Hades   HAY deez

Lord of the Underworld

Hades is one of the six Olympians, i.e. one of the six children of Kronos (Cronos) and Rhea. He and his two brothers divided creation into thirds and each took a portion for their own. Hades chose, as his dominion, The Underworld.

When mortals kneel before the cold hearted Hades, he metes out somber justice and no one, once there, can ever leave his domain (except, of course, Herakles (Heracles), Odysseus, Orpheus and a few others).

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The Abduction of Persephone

The story of the abduction of Persephone is a touching explanation for the harshness of Winter and the sweetness of Spring. Hades was so overwhelmed by Persephone’s sweet charms that, instead of wooing her, he abducted her against her will and dragged her to The Underworld.

Hades and Zeus had plotted to abduct the young girl away in secret but their plans were foiled when Helios (the Sun) saw the evil act and told Demeter the fate of her missing child. Persephone was helpless against the wiles of Zeus and remained the unwilling captive of Hades. After several years Demeter found a way to force Zeus’ hand and free her daughter.

Demeter sat in her new home at Eleusis and cursed the earth with famine. Seeds would not grow. Plowed fields remained empty. Zeus and the other immortals were worried that this would be the end of mortal life on earth and thus, their worshipers would die. One by one, the immortals begged her to forgive and forget but Demeter was unmoved.

Zeus sent Hermes to speak gentle words to Hades and persuade him to let Persephone return to her brooding mother. Hades was sympathetic but he was also intent on keeping his bride. He tricked Persephone into eating a pomegranate seed and by doing so she was forever bound to him. Persephone returned to the world of light to see her mother but her stay was only temporary.

Demeter was joyous when Persephone came to her and roused herslf from her destructive brooding. But her joy was tempered by the trickery of Hades and the honey-sweet pomegranate seed. The only one who could change Demeter’s heart was her mother. After pleas from Rhea, Demeter lifted her curse and allowed the earth to blossom and be fruitful again.

It was decreed by Zeus that Persephone would spend two thirds of the year with her mother and the remaining third with her husband, Hades. Each year when Persephone returns from the underworld, Demeter showers the earth with gentle rain and sweet breezes. Each time Persephone returns to Hades, Demeter hardens her heart and the earth is wracked with bitter cold and harsh winds.

Hades is often confused with the Roman god, Pluto.

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Hades in The Iliad (listed by book and line)

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Hades in The Odyssey (listed by book and line)

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How to Cite this Page

Cut and paste the following text for use in a paper or electronic document report.

Stewart, Michael. "Hades", Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant. http://messagenetcommresearch.com/myths/bios/hades.html (November 14, 2005)

Cut and paste the following html for use in a web report.

Stewart, Michael. &quot;Hades&quot;, <i>Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant</i>. http://messagenetcommresearch.com/myths/bios/hades.html (November 14, 2005)

Cut and paste the following html for use in a web report. This format will link back to this page, which may be useful but may not be required.

Stewart, Michael. &quot;Hades&quot;, <i>Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant</i>. <a href="http://messagenetcommresearch.com/myths/bios/hades.html">http://messagenetcommresearch.com/myths/bios/hades.html</a> (November 14, 2005)

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