King of the Underworld
God of the dead and riches
|Symbol||Cornucopia, Cypress, Narcissus, keys, serpent, mint plant, white poplar, dog, pomegranate, sheep, cattle, screech owl, horse, chariot|
|Parents||Cronus and Rhea|
|Siblings||Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Zeus, Chiron|
|Children||Macaria, and in some cases Melinoë, Plutus, Zagreus and the Erinyes|
|Roman equivalent||Dis Pater, Orcus, Pluto|
| Greek deities |
Hades ( // ; Greek : ᾍδης, translit. Háidēs; Ἅιδης, Háidēs), in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, with which his name became synonymous. Hades was the eldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son was regurgitated by his father. He and his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, defeated their father's generation of gods, the Titans, and claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, available to all three concurrently. In artistic depictions, Hades is typically portrayed holding a bident and wearing his helm with Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the underworld, standing to his side.
The Etruscan god Aita and the Roman gods Dis Pater and Orcus were eventually taken as equivalent to Hades and merged into Pluto, a Latinization of Plouton (Greek : Πλούτων , translit. Ploútōn), itself a euphemistic title often given to Hades.
The origin of Hades' name is uncertain, but has generally been seen as meaning "the unseen one" since antiquity. An extensive section of Plato's dialogue Cratylus is devoted to the etymology of the god's name, in which Socrates is arguing for a folk etymology not from "unseen" but from "his knowledge ( eidenai ) of all noble things". Modern linguists have proposed the Proto-Greek form *Awides ("unseen"). Ἀΐδης), which lacks the proposed digamma. Martin Litchfield West argues instead for an original meaning of "the one who presides over meeting up" from the universality of death.The earliest attested form is Aḯdēs (
In Homeric and Ionic Greek, he was known as Áïdēs. Ἀϊδωνεύς) and the inflected forms Áïdos (Ἄϊδος, gen.), Áïdi (Ἄϊδι, dat.), and Áïda (Ἄϊδα, acc.), whose reconstructed nominative case *Áïs (*Ἄϊς) is, however, not attested. The name as it came to be known in classical times was Háidēs (Ἅιδης). Later the iota became silent, then a subscript marking (ᾍδης), and finally omitted entirely (Άδης).Other poetic variations of the name include Aïdōneús (
Perhaps from fear of pronouncing his name, around the 5th century BC, the Greeks started referring to Hades as Plouton ( Πλούτων Ploútōn), with a root meaning "wealthy", considering that from the abode below (i.e., the soil) come riches (e.g., fertile crops, metals and so on). Plouton became the Roman god who both rules the underworld and distributed riches from below. This deity was a mixture of the Greek god Hades and the Eleusinian icon Ploutos, and from this he also received a priestess, which was not previously practiced in Greece. More elaborate names of the same genre were Ploutodótēs (Πλουτοδότης) or Ploutodotḗr (Πλουτοδοτήρ), meaning "giver of wealth".
Epithets of Hades include Agesander (Ἀγήσανδρος) and Agesilaos (Ἀγεσίλαος), both from ágō ( ἄγω , "lead", "carry" or "fetch") and anḗr ( ἀνήρ , "man") or laos ( λαός , "men" or "people"), describing Hades as the god who carries away all. Nicander uses the form Hegesilaus (Ἡγεσίλαος).
He was also referred to as Zeus katachthonios (Ζεὺς καταχθόνιος),meaning "the Zeus of the Underworld", by those avoiding his actual name, as he had complete control over the underworld.
In Greek mythology, Hades, the god of the Greek underworld, was the first-born son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He had three older sisters, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera, as well as a younger brother, Poseidon, all of whom had been swallowed whole by their father as soon as they were born. Zeus was the youngest child and through the machinations of their mother, Rhea, he was the only one that had escaped this fate. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. After their release, the six younger gods, along with allies they managed to gather, challenged the elder gods for power in the Titanomachy, a divine war. The war lasted for ten years and ended with the victory of the younger gods. Following their victory, according to a single famous passage in the Iliad (Book XV, ln.187–93), Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lotsfor realms to rule. Zeus received the sky, Poseidon received the seas, and Hades received the underworld, the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth. Some myths suggest that Hades was dissatisfied with his turnout, but had no choice and moved to his new realm.
