Hades God of the Underworld.
In the ancient Greek religion and myth, Hades is the god of the underworld, the name of him came to express the home of the dead. Underworld is the place where human souls go after death. He was the eldest son of his parents, Cronus and Rhea. Hades and his brothers, Poseidon, and Zeus defeated the Titans during their father’s period and ended their reign and then demanded rulership over the universe.
After that, Zeus became the god of the sky, Hades god of the underworld, and Poseidon god of the sea. Hades was known as Plouton to the Greeks. The Roman pluralized Pluton into pluto. He had been exhibited with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus. One of the most significant myths related to the Hades was he abducted Persephone. Hades, the god of the underworld, was married to the daughter of Demeter, Persephone. By using deception, Hades abducted Persephone to the underworld and given her forbidden fruit pomegranate. Hades forced her to live underworld with him one-third of each year. Two Roman gods Dis Pater and Orcus and the Etruscan god Aita were similar to Hades in the long run.
Name of Hades God of the Underworld
The root of the name of Hades is anonymous. But according to antiquity, the meaning of Hades is “the unseen one.”Cratylus dialogue is an excellent section of Plato’s which is dedicated to the etymology of the god’s name. In Cratylus, Socrates claims for a folk etymology “his knowledge (eidenai) of all noble things” instead of “unseen.” At the same time, modern linguists proposed the Proto-Greek form Awides, which means “unseen.”
In the classical period, Hades was familiar with the name Haides. In the 5th century BC, The Greeks were panicked to pronounce his name, and they began to proclaim as Plouton instead of Hades because it is a word that comes with the original meaning of wealth. Plouton became the Roman god, and he was not the only ruler of the underworld but also shared riches from the below. This god was a blend of the Greek god Hades and the Eleusinian icon Ploutos, and he accepted a priestess, but it was not practiced in Greece earlier. Several names came from the same genre, but the meaning of them was “provider of wealth.”
Mythology (Hade’s God of the Underworld)
According to Greek mythology, Hades was the first-born son of Cronus and Rhea. He had three older sisters named Demeter, Hera, and Hestia. Also, he had a younger brother named Poseidon. But, their father swallowed all of them as quickly as they were born. Zeus was the youngest brother of Hades, but he had been freed from this cruelty by the tricks of their mother, Rhea. When Zeus reached adulthood, he managed to make his father eruct his siblings.
The six younger gods grouped after getting liberated, and then they invited the elder gods in a divine war for attaining power in the Titanomachy. The continued for ten years and concluded with the triumph of the younger gods. According to a single grand passage of the Iliad, After gaining the victory, Hades and his two brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, drew lots of realms to govern. Then Poseidon got the seas, Zeus got the sky, and Hades got the underworld.
Some myths propose that Hades was not satisfied with his kingdom, but there was no second option, and then he went to his new realm. Hades attained his wife and queen Persephone by abducting, but here was the mastermind of doing all was Zeus.
This myth is one of the most important topics related to Hades. The abduction story was related to the Eleusinian Mysteries with the Olympian pantheon, and it all described in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.
Most probably, it was the oldest story of abduction during the beginning of the 6th century BC. Helios said the grieving Demeter that Hades was worthy as a partner for Persephone.
According to Homeric Hymn to Demeter:
“Aidoneus, the Ruler of Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also, for honor, he has that third share which he received when the division was made at the first and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells.”
Hade’s God of the Underworld
Despite the recent implications of death as wrong, Hades was more selflessly inclined in mythology. Hades had been described as more rather than evil, and his character was usually managing relativistic balance. He was represented as indifferent, and he observed all his subjects equally liable to his judges. The Greeks kept Hades away from much thought as they don’t think he had any remarkable individuality in his role. Hades ruled the underworld, and he had complete authority to them who advised him to control his kingdom. The house of Hades was considered as full of “visitors,” though he seldom left the kingdom of the dead.
He cared nothing about whatever happened in another world, as his foremost attention was ensuring his own subjects. Hades strictly ordered his subjects not to leave his domain, and if anyone would try to leave or steal the souls from his kingdom, then it enraged him a lot. The wrath of Hades was terrible for them who tried to deceive death or wanted to cross him like Sisyphus and Pirithous accepted their sorrow by enraging Hades. He was so angry with these two people, particularly Pirithous, who entered the city to steal Persephone for himself.
