Hades / Pluto Greek / Roman God

Essay by Porcupine3505Junior High, 9th gradeB+, May 2009

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Hades / Pluto

In Greek and Roman mythology, Hades or Pluto was the god of the underworld. His oldest name was Hades or Aides meaning "The Unseen." He was the son of Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, Heista and Hera. After Zeus killed Cronus, Hades and his brothers divided the universe. Zeus took the heavens, Poseidon took the seas, and Hades took the underworld. There he ruled over the dead and other powers with his wife, Persephone. He is harsh and pitiless and does not listen to the people's prayers.

He was feared by both gods and men, because of his merciless ways. Later, due to his connection with Persephone he went through a radical change. Instead of the life-hating god of death he became a more influential god. He was more beneficial to the world, because of the grain, minerals, and jewels that come from the underworld.

Persephone, being the daughter of Demeter which was the god of the harvest helped Hades to this change. He later was named by the Romans "the giver of wealth," because of all the treasures from underground.

Hades appearance was similar to Zeus; he was a vigorous, bearded man. His strengths were that he was wealthy, persistent and determined according to the Romans. His only weakness was his passion for Persephone. The plants sacred to him were the narcissus and the cypress. All black animals such as black cats, sheep and cows were also sacred to him. He is most famously seen with Cerberus, the three headed dog, and his two-pronged fork. He also carries the key to the world below.

Hades' most famous myth was the "Rape of Persephone." There are many different versions of this story. It was a myth explaining the four seasons. When Hades asked Zeus for a wife, Zeus offered him Persephone without Demeter's approval. So Hades stole Persephone and brought her to the underworld and made her queen. When Demeter realized she was gone she searched the world for her daughter. When she couldn't find her she made the world go into a famine. After several months, Zeus made a deal with Hades and Demeter. Half of the year Persephone would spend with her husband and the other half with her mother. This explaining how half the year the plants and flowers bloom and other half they die.

In conclusion, Hades or Pluto was a very influential god to the Greek and Roman people. Hades' relevance in today's world is great. There is a planet Pluto named after him. There are several clubs and restaurants that are named after him across the world. Many people still often call Hades the land of the dead. He had many symbols such as the helmet, Cerberus, crown, gold, silver, keys, jewels, the planet Pluto, etc. His legacy and stories will continue to affect people in the future.