Hades obtained his wife and queen, Persephone, through abduction at the behest of Zeus. This myth is the most important one Hades takes part in;it also connected the Eleusinian Mysteries with the Olympian pantheon, particularly as represented in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter , which is the oldest story of the abduction, most likely dating back to the beginning of the 6th century BC. Helios told the grieving Demeter that Hades was not unworthy as a consort for Persephone:
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 division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells.
Despite modern connotations of death as evil, Hades was actually more altruistically inclined in mythology. Hades was portrayed as passive and never portrayed negatively; his role was often maintaining relative balance. That said, he was also depicted as cold and stern, and he held all of his subjects equally accountable to his laws.Any other individual aspects of his personality are not given, as Greeks refrained from giving him much thought to avoid attracting his attention.
Hades ruled the dead, assisted by others over whom he had complete authority. The House of Hades was described as full of "guests," though he rarely left the underworld.He cared little about what happened in the world above, as his primary attention was ensuring none of his subjects ever left his domain.
He strictly forbade his subjects to leave his domain and would become quite enraged when anyone tried to leave, or if someone tried to steal the souls from his realm. His wrath was equally terrible for anyone who tried to cheat death or otherwise crossed him, as Sisyphus and Pirithous found out to their sorrow. While usually indifferent to his subjects, Hades was very focused on the punishment of these two people; particularly Pirithous, as he entered the underworld in an attempt to steal Persephone for himself, and consequently was forced onto the "Chair of Forgetfulness".Another myth is about the Greek god Asclepius who was originally a demigod, son of Apollo and Coronis, a Thessalian princess. During his lifetime, he became a famous and talented physician, who eventually was able to bring the dead back to life. Feeling cheated, Plouton persuaded Zeus to kill him with a thunderbolt. After his death, he was brought to Olympus where he became a god. Hades was only depicted outside of the underworld once in myth, and even that is believed to have been an instance where he had just left the gates of the underworld, which was when Heracles shot him with an arrow as Hades was attempting to defend the city of Pylos. After he was shot, however, he traveled to Olympus to heal. Besides Heracles, the only other living people who ventured to the underworld were also heroes: Odysseus, Aeneas (accompanied by the Sibyl), Orpheus, to whom Hades showed uncharacteristic mercy at Persephone's urging, who was moved by Orpheus' music, Theseus with Pirithous, and, in a late romance, Psyche. None of them were pleased with what they witnessed in the realm of the dead. In particular, the Greek war hero Achilles, whom Odysseus conjured with a blood libation, said:
O shining Odysseus, never try to console me for dying.
I would rather follow the plow as thrall to another
man, one with no land allotted to him and not much to live on,
than be a king over all the perished dead.
The consort of Hades was Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter.Persephone did not submit to Hades willingly, but was abducted by him while picking flowers in the fields of Nysa (her father, Zeus, had previously given Persephone to Hades, to be his wife, as is stated in the first lines of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter). In protest of his act, Demeter cast a curse on the land and there was a great famine; though, one by one, the gods came to request she lift it, lest mankind perish and cause the gods to be deprived of their receiving gifts and sacrifices, Demeter asserted that the earth would remain barren until she saw her daughter again. Zeus then sends for his son, Hermes, and instructs him to go down to the underworld in hopes that he may be able to convince Hades to allow Persephone to return to Earth, so that Demeter might see Persephone and cause the famine to stop. Hermes obeys and goes down to Hades' realm, wherein he finds Hades seated upon a couch, Persephone seated next to him. Hermes relays Zeus' message, and Hades complies, saying,
Go now, Persephone, to your dark-robed mother, go, and feel kindly in your heart towards me: be not so exceedingly cast down; for I shall be no unfitting husband for you among the deathless gods, that am own brother to father Zeus. And while you are here, you shall rule all that lives and moves and shall have the greatest rights among the deathless gods: those who defraud you and do not appease your power with offerings, reverently performing rites and paying fit gifts, shall be punished for evermore.
