Hades at a Glance
name | Hades (AidhV
role | god of the Underworld and ruler of the dead
symbols | sceptre, cornucopia
Hades in Greek Mythology
Hades was the ruler of the Greek Underworld (which itself is sometimes confusingly referred to as "Hades" also). In mythology, he was the brother of Zeus
, and therefore from the first generation of Olympian gods. And the manner in which Hades became the lord of the shadowy Underworld is worth mentioning.
According to the myth, the three sons of Kronos and Rhea - Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades - each drew lots to determine which part of the world they would rule. Zeus and Poseidon received the sky and the seas respectively, and Hades was therefore left with the Underworld.
Hades ruled the realm of the dead alone. That is, until he became enamored of the beautiful goddess Persephone. The legend of how Persephone
became the bride of Hades and the Queen of the underworld is told in the Hymn to Demeter
. Although the relationship between Hades and Persephone appears to have begun badly - Hades abducted his future bride and whisked her away in a chariot - their union was peaceful (unlike the marriage of his brother Zeus
Hades was identified with Dis (Dis Pater) in Roman mythology.
Hades and the Underworld
Since Hades was the ruler of the Underworld, it makes sense to note one of the key features of this region - its myriad rivers. These rivers each had names and symbolic meanings:
| river of sadness
| river of lamentation
| river of forgetfulness
| river of fire
| river of hate
Who's Who in Classical Mythology
This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.
The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.
Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!