Hades god of the underworld

Essay by ankHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2005

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(Roman - Pluto)

Hades (also known as Aides) is Zeus' brother and ruler of the Underworld and the dead. He was also called Pluto - God of Wealth - because the precious metals buried deep in the earth were in his kingdom. Another reason that the people called him Pluto is because they did not like to pronounce the dreaded name of Hades or Aides.

The name Pluto was used by both the Greeks and the Romans, and it translates into Latin as Dis - "Rich". The Romans also substituted Orcus and Tartarus as synonymous to Pluto. Although he was an Olympian, he spent most of the time in his dark castle in the Underworld. This Lord of Hell, who was formidable in battle, proved his ferociousness in the famous battle of the Olympians versus the Titans, which established the rule of Zeus.

Because of his dark and morbid personality he was not especially liked by neither the gods nor the mortals.

His character is described as "fierce and inexorable", and by far of all the gods he was most hated by mortals. He was not however an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel and unpitying, still he was just. Hades ruled the Underworld and therefore most often associated with death and was feared by men, but he was not Death itself - The actual embodiment of Death was another god, Thanatos.

(Thanatos was the Greek personification of death who dwells in the lower world. In Homer's Iliad he appears as the brother of Hypnos ("sleep"). The Greek writer Hesiod makes these two spirits the sons of Nyx, but they had no father. In the theater Thanatos was sometimes introduced as a character. His attributes are an inversed torch, wreath, or butterfly.)

(Hypnos is the personification of...