Afterwards, Hades readies his chariot, but not before he secretly gives Persephone a pomegranate seed to eat; Hermes takes the reins, and he and Persephone make their way to the Earth above, coming to a halt in front of Demeter's temple at Eleusis, where the goddess has been waiting. Demeter and Persephone run towards each other and embrace one another, happy that they are reunited. Demeter, however, suspects that Persephone may have eaten food while down in the underworld, and so she questions Persephone, saying:
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 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 does admit that she ate the food of the dead, as she tells Demeter that Hades gave her a pomegranate seed and forced her to eat it. Persephone's eating the pomegranate seed binds her to Hades and the underworld, much to the dismay of Demeter. Zeus, however, had previously proposed a compromise, to which all parties had agreed: of the year, Persephone would spend one third with her husband.
It is during this time, when Persephone is down in the underworld with her husband, that winter falls upon the earth, "an aspect of sadness and mourning."
The hero Orpheus once descented into the Underworld in search of his dead wife Eurydice, who died when a snake bit her. So lovely was the music he played that it charmed even Hades (as well as his wife Persephone), who allowed him to take Eurydice to the land of the living, as long as he did not look back at her on his way out.
Theseus and Pirithous pledged to kidnap and marry daughters of Zeus. Theseus chose Helen and together they kidnapped her and decided to hold onto her until she was old enough to marry. Pirithous chose Persephone. They left Helen with Theseus' mother, Aethra, and traveled to the underworld. Hades knew of their plan to capture his wife, so he pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast; as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there. Theseus was eventually rescued by Heracles but Pirithous remained trapped as punishment for daring to seek the wife of a god for his own.
Heracles' final labour was to capture Cerberus. First, Heracles went to Eleusis to be initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries. He did this to absolve himself of guilt for killing the centaurs and to learn how to enter and exit the underworld alive. He found the entrance to the underworld at Taenarum. Athena and Hermes helped him through and back from Hades. Heracles asked Hades for permission to take Cerberus. Hades agreed as long as Heracles didn't harm Cerberus. When Heracles dragged the dog out of Hades, he passed through the cavern Acherusia.
At another time, Heracles sieged the town of Pylos and during the fight he wounded Hades, who had sided with the Pylians.In great pain, Hades went to Olympus to be healed by the physician of the gods, Paean.
The nymph Minthe, associated with the river Cocytus and loved by Hades, was turned into the mint plant by a jealous Persephone.
Leuce was the most beautiful of the nymphs and a daughter of Oceanus. Hades fell in love with her and abducted her to the underworld. She lived out the span of her life in his realm, and when she died, the god sought consolation by creating a suitable memorial of their love: in the Elysian Fields where the pious spend their afterlife, he brought a white tree into existence. It was this tree with which Heracles crowned himself to celebrate his return from the underworld.
Once, when a plague hit Aonia, region in Boeotia, the people consulted the Oracle of Delphi, and the god replied that the should make an appeal to the gods of the underworld; they had to sacrifice two young maidens to appease the anger of Hades and Persephone. The girls that were chosen were Menippe and Metioche, the daughters of Orion. The girls accepted solemnly in order to save their countrymen. As they were led to the altar to be sacrificed, Hades and Persephone took pity in both of them, and transformed them into comets.
After Alcestis chose to die in place of her husband Admetus in order to save him, Heracles brought her back from the dead by fighting and defeating Hades.In other versions, like Euripides' play Alcestis , Heracles fought Thanatos instead.
Hades, as the god of the dead, was a fearsome figure to those still living; in no hurry to meet him, they were reluctant to swear oaths in his name, and averted their faces when sacrificing to him. Since to many, simply to say the word "Hades" was frightening, euphemisms were pressed into use. Since precious minerals come from under the earth (i.e., the "underworld" ruled by Hades), he was considered to have control of these as well, and as such the Greeks referred to him as Πλούτων (Greek Plouton; Latin PLVTO, Pluto, "the rich one"). This title is derived from the word Πλοῦτος (Greek Ploutos, literally "wealth, riches"). Sophocles explained the notion of referring to Hades as Plouton with these words: "the gloomy Hades enriches himself with our sighs and our tears." In addition, he was called Clymenus ("notorious"), Polydegmon ("who receives many"), and perhaps Eubuleus ("good counsel" or "well-intentioned"),all of them euphemisms for a name that was unsafe to pronounce, which evolved into epithets.
