Facts About the Ancient Greek Underworld (Hades)

  • The Underworld was made up of three parts: the Asphodel Fields, Tartarus and the Elysian Fields.
  • The majority of ordinary people entered the Asphodel Fields when they died, becoming shades (shadow versions of the people they were when they were alive on Earth).
  • Evil people were sent to Tartarus, a place of punishment and suffering.
  • Those who had lived a particularly good or heroic life on Earth were rewarded by being allowed to walk in the Elysian Fields, a place of peace, bliss and rest.
  • Sometimes people were sent back to Earth to live another life.
  • The River Styx divided the Earth from the Underworld. In order to reach the Underworld, you had to cross the Styx by paying Charon, the boatman, to ferry you to the other side.
  • The entrance to the Underworld is guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog.

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Greek Gods and Goddesses: Pluto Facts

Here are some facts about Pluto (sometimes called Hades), the Ancient Greek God of the Underworld.

  • When Pluto was born, his father, Cronos, swallowed him. Zeus managed to save him and he was given the Underworld as his kingdom.
  • Pluto kidnapped Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter. He forced her to marry him and wanted her to live with him in the Underworld. Demeter was not in favour of this, so Zeus decided the matter. He ruled that Persephone should spend half of the year with Pluto (Autumn and Winter), and part of the year on Earth with Demeter (Spring and Summer).
  • Pluto was gloomy and he could be really scary and frightening.
  • He was exceedingly wealthy, owning all of the gold and silver and jewels.
  • Pluto is the owner of a helmet of invisibility. He occasionally lent this to humans.
  • Even though Pluto was associated with the Underworld, he was never thought of as evil. The name Hades means ‘the unseen’ and Pluto means ‘the giver of wealth’.

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