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by Jeep56
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
Ancient History

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Hades was the lord of the dead and the ruler of the Underworld (the realm which shared his name). He was the brother of Zeus and Poseidon.

Cerberus was Hades’ guardian of the Underworld. This monstrous three-headed dog prevented anyone from entering or leaving the Underworld without Hades’ consent. Despite Cerberus’s strength and ferocity, he proved no match for Heracles, who had to kidnap the dog as the final of his twelve labors.

To the ancient Romans, Hades was known as Pluto. His name was later given to the coldest and darkest planet which is furthest from the Sun.

The element plutonium is used in modern day nuclear weapons as well as nuclear reactors. The scientists who discovered plutonium gave it such a name because of its potential to turn the Earth into a land of the dead.

Hades possessed a helmet which made him invisible to mortals and gods alike. His helmet was occasionally borrowed by other gods, like Athena, who used it to attack her brother Ares during a battle. It was also lent to the hero Perseus, who used it to escape from Medusa’s vengeful sisters.

To enter the Underworld, a dead soul needed to pay Charon, the ferrymen of the dead who transported the deceased across the River Styx. Traditionally, two coins were placed over the eyes or inside the mouth of a corpse so that Charon’s toll could be paid. This is still a tradition in some cultures to this day.

Hades is often connected to the Moirae (known to the Romans as the Fates). These three old women, born from the blood of Uranus, spun out the destiny of all mortals on a thread. At the end of life, the thread was cut by the Fates and the soul was brought to Hades. To this day, your destiny is often referred to as being your "fate".


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