Hades is the Greek God of the Underworld. The name relates to the Doric word Aidas meaning “unseen”. He was also known as Plouton meaning “rich one” as his domain also includes all of the minerals that can be found beneath the ground and the riches they represent.
Hades is the first born son of Rhea and Cronus. After defeating his father in the Titanomachy in cooperation with his siblings, he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon drew lots for dominion for the Sea, the Sky and the Underworld, all three overlapping the solid Earth, the dominion of Gaia and thus unavailable to anyone else. Hades, of course, drew the Underworld. His responsibilities as the God of the Underworld include playing host to the dead and guarding Tartarus where the Titans were imprisoned after their defeat.
Hades chose Persephone to be his wife and Zeus, her father, approved the match. However, Demeter was not willing to part with her daughter so Hades arranged to abduct Persephone with the help of Gaia. Demeter’s response was unfavorable and she withdrew her gifts from humanity, causing a great famine to fall all over the Earth and refused to allow any grain to ripen until her daughter was returned. Eventually an arrangement was reached allowing Persephone to return to her mother for part of the year and spend part of the year reigning as Queen in the Underworld. The entire story is detailed in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.
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