Greek god Hades

Roman god Pluto

Hades 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 earth were in his realm. The name Pluto was used by both the Greeks and the Romans, and it translated into Latin as Dis - "rich." Although he was an Olympian he spent most of the time in his dark castle in the underworld. Because of his dark personality he was not especially liked by neither the gods nor the mortals, he was not however, an evil god, he was stern, unpitying and inexorable, but just. Hades ruled the underworld and therefore most often associated with death and feared by men, but he was not Death itself, the actual embodiment of Death was another god - Thanatos.

Hades is always represented as a stern, dark, bearded man, with tightly closed lips, a crown on his head, a scepter and a key in hand, to show how carefully he guards those who enter his domains, and how vain are their hopes to escape. No temples were dedicated to him and his statues are very rare. Black animals were sacrificed to him and it is believed that at one time even human sacrifices were offered. Every hundred years festivals were held in his honor - The Secular Games.

Hades wife, and queen of the underworld, was Persephone daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone did not marry Hades willingly, but was abducted by him, because she ate a pomegranate seed while she was in the underworld even Zeus was powerless to get her out of there when Demeter told him what had happened. Eventually a deal was worked out, Persephone would spend half the year with her mother and the other half with Hades in the underworld. The Greeks believed that while Persephone was with Hades her mother, Demeter, missed her so much that she withdrew her gifts from the world and winter came.

Hades' weapon was a two-pronged fork, which he used to shatter anything that was in his way or not to his liking, much like Poseidon did with his trident. His identifying possessions were the famed helmet, given to him by the Cyclopes, which made anyone who wore it, invisible and his dark chariot drawn by four coal-black steeds, always an impressive site.