ades is the god of the nether world or the abode of the shades. With his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, Hades formed a triad of chief Greek gods. Although Hades, who was grim of countenance, spent almost no time above ground he was an Olympian. He was also called Pluto, the rich one because all the earth's mineral treasures belonged to him.
The Roman poets use the name Dis, Orcus and Tartarus as synonymous with Pluto or Hades. Since the underworld realm was always ready for new residents, Hades was sometimes known as "the hospitable one".
Hades pursued the maiden, Persephone, who was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of agriculture. Realizing the girl would not willingly go off to live in the under-world, Hades kidnapped her in his black chariot.
In retaliation, Demeter ruined the harvest, causing mass starvation. Zeus then told Hades he had to relinquish his bride, now called Persephone (she who brings destruction). This would be possible, however, only if she had eaten no food in the underworld, but she had already eaten four pomegranate seeds which Hades had given her as an expression of his love. In a compromise between her husband and her distraught mother, Persephone was to spend six months of each year with Hades and the rest of the time on earth with Demeter during the growing season.
Hades possessed a helmet which rendered the wearer invisible, and which he sometimes lent to both gods and men.
Hades' daughters were the furies, and the nymph Mintho, whom he loved was metamorhosed by Persephone into the plant called mint.
Hades loved Leuce and changed her into a white poplar. As king of the lower world Hades is lord of metals, and the giver of all blessings from beneath the earth.
In works of art he resembles Zeus and Poseidon except that he is dark and gloomy with hair flowing forwards over his forehead. His dog, Cerberus guards the entrance to Hades and has three heads and the tail of a serpent. Hades has no power to give favours to men and, unlike other Olympisn gods, takes no sides in the disputes of men.