He spent most of the time in his dark realm. Formidable in battle, he proved his ferocity in the famous Titanomachy, the battle of the Olympians versus the Titans, which established the rule of Zeus.
Feared and loathed, Hades embodied the inexorable finality of death: "Why do we loathe Hades more than any god, if not because he is so adamantine and unyielding?" The rhetorical question is Agamemnon's.Hades was not, however, an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel, and unpitying, he was still just. Hades ruled the underworld and was therefore most often associated with death and feared by men, but he was not Death itself — it is Thanatos, son of Nyx and Erebus, who is the actual personification of death, although Euripides' play "Alkestis" states fairly clearly that Thanatos and Hades were one and the same deity, and gives an interesting description of Hades as being dark-cloaked and winged; moreover, Hades was also referred to as Hesperos Theos ("god of death & darkness").
When the Greeks propitiated Hades, they banged their hands on the ground to be sure he would hear them.Black animals, such as sheep, were sacrificed to him. While some suggest the very vehemence of the rejection of human sacrifice expressed in myth might imply an unspoken memory of some distant past, there is no direct evidence of such a turn. The blood from all chthonic sacrifices including those to propitiate Hades dripped into a pit or cleft in the ground. The person who offered the sacrifice had to avert his face.
One ancient source says that he possessed the Cap of invisibility. His chariot, drawn by four black horses, made for a fearsome and impressive sight. These beasts were variously named as, according to Claudian: Orphnaeus, Aethon, Nycteus and Alastor while other authors listed also: Nonius, Ametheus, Abastor, Abetor and Metheus. His other ordinary attributes were the narcissus and cypress plants, the Key of Hades and Cerberus, the three-headed dog.In certain portraits, snakes also appeared to be attributed to Hades as he was occasionally portrayed to be either holding them or accompanied by them. This is believed to hold significance as in certain classical sources Hades ravished Kore in the guise of a snake, who went on to give birth to Zagreus-Dionysus. While bearing the name 'Zeus', Zeus Olympios, the great king of the gods, noticeably differs from the Zeus Meilichios, a decidedly chthonian character, often portrayed as a snake, and as seen beforehand, they cannot be different manifestations of the same god, in fact whenever 'another Zeus' is mentioned, this always refers to Hades. Zeus Meilichios and Zeus Eubouleus are often referred to as being alternate names for Hades.
The philosopher Heraclitus, unifying opposites, declared that Hades and Dionysus, the very essence of indestructible life (zoë), are the same god.Among other evidence, Karl Kerényi notes in his book that the Homeric Hymn To Demeter, votive marble images and epithets all link Hades to being Dionysus. He also notes that the grieving goddess Demeter refused to drink wine, as she states that it would be against themis for her to drink wine, which is the gift of Dionysus, after Persephone's abduction, because of this association; indicating that Hades may in fact have been a "cover name" for the underworld Dionysus. He suggests that this dual identity may have been familiar to those who came into contact with the Mysteries. Dionysus also shared several epithets with Hades such as Chthonios ("the subterranean"), Eubouleus ("Good Counselor"), and Euclius ("glorious" or "renowned") .
Evidence for a cult connection is quite extensive, particularly in southern Italy, especially when considering the death symbolism included in Dionysian worship;statues of Dionysus found in the Ploutonion at Eleusis gives further evidence as the statue bears a striking resemblance to the statue of Eubouleus also known as the youthful depiction of the Lord of the underworld. The statue of Eubouleus is described as being radiant but disclosing a strange inner darkness. Ancient portrayals show Dionysus holding in his hand a kantharos, a wine-jar with large handles, and occupying the place where one would expect to see Hades. Archaic artist Xenocles portrayed on one side of a vase, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, each with his emblems of power; with Hades' head turned back to front and, on the other side, Dionysus striding forward to meet his bride Persephone, with a kantharos in his hand, against a background of grapes.
