Hades and Persephone

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Hades and Persephone

Hades, meaning "the unseen" was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. In Greek mythology, Hades is the oldest male child of Cronus and Rhea. According to myth, he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated the Titans and claimed rulership over the cosmos, ruling the underworld, air, and sea, respectively.

Hades, god of the dead, was a fearsome figure to those still living; in no hurry to meet him, they were reluctant to swear oaths in his name, and averted their faces when sacrificing to him. Since to many, simply to say the word "Hades" was frightening, euphemisms were pressed into use. Since precious minerals come from under the earth (i.e., the "underworld" ruled by Hades), he was considered to have control of these as well, and was referred to as Plouton, related to the word for "wealth", hence the Roman name Pluto.

He was not, however, an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel, and unpitying, he was still just. Hades ruled the Underworld and was therefore most often associated with death and feared by men, but he was not Death itself — the actual embodiment of Death was Thanatos.

Because he lived in the underworld and he was feared, getting a wife was a difficult task to do. After all, who would want to live in a world where there was no sun, and not a living soul to be seen? Very few mortals could leave his realm once they entered: the exceptions, Heracles and Theseus, are heroic. Hades became incredibly lonely, and began becoming desperate for companionship.

Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, and helped her mother flourish the Earth for men all year round. Unlike every other offspring of an Olympian pairing of deities, Persephone had no stable position at Olympus. Persephone used to live far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. In the Olympian telling, the gods Hermes, Ares, Apollo, and Hephaestus,...
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