Mythman's Major Olympian Gods



Hades by Alayana


Hades in the Underworld


Hades (also known in Greek as Aides) is Zeus' brother and ruler of the Underworld and the dead. He was also called Pluto - God of Wealth - because all the precious metals buried deep in the earth were in his kingdom.

Hence, all the gold, diamonds, gems and rubies in existence were the property of Hades - that's one rich dude! Made him real popular with the ladies, no doubt.

Another reason that the people called him Pluto is because they did not like to pronounce the dreaded name of Hades or Aides. The ancients thought that if they uttered his name, he would hear them and come for their souls.

They preferred to call him Pluto, the  more benign 'Giver of Wealth'.

The name Pluto was used by both the Greeks and the Romans, and it translates into Latin as Dis - "Rich". The Romans also substituted Orcus and Tartarus as synonymous to Pluto.

Although Hades was an Olympian, he spent most of the time in his dark castle in the Underworld. This Lord of Hell, who was formidable in battle, proved his ferociousness in the famous battle of the Olympians versus the Titans, which established the rule of Zeus.

His father was the Titan Cronus, ruler of the universe, and his mother was Rhea. Cronus had a bad habit of eating his kids as they were born!

The Titan Cronus had been warned by an oracle that one of his children would grow up to overthrow him, just as he had done to his father, Uranus.

Fearful of meeting the same fate as his father, Cronus would swallow his children alive, as they were born to his wife, Rhea.

This made Rhea angry, so when Zeus was born, instead of the baby she presented Cronus with a large stone wrapped in baby blankets.

The Titan Cronus swallowed the stone and thought himself safe, but when Zeus grew up, with the help of his mother and Metis he made Cronus disgorge his swallowed siblings and declared war on their father.

Wearing the famous Helmet of Invisibility given to him by the Cyclops in gratitude for being freed from their prison in Tartarus, Hades snuck up unseen on his father Cronus.

That was near the end of this ten year war. Assisted by his brother Poseidon, who held Cronus immobile with his Trident, and his younger brother Zeus, who had stunned Cronus with a barrage of thunderbolts, Hades managed to castrate the Titan and thus end his reign.

Following the fall of Cronus, lots were drawn, with Zeus getting the heavens, Poseidon the seas, and Hades the Underworld, which was the 'abode of the shades', home to departed souls.

In this epic division of spoils between the brothers, the earth remained common to all three gods, to be shared evenly.

Because of his dark and morbid personality Hades was not especially liked by neither his fellow gods, nor the mortals who lived on earth.

His character is described as "fierce and inexorable", and of all the gods, he and the god of war, Ares, were the two deities most feared and hated by mortals.

He was not however an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel and unpitying, still he was just.

Hades ruled the Underworld and therefore was most often associated with death and was feared by men, but he was not Death itself - The actual embodiment of Death was another god, Thanatos.

(Thanatos was the Greek personification of death who dwells in the lower world. In Homer's Iliad he appears as the brother of Hypnos ("Sleep"). The Greek writer Hesiod makes these two spirits the sons of Nyx, but they had no father. In the theater Thanatos was sometimes introduced as a character. His attributes are an inversed torch, wreath, or butterfly.

(Hypnos is the personification of sleep in Greek mythology. He is the son of Nyx and Erebus, and the twin of Thanatos ("death"). Both he and his brother live in the underworld. He gave Endymion the power of sleeping with open eyes so he could see his beloved, the moon goddess Selene. Hypnos is portrayed as a naked young man with wings attached to his temples, or as a bearded man with wings attached to his shoulders.)

Hades continues on page two!
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