Hades forced Pirithous onto the “Chair of Forgetfulness.” With deception, Plouton induced Zeus to kill Hades with a thunderbolt. After he died, he was taken to Olympus, where he declared a god. In a myth, Hades was only once represented outside of the Underworld, and it happened, when Hades tried to defend the city of Plvos, and Heracles shot him with an arrow. After Hades was shot by Heracles, he came to Olympus to heal.
Persephone (Hades God of the Underworld)
Persephone was the consort of Hades and the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone did not propose to Hades happily. She was abducted by Hades while plucking flowers in the fields of Nysa. According to the very first lines of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Persephone’s father Zeus given her to Hades earlier to be his wife. The act of Zeus extremely angered Demeter.
Then Demeter gave a curse on the land and it brought there a great famine. The gods came one by one and requested Demeter to lift it, but Demeter said that the universe would remain insipid until she saw Persephone again. After that, Zeus summons his son, Hermes, and then guides to send him to the underworld to persuade Hades to let Persephone return to Earth for a while so that Demeter could see her and stop the famine.
According to the order of Zeus, Harems went to the underworld and found Hades seated upon a divan, Persephone seated following to him. Then Harem carries the message of Zeus and Hades complies, states in Homeric Hymn to Demeter:
“My child, tell me, surely you have not tasted any food while you were below? Speak out and hide nothing, but let us both know. For if you have not, you shall come back from loathly Hades and live with me and your father, the dark-clouded son of Cronos and be honored by all the deathless gods; but if you have tasted the food, you must go back again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you shall be with me and the other deathless gods. But when the earth shall bloom with the fragrant flowers of spring in every kind, then from the realm of darkness and gloom thou shalt come up once more to be a wonder for gods and mortal men. And now tell me how he rapt you away to the realm of darkness and gloom, and by what trick did the strong Host of Many beguile you?”
Persephone confesses that she had the food of the dead because she says to Demeter that Hades offered her a pomegranate seed and made her eat it. Eating the pomegranate seed connects her to Hades and the Underworld that makes Demeter much more anxious. In the earlier, Zeus proposed a compromise to all parties and had been agreed by all: Persephone would spend one-third of each year with her husband. The winter starts to fall upon the earth when Persephone was getting down in the Underworld with her husband, “an aspect of sadness and mourning.”
Theseus and Pirithous
Theseus and Pirithous vowed to steal and marry daughters of Zeus. Theseus picked Helen and together they went to steal her. Also, they determined to keep her with them until she was grown enough to marry. Pirithous picked Persephone. They dropped Helen with Aethra, Theseus’ mother, and then they moved to the underworld. Hades knew everything that they came to steal his wife, and he pretended to offer them good hospitality and set a feast.
Then they sat down, and snakes coiled around their feet and held them there. Theseus was rescued by Heracles in somehow, but Pirithous continued trapped as penance for trying to seek the wife of a god for his own.
Realm of Hades
According to Greek myths, the kingdom of Hades was the foggy and gloomy residence of the dead where all creatures go after they die. A few mortals could leave the underworld once they entered except Heracles and Theseus. Later Greek belief introduced the idea that all mortals are judged after they die and are each rewarded or cursed for their acts. The realm of Hades was divided into several sections including the Asphodel Meadows, Elysium, and Tartarus.
The mythographer Apollodorus explains that Tartarus is like “a dark place in Hades as far distant from the earth as earth is far distant from the sky.”Roman mythology reveals that the gateway to the Underworld located at Avernus, a hole near Cumae, was the way Aeneas used to drop to the region of the dead.
Artistic Representations (Hades God of the Underworld)
Hades was described so rarely in art and craft, and mythology. Most probably, the main reason was the Greeks were so scared of him. The artistic descriptions of Hades are mainly seen in Archaic pottery, and they aren’t smoothly thought of as the god. Later, Hades presented in the classical arts as the rapist of Persephone. In these portraits, Hades has been illustrated as so young though he was shown as different ages in other images.
On pottery, Hades has a dark beard and is exhibited as a majestic figure on a “jet throne.”Hades is well-known with his dog’s appearance next to him in the portrayed as there is no other deity relates to dog directly. Generally, artists drew Hades as looking different from other gods because he was shunned by them as well as humans.
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