Both Hades and Dionysus were associated with a divine tripartite deity with Zeus.The Orphics in particular believed that Zeus and Hades were the same deity and portrayed them as such. Zeus was portrayed as having an incarnation in the underworld identifying him as literally being Hades and leading to Zeus and Hades essentially being two representations and different facets of the same god and extended divine power. This nature and aspect of Hades and Zeus displayed in the Orphic stories is the explanation for why both Hades and Zeus are considered to be the father of Melinoë and Zagreus. The role of unifying Hades, Zeus and Dionysus as a single tripartite god was used to represent the birth, death and resurrection of a deity and to unify the 'shining' realm of Zeus and the dark realm of Hades that lay beneath the Earth.
Among the other appellations under which Hades or Pluto is generally known, are the following:
In Latin or Etruscan
Hades was depicted infrequently in artwork, as well as mythology, because the Greeks were so afraid of him.His artistic representations, which are generally found in Archaic pottery, are not even concretely thought of as the deity; however at this point in time it is heavily believed that the figures illustrated are indeed Hades. He was later presented in the classical arts in the depictions of the Rape of Persephone. Within these illustrations, Hades was often young, yet he was also shown as varying ages in other works. Due to this lack of depictions, there weren't very strict guidelines when representing the deity. On pottery, he has a dark beard and is presented as a stately figure on an "ebony throne." His attributes in art include a bident (less commonly, a scepter), a helm, cornucopias, roosters, and a key. They key plays a doubly symbolic role in that it represents his control over the underworld and acts as a reminder that the gates of the underworld were always locked so that souls could not leave. Even if the doors were open, Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the underworld, ensured that, while all souls were allowed to enter into the underworld freely, none could ever escape. Cerberus is a very integral symbol of Hades so much so that when Cerberus is depicted, the depiction very rarely portrays him without Hades. Sometimes, artists painted Hades as looking away from the other gods, as he was disliked by them as well as humans.
As Pluto, he was regarded in a more positive light. He holds a cornucopia, representing the gifts he bestows upon people as well as fertility, which he becomes connected to.
In older Greek myths, the realm of Hades is the misty and gloomy [ citation needed ]abode of the dead (also called Erebus ) where all mortals go when they die. Very few mortals could leave Hades once they entered. The exceptions, Heracles and Theseus, are heroic. Even Odysseus in his Nekyia (Odyssey, xi) calls up the spirits of the departed, rather than descend to them. Later Greek philosophy introduced the idea that all mortals are judged after death and are either rewarded or cursed.
There were several sections of the realm of Hades, including Elysium, the Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus. The mythographer Apollodorus, describes Tartarus as "a gloomy place in Hades as far distant from Earth, as Earth is distant from the sky."Greek mythographers were not perfectly consistent about the geography of the afterlife. A contrasting myth of the afterlife concerns the Garden of the Hesperides, often identified with the Isles of the Blessed, where the blessed heroes may dwell.
In Roman mythology, the entrance to the underworld located at Avernus, a crater near Cumae, was the route Aeneas used to descend to the realm of the dead.By synecdoche, "Avernus" could be substituted for the underworld as a whole. The di inferi were a collective of underworld divinities.
For Hellenes, the deceased entered the underworld by crossing the Styx, ferried across by Charon (kair'-on), who charged an obolus, a small coin for passage placed in the mouth of the deceased by pious relatives. Paupers and the friendless gathered for a hundred years on the near shore according to Book VI of Vergil's Aeneid. Greeks offered propitiatory libations to prevent the deceased from returning to the upper world to "haunt" those who had not given them a proper burial. The far side of the river was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog defeated by Heracles (Roman Hercules). Passing beyond Cerberus, the shades of the departed entered the land of the dead to be judged.
The five rivers of the realm of Hades, and their symbolic meanings, are Acheron (the river of sorrow, or woe), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Lethe (oblivion), and Styx (hate), the river upon which even the gods swore and in which Achilles was dipped to render him invincible. The Styx forms the boundary between the upper and lower worlds. See also Eridanos.
The first region of Hades comprises the Fields of Asphodel, described in Odyssey xi, where the shades of heroes wander despondently among lesser spirits, who twitter around them like bats. Only libations of blood offered to them in the world of the living can reawaken in them for a time the sensations of humanity.
