Greek god of the underworld and of wealth, also identified
with Pluto. Hades abducted Persephone (daughter of the corn
goddess Demeter) and made her his wife. In his intimidating
character as lord of death, Hades was mysterious and terrifying,
but in his benign aspect he was the generous god of wealth.
His attention could be secured by striking the ground, and he
could be propitiated by an offering of a black-fleeced sheep.
Entrance to the domain of Hades was through the groves of
Persephone, where the gates were guarded by the great dog
Cerberus, who admitted visitors without difficulty but would
not let them leave. After passing through the gate, one had several
rivers to cross, including Lethe, the river of forgetfulness.
For a small fee, the ferryman Charon would take the traveler
In later history, the domain of Hades became synonymous
with hell, although Hades domain was not referred to as a
place of torment.