Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fun Facts About Hades

Hades and Cerebus.
From Wikipedia Commons.
Was doing a little research today about Hades, the ancient Greek god of the Underworld.
  • Hades was the youngest brother of Zeus, and one of three--along with Zeus and Poseiden--to help overthrow the titan Cronus.
  • After Cronus's defeat, the brothers drew lots.  Zeus got the air, Poseiden the sea, and Hades the Underworld.  Their elder sister Gaia already held sway over the Earth itself, with the agreement that all three brothers could come and go as they wished.
  • Hades is the name of the god, but his name became synonymous with the Realm of the Dead as well.
  • The Underworld is not just the Realm of the Dead.  It’s also any underground space or structure, like, say, a cavern or a mine.  Hades, therefore, claims mines and other sources of minerals as his domain.
  • By extension, Hades claims the following as elements of his domain:
    • The Realm of the Dead
    • Caverns, Caves, & Mines
    • The Wealth that comes out of the Earth
  • Hades was known as a just ruler, but also cruel, greedy, and jealous.
  • One entered Hades by cross in the River Acheron with the ferryman Charon.  Once across the river, one passes through the gates, going by Cerebus the three-headed dog, and then one is officially in the Realm of the Dead.  Anyone can enter, but no one leaves.
  • The Erinnyes (or Furies) helped Hades keep order.  They punished sins and chased down any who sought to escape the Underworld.
  • Hades's helmet was known as the Helm of Darkness.  It gave its wearer the power to turn invisible. 


  1. It speaks to me. I think all those old myths are so great. The way that the Romans especially personified complex concepts is interesting.

    For example, I have my doubts that they actually BELIEVED in Genius, the spirit of human ingenuity and the divine spark in each individual. But I think having him as a personified concept made talking about that idea easier.