Beyond lay Erebus, which could be taken for a euphonym of Hades, whose own name was dread. There were two pools, that of Lethe, where the common souls flocked to erase all memory, and the pool of Mnemosyne ("memory"), where the initiates of the Mysteries drank instead. In the forecourt of the palace of Hades and Persephone sit the three judges of the underworld: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There at the trivium sacred to Hecate, where three roads meet, souls are judged, returned to the Fields of Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent by the road to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium (Islands of the Blessed) with the "blameless" heroes.
In the Sibylline oracles, a curious hodgepodge of Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian elements, Hades again appears as the abode of the dead, and by way of folk etymology, it even derives Hades from the name Adam (the first man), saying it is because he was the first to enter there.Owing to its appearance in the New Testament of the Bible, Hades also has a distinct meaning in Christianity.
|Hades' family tree|
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter is the Olympian goddess of the harvest and agriculture, presiding over grains and the fertility of the earth. She was also called Deo (Δηώ).. Her cult titles include Sito (Σιτώ), "she of the Grain", as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros, "giver of customs" or "legislator", in association with the secret female-only festival called the Thesmophoria.
In Greek mythology, Persephone, also called Kore or Kora, is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She became the queen of the underworld after her abduction by Hades, the god of the underworld, with the approval of her father, Zeus. The myth of her abduction, her sojourn in the underworld and her temporary return to the surface represents her functions as the embodiment of spring and the personification of vegetation, especially grain crops, which disappear into the earth when sown, sprout from the earth in spring, and are harvested when fully grown. In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed, often carrying a sheaf of grain. She may appear as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the process of being carried off by Hades.
Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose cult, myths and mysteries were combined from those of Libera, an early Roman goddess of wine. In Greek she is known as Persephone and her mother is Demeter, goddesses of grain and agriculture. The originally Roman goddess Libera was daughter of the agricultural goddess Ceres and wife to Liber, god of wine and freedom. In 204 BCE, a new "Greek-style" cult to Ceres and Proserpina as "Mother and Maiden" was imported from southern Italy, along with Greek priestesses to serve it, and was installed in Libera and Ceres' temple on Rome's Aventine Hill. The new cult and its priesthood were actively promoted by Rome's religious authorities as morally desirable for respectable Roman women, and may have partly subsumed the temple's older, native cult to Ceres, Liber and Libera; but the new rites seem to have functioned alongside the old, rather than replaced them.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at the Panhellenic Sanctuary of Eleusis in ancient Greece. They are the "most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece". Their basis was an old agrarian cult, and there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. The Mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases: the descent (loss), the search, and the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome. Similar religious rites appear in the agricultural societies of Near East and in Minoan Crete.
Dionysus is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Zagreus was sometimes identified with a god worshipped by the followers of Orphism, the "first Dionysus", a son of Zeus and Persephone, who was dismembered by the Titans and reborn. However, in the earliest mention of Zagreus, he is paired with Gaia and called the "highest" god, though perhaps only in reference to the gods of the underworld. Aeschylus, however, links Zagreus with Hades, possibly as Hades' son, or as Hades himself. Noting "Hades' identity as Zeus' katachthonios alter ego", Timothy Gantz thought it "likely" that Zagreus, perhaps originally the son of Hades and Persephone, later merged with the Orphic Dionysus, the son of Zeus and Persephone.
In Greek mythology, Triptolemus is a figure connected with the goddess Demeter of the Eleusinian Mysteries. He was either a mortal prince, the eldest son of King Celeus of Eleusis, or, according to Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheca (I.V.2), the son of Gaia and Oceanus.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Iacchus was a minor deity, of some cultic importance, particularly at Athens and Eleusis in connection with the Eleusinian mysteries, but without any significant mythology. He perhaps originated as the personification of the ritual exclamation Iacche! cried out during the Eleusinian procession from Athens to Eleusis. He was often identified with Dionysus, perhaps because of the resemblance of the names Iacchus and Bacchus, another name for Dionysus. By various accounts he was a son of Demeter, or a son of Persephone, identical with Dionysus Zagreus, or a son of Dionysus.
Plutus is the Greek god of wealth. He is either the son of Demeter and Iasion, with whom she lay in a thrice-ploughed field; or the child of Hades and Persephone, or the son of the fortune goddess Tyche.
