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Greek Gods and Goddesses



Hades, god of the underworld


The Story of Hades

            Hades is the god of the underworld.  He was given this task, not by choice, but because he was the last to pick a land to rule.  Nonetheless, Hades was well-suited to rule the dead.  He was violent, loathed change, and was given to slow black rage.  He was very attached to his collection of souls, and would never let any of them leave, except in extreme cases where he made exceptions.  An example of this would be the story of Orpheus where Hades makes a “deal” with Orpheus that could allow him to take Eurydice, a girl who had been taken from him, back up with him, out of the underworld.  This deal is revoked however, when Orpheus could not defeat the temptation to look behind him, which was the one term in their agreement.

            The underworld is made up of many fields and different areas.  When a soul is brought over the Styx river, it continues on to the field, Tartarus.  The dead lived here, awaiting trial by the judges, who would direct them to where they would stay for all time.  Terrible punishments awaited those who greatly displeased the gods, like an unquenchable thirst for the rest of eternity, for example.  Others, who were just average, not too good, not too bad, were sent to the Field of Asphodel where they would wait—for nothing.  Those of unusual virtue were sent to the Elysian Fields, where it was always holiday, the air was full of music, and these happy spirits also had the option of being reborn on earth.  A special part of Elysium, called the Isles of the Blest, was where those who had been reborn three times, and had gained Elysium three times, lived.  Hades, himself, along with his queen, Persephone, lived in a great palace made of black rock.  The palace grounds and surrounding fields were called Erebus.

Hades' Genealogy
Husband to Persephone

Created by Angie Briese