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Greek Mythology


Greek god Hades and his dog Cerberus
Hades and dog Cerberus
by Unknown

History >> Ancient Greece >> Greek Mythology

God of: The Underworld, death, and riches
Symbols: Scepter, Cerberus, drinking horn, and the cypress tree
Parents: Cronus and Rhea
Children: Melinoe, Macaria, and Zagreus
Spouse: Persephone
Abode: The Underworld
Roman name: Pluto

Hades is a god in Greek mythology who rules the land of the dead called the Underworld. He is one of the three most powerful Greek gods (along with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon).

How was Hades usually pictured?

Hades is usually pictured with a beard, a helmet or crown, and holding a two-pronged pitchfork or a staff. Often his three headed dog, Cerberus, is with him. When traveling he rides a chariot pulled by black horses.

What powers and skills did he have?

Hades had complete control of the underworld and all its subjects. Besides being an immortal god, one of his special powers was invisibility. He wore helmet called the Helm of Darkness that allowed him to become invisible. He once loaned his helmet out to the hero Perseus to help him defeat the monster Medusa.

Birth of Hades

Hades was the son of Cronus and Rhea, the king and queen of the Titans. After being born, Hades was swallowed by his father Cronus to prevent a prophecy that a son would someday overthrow him. Hades was eventually saved by his younger brother Zeus.

Lord of the Underworld

After the Olympians defeated the Titans, Hades and his brothers drew lots to divide up the world. Zeus drew the sky, Poseidon drew the sea, and Hades drew the Underworld. The Underworld is where dead people go in Greek Mythology. Hades wasn't very happy about getting the Underworld at first, but when Zeus explained to him that all the people of the world would eventually be his subjects, Hades decided it was okay.


In order to guard his realm, Hades had a giant three-headed dog named Cerberus. Cerberus guarded the entrance to the Underworld. He kept the living from entering and the dead from escaping.


Another helper for Hades was Charon. Charon was Hades' ferryman. He would take the dead on a boat across the rivers Styx and Acheron from the world of the living to the Underworld. The dead had to pay a coin to Charon to cross or they would have to wander the shores for one hundred years.


Hades became very lonely in the Underworld and wanted a wife. Zeus said he could marry his daughter Persephone. However, Persephone did not want to marry Hades and live in the Underworld. Hades then kidnapped Persephone and forced her to come to the underworld. Demeter, Persephone's mother and goddess of crops, became sad and neglected the harvest and the world suffered famine. Eventually, the gods came to an agreement and Persephone would live with Hades for four months of the year. These months are represented by winter, when nothing grows.

Interesting Facts About the Greek God Hades
Activities For more about Ancient Greece:

Timeline of Ancient Greece
The City of Athens
Minoans and Mycenaeans
Greek City-states
Peloponnesian War
Persian Wars
Decline and Fall
Legacy of Ancient Greece
Glossary and Terms

Arts and Culture
Ancient Greek Art
Drama and Theater
Olympic Games
Government of Ancient Greece
Greek Alphabet

Daily Life
Daily Lives of the Ancient Greeks
Typical Greek Town
Women in Greece
Science and Technology
Soldiers and War

Alexander the Great
25 Famous Greek People
Greek Philosophers

Greek Mythology
Greek Gods and Mythology
Monsters of Greek Mythology
The Titans
The Iliad
The Odyssey

The Olympian Gods

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Greece >> Greek Mythology

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