In Greek Mythology, Eumolpus was a legendary king of Thrace. He was described as having come to Attica either as a bard, a warrior, or a priest of Demeter and Dionysus.
Pluto was the ruler of the underworld in classical mythology. The earlier name for the god was Hades, which became more common as the name of the underworld itself. In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pluto represents a more positive concept of the god who presides over the afterlife. Ploutōn was frequently conflated with Ploutos, the Greek god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because as a chthonic god Pluto ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest. The name Ploutōn came into widespread usage with the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which Pluto was venerated as both a stern ruler and a loving husband to Persephone. The couple received souls in the afterlife and are invoked together in religious inscriptions, being referred to as Plouton and as Kore respectively. Hades, by contrast, had few temples and religious practices associated with him, and he is portrayed as the dark and violent abductor of Persephone.
Chthonic literally means "subterranean", but the word in English describes deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in the Ancient Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for "earth"; it typically refers to that which is under the earth, rather than the living surface of the land, or the land as territory.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the twelve Olympians are the major deities of the Greek pantheon, commonly considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus. They were called Olympians because, according to tradition, they resided on Mount Olympus.
Pluto is a fictional deity appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is based on the Greco-Roman god of the same name.
In mythology, the Greek underworld is an otherworld where souls go after death. The original Greek idea of afterlife is that, at the moment of death, the soul is separated from the corpse, taking on the shape of the former person, and is transported to the entrance of the underworld. Good people and bad people would then separate. The underworld itself - referred to as Hades, after its patron god—is described as being either at the outer bounds of the ocean or beneath the depths or ends of the earth. It is considered the dark counterpart to the brightness of Mount Olympus with the kingdom of the dead corresponding to the kingdom of the gods. The underworld is a realm invisible to the living, made solely for the dead.
Melinoë is a chthonic nymph or goddess invoked in one of the Orphic Hymns and represented as a bringer of nightmares and madness. The name also appears on a metal tablet in association with Persephone. The hymns are of uncertain date but were probably composed in the 2nd or 3rd century AD. In the hymn, Melinoë has characteristics that seem similar to Hecate and the Erinyes, and the name is sometimes thought to be an epithet of Hecate. The terms in which Melinoë is described are typical of moon goddesses in Greek poetry.
In ancient Greek religion and myth, the epithet Brimo may be applied to any of several goddesses with an inexorable, dreaded and vengeful aspect that is linked to the land of the Dead: to Hecate or Persephone, to Demeter Erinyes—the angry, bereft Demeter—or, perhaps, to Cybele. Brimo is the "furious" aspect of the Furies. In the solemn moment when Medea picks the dire underworld root for Jason, she calls seven times upon Brimo, "she who haunts the night, the Nursing Mother [Kourotrophos]. In black weed and murky gloom she dwells, Queen of the Dead".
Mythic Warriors is a 1998-2000 animated television series, which featured retellings of popular Greek myths that were altered so as to be appropriate for younger audiences, produced by Nelvana and Marathon Media. Two seasons of episodes were produced in 1998 and 1999; then aired as reruns until 2000, when CBS' abolition of its children's programming resulted in its cancellation. The series was based on the book series Myth Men Guardians of the Legend written in 1996 and 1997 by Laura Geringer and illustrated by Peter Bollinger.
In ancient Greek religion and myth, Eubuleus is a god known primarily from devotional inscriptions for mystery religions. The name appears several times in the corpus of the so-called Orphic gold tablets spelled variously, with forms including Euboulos, Eubouleos and Eubolos. It may be an epithet of the central Orphic god, Dionysus or Zagreus, or of Zeus in an unusual association with the Eleusinian Mysteries. Scholars of the late 20th and early 21st centuries have begun to consider Eubuleus independently as "a major god" of the mysteries, based on his prominence in the inscriptional evidence. His depiction in art as a torchbearer suggests that his role was to lead the way back from the Underworld.
In Greek mythology, Admete was one of the 3,000 Oceanids, daughters of the Titans Oceanus and his sister-wife Tethys. Admete represented unwedded maidens while her sister Zeuxo represented the yoke of marriage. Variations of her name were Admeta or Admeto. The name of Admete/ Admeta was the female form of Admetus.
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