Hades is the most important chthonian god of the Greek mythology. His Roman estPluton name, god of the wealth and the precious metals bury in the ground. The third brother after Zeus and Poseidon, he is the supreme Sovereign of Hell. You should not confuse the role with that of Thanatos, god of Death; Hades is the god reigning over the dead. Fate attributed to Hades to reign over the underground world and the kingdom of the dead, whereas his brothers Zeus and Poseidon would reign respectively over the sky and the sea. It is the terrible and merciless, but not harmful god, who leaves only very rarely his somber empire. He is never invited to the Olympe during the advice of the gods, or during the banquets. Following the example of Zeus and Poseidon, he possesses a weapon which was forged by Cyclopses: the helmet so called of invisibility laKunée. He also possesses a lance in 2 forks (Zeus possesses the flash of lightning, thus 1 fork, and Poseidon the trident, thus 3 forks). His usual animal is the snake and its tree the cypress. He is often represented with the dog Cerberus.
Persephone / Coré
Persephone is the Queen of Hell. Her Latin name is Proserpine. Originally this goddess is the girl of Demeter and Zeus, Coré, a goddess of the agriculture as her mother. Certain authors make of Persephone a goddess arisen from Nyx, at night, what would mean that she was always a goddess of Hell, but it is not the most wide-spread faith. Myth, which I am going to tell you below, tells how Hades captured her to make of her his wife for Hell, and so become the chthonian divinity Persephone. As Coré, the goddess is full of sweetnesses and love. As Persephone, she becomes a hard and inflexible goddess, just like her husband, with whom she – in spite of the way was made their union – falls in love. She is moreover always in agreement with her merciless husband. Persephone intervenes little in the myths, even chthonian, she has real essential role only in her own myth. Persephone cultivates a garden in front of its palace and according to several authors trees, plants and flowers which grow to it are all in precious stones, what joins the attributes of Pluto.
Charon is the nautonier of the Hell which leads on has boat souls on the other side of the Styx (or of the acheron according to the authors), on their long way towards the judgment. Son of Erèbe and Nyx, he grants to take in his boat only souls having had a grave. Indeed, souls have to give him both drachmas put on the eyes (or under the tongue) during the funeral rite by way of toll. He is an immortal and inflexible old man. Generally, he does not allow to pass mortal, but certain circumstances made that he had no choice.
Cerberus is the dog in three heads keeping the entrance of Hell. He is the son of 2 monsters:
– Typhoon, destructive and harmful divinity, likened sometimes to a Titan, but most of the time he is just a monstrous creature. Son of Gaïa and Tartar, its body is covered with scales and it possesses hundred mouths which spit of the fire. He can master the strong winds and the hurricanes. During the fight between the Titans and the Gods, he fights beside the Titans and finishes locked under Etna.
– Echidna, a creature at the middle-woman, the middle-snake. She is the mother of many mythological famous creatures as the Fancy, the Hydra of Lerne, the Dragon of Colchis or still the Lion of Némée. She lives in a cave and attracts the passers-by to devour them then.
Cerberus possesses 3 heads (or 50 according to certain authors), a tail of dragon and the bristly spinal column of heads of snakes. He(it) lets in all the shadows but never allows them to go out. Nevertheless, as we shall see him(it) later, it is possible to pass besides this monstrous dog.
These goddesses are in charge of punishing the culprits, the girls of Nyx and Cronos according to some, for Gaïa and Ouranos according to others. They are inexorable, but right, although their methods of actions consist mainly in the persecution up to the death. They are 3: shrew ( the hatred), Alecto the merciless) and Tisiphone the vengeance). They possess big wings, cry constantly for tears of blood and possess, following the example of Gorgons(Gorgonians), snakes by way of hair. They are often represented carrying whips or torches.
Judges of Hell
Judges Hell is the ones which, you will have guessed him, execute the judgment of souls during their arrival and so choose their fate for all eternity. They are among 3:Minos, Rhadamanthe and Eaque. All were 3 previously kings of divine ancestry whom the wisdom was considered so big that they were placed in Hell to preside there and pursue their work of equity. Rhadamanthe and Eaque educates the cause, and usually pronounces the judgment, but in case of uncertainty or of indecision, Minos, who occupies the highest seat between two other judges, intervenes as arbitrator, and his/her decision is final.
Watered fabrics, or Fates in Latin are the goddesses of fate. They are quoted most of the time as the girls of Nyx exclusively or with Erèbe. They are 3: Clotho, Lachésis and Atropos. First spin fate, second measures him with a baguette and the third slice. Most of the time, they are represented or described as of old women in black.
– Nyx: goddess representing the night, she is the girl of the essential Chaos. She is the mother of more or less all the chthonian divinities set apart Hades and his wife.
– Erèbe: divinity arisen from the Chaos, brother of Nyx. He represents to him only the face of Hell, but his real role is not fixed.
– Hypnos: god of the Sleep, son of Nyx and Erèbe and brother of Thanatos. He brings to the mortal the rest by a crescent or a horn which he carries.
– Thanatos: god of the Death, son of Nyx and Erèbe and brother of Hypnos. It is the personification of the death.