Roman name: Pluto
Ancient Greek Gods for Kids
Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus were
brothers. Each ruled over some part of the universe. Poseidon ruled
the seas. Hades ruled the Underworld. Zeus was chosen to rule over all
of the gods and all of the earth and all of the heavens.
Unlike his brothers, who were full of
life, Hades was a gloomy fellow. He had a home high on Mount
Olympus, but he was rarely there. He was much happier, well, more
content anyway, to live in the Underworld.
Hades was not the lord of death. He did
not decide who lived and who died up on earth. His job was to run
things down in the Underworld, a place where you went after you
The Underworld was a big place. Some
areas were really nice, and some, not so much. The Elysian Fields, for
example, was the place heroes were sent after they died. It was a
great neighborhood. But parts of the Underworld were down right scary! People
who behaved badly on earth might end up in one of those sections.
Hades decided where you were sent. It was not wise to anger Hades,
whether you were alive or dead.
His brothers thought Hades rarely took
time to play, but they were mistaken. Hades loved to play. One of his
favorite belongings was his invisible helmet. He had a lot of fun with
that. More than anything, except for his beloved dog, Cerberus, Hades
loved his golden chariot. It was his pride and joy. His chariot used
to belong to a god named Helios. But Helios had retired and no longer
pulled out the sun each day. (That was one of Apollo's jobs now.)
Helios was delighted to give his old chariot to Hades. In exchange,
Hades promised Helios a favor, which was all the payment Helios
required. Hades and his beloved dog Cerberus would climb aboard his
golden chariot, and tear across the Underworld. The souls of the
dead scattered left and right to get out of their way.
was never lonely. For a long time, he did not have a wife, but he did
have a faithful and deeply loved companion, his three-headed
dog, Cerberus. His family visited now and then. Zeus popped in
whenever he felt like it. His nephew, Hermes, the deal maker for the
gods, stopped by, whenever things had to be smoothed over and fixed.
give his dog a sniff at a new place, Hades even came up to the surface
now and then. If it was important enough, Hades would even attend
meetings of the gods on Mount Olympus. But he never thought of
himself as one of the Olympians. Even thought he had a house on Mount
Olympus, to Hades, home was the Underworld.