Hades – The God of the Underworld in Greek Mythology
Hades Lord of the Underworld in Greek Mythology

Hades is considered the darkest God in Greek Mythology. Ruling the Underworld, he is the brother of both Zeus and Poseidon, making him one of the ‘Big Three’ Greek gods.

Hades abducting Persephone

Greek mythology is full of incredibly interesting characters that have found their way into popular stores throughout the ages. Of these, Hades is one of the most complex and intriguing.

The Greek God Hades

Hades is one of the children born of the Titans who ruled over the world in the time when gods and other supernatural beings roamed the earth and the heavens.

As one of the first generation of Gods, Hades had a number of siblings. His sisters were Hestia, Hera, and Demeter, while Poseidon and Zeus  were his only brothers. His parents were Chronus and Rhea, the two ruling Titans.

In the war that took place between the Titans and the younger gods, the younger generation of gods won, and the three brothers decided they should evenly divide the rule over the three realms of air, sea and underworld between themselves. Poseidon became the God of the seas, Zeus the God of the skies (and King of the Gods), and Hades became the God and ruler of the underworld.

Hades – Lord of the Underworld

Hades Lord of the Underworld in Greek Mythology

As the God and ruler of the underworld, Hades had an important role to play in ancient Greek mythology and storytelling. He was the steward of all the souls that passed from the land of the living and into the underworld, where it is his responsibility to act as a warden for them.

Even though it is popularly believed that Hades is a harsh steward of these souls, most mythology portrays him as a stern, disciplined, but ultimately a fair overseer of the underworld.

Perhaps it is or own fear of passing from the mortal realm that makes us ascribe certain negative characteristics to him.

Hades in Greek Mythology

Hades is often referred to as Zeus of the Underworld, The Silent One, and The Hospitable One on account of his even-handed treatment of the souls of the dead as well as his lack of concern for the affairs of the living.

He has a reputation for being quite generous, which comes as a surprise to many students of Greek mythology. His halls are described as always being full of guests, and the Greeks attributed all bounty that came from the earth as being gifts from him to the living (minerals, crops, and the like).

The most famous myth concerning Hades, is perhaps the myth of Hades and Persephone. It’s another classic tale of love and abduction in Greek Mythology, which is thought to explain seasons, fertility and crops.

The Children of Hades

In Greek mythology, Hades isn’t said to have fathered any children, but in the Percy Jackson book series, he is the father to Nico Di Angelo, Zagreus, Melinoe, Makaria, and Bianca Di Angelo, whose mother is Maria Di Angelo.

This was before the three brothers Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades took an oath not to sire any more children with humans. Nico is thus a demigod

Powers, Weapons and Attributes

He is the master of Cerberus, the dreaded three-headed dog that guards the entry to the underworld, as well as being in possession of the Helm of Invisibility, a helmet that enables whoever wears it to be invisible to mortal and immortal eyes.

Hades in the Percy Jackson Books

Hades plays a pivotal role in the series as the eldest of the big three gods — Zeus, Poseidon, and he himself. In a departure from many popular depictions of Hades, he is presented here as being highly dignified and powerful, to the point that Zeus himself is seen in some scenarios to be reluctant to fight him.

He is not cast as the bad guy here, but rather as a stern but fair figure who is the father to some of the series’ more pivotal characters such as Nico Di Angelo.

Famous Temples in Greece Associated with Hades

Unlike the other Greek Gods, Hades had very few temples dedicated to him in Greece. Records indicate that the citizens of Elis may have erected temples to him, but nothing survives today.

One possibility is in the north-west of Greece. It’s a disputed site known as the Necromanteion of Acheron which is thought to have been dedicated to Necromancy and Hades. If this was the site of the temple, few if any remains survive today.

You can still find paintings and statues of Hades dating from ancient Greece though. Pictured at the top of the article is a scene of Hades abducting Persephone. This fresco was found in the small Macedonian royal tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece.

Find out more about Greek Mythology

Would you like to find out more about Ancient Greece during your vacation in Greece? Our Greek Mythology Tours are designed with you in mind!

Contact us today for more details on our unique tours of Greece, which combine elements from Greek Mythology and the Percy Jackson books for a once in a lifetime experience.

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