus katachthonios (Ζεὺς καταχθόνιος), meaning "the Zeus of the Underworld", by those avoiding his actual name, as he had complete control over the Underworld. One is labeled with the name of an Egyptian god, but stands next to Cerberus. man, one with no land allotted to him and not much to live on, ), whose reconstructed nominative case *Áïs (*Ἄϊς) is, however, not attested. When you think of Hades, you might not think of a god at all. He used the souls of the dead to convince Hades to let him pass, as long as he could overpower the dog without the use of weapons. Since precious minerals come from under the earth (i.e., the "underworld" ruled by Hades), he was considered to have control of these as well, and as such the Greeks referred to him as Πλούτων (Greek Plouton; Latin PLVTO, Pluto, "the rich one"). These beasts were variously named as, according to Claudian: Orphnaeus, Aethon, Nycteus and Alastor while other authors listed also: Nonius, Ametheus, Abastor, Abetor and Metheus. Persephone could leave Hades and resume her life with Demeter under the condition that she had not eaten any food from the land of the dead. Should a soul choose to be reincarnated and remain so pure that they achieved entrance to the Elysian Fields three times, they could enjoy the paradise of the islands.  Hades was the eldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son regurgitated by his father. Read on to find out all about the Greek underworld and the mysterious god who ruled it. Theseus and Pirithous pledged to kidnap and marry daughters of Zeus. Only a few sources say that he had offspring at all. , Epithets of Hades include Agesander (Ἀγήσανδρος) and Agesilaos (Ἀγεσίλαος), both from ágō (ἄγω, "lead", "carry" or "fetch") and anḗr (ἀνήρ, "man") or laos (λαός, "men" or "people"), describing Hades as the god who carries away all.  Other poetic variations of the name include Aïdōneús (Ἀϊδωνεύς) and the inflected forms Áïdos (Ἄϊδος, gen.), Áïdi (Ἄϊδι, dat. The Greeks had a very good reason to avoid thinking too much about their own end. It’s important to remember that Hades was not actually the god of death. He was called Agesilaus (“attracting,” for the fact that all people were eventually drawn to him), Hegetes (“conductor”), Moiragetes (“guide of the Fates”), and more.  More elaborate names of the same genre were Ploutodótēs (Πλουτοδότης) or Ploutodotḗr (Πλουτοδοτήρ), meaning "giver of wealth". Hermes relays Zeus' message, and Hades complies, saying, "Go now, Persephone, to your dark-robed mother, go, and feel kindly in your heart towards me: be not so exceedingly cast down; for I shall be no unfitting husband for you among the deathless gods, that am own brother to father Zeus. This article is about the Greek god. She had hoped Chronus would free her children, but when he refused as well she turned to the new gods for help. There is little art or architecture showing him.  He was later presented in the classical arts in the depictions of the Rape of Persephone. Hermes obeys and goes down to Hades' realm, wherein he finds Hades seated upon a couch, Persephone seated next to him. ), and Áïda (Ἄϊδα, acc. Hades’ most common epithet lived on in its Latin form, but his actual name was remembered more in connection to the place than the god. Hades had little interest in what happened in the world above, and just as little concern for the affairs of the other gods. The Greeks avoided mentioning Hades so as to not attract his attention.  Within these illustrations, Hades was often young, yet he was also shown as varying ages in other works. 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.  Dionysus also shared several epithets with Hades such as Chthonios ("the subterranean"), Eubouleus ("Good Counselor"), and Euclius ("glorious" or "renowned") .