God of the underworld, brother of Zeus and Poseidon, he looks after the
underworld abode of the souls of the dead. His palace is set up in the
middle of the Tartarus. It is there where he attends to the administration
as a sovereign and dictates his inflexible laws. Husband of Proserpina,
daughter of Ceres, whom he captured while she was gathering flowers, his
principal weapon is a helmet, which makes him invisible. In his realm of
darkness there is a few important characters:
- Charon, son of Erebus and the Night, is the ferryman who carries the dead
across the rivers Styx or Acheron to Hades in his small boat.
- Cerberus, son of Typheous and the monster Echidna, is a dog,
represented with three heads. He guards the entrance to Hades.
- The Furies are the snake-haired goddesses of vengeance, usually
three in number, who pursue unpunished criminals.
- Minos, who has got the highest position judges the dead,
Rhadamanthus and Eaque. After having received the honours of the sepulchre
and having reached the Styx or the Acheron, the souls are brought to the
judges. The tribunal is set up in a place called the True's field. At the
souls are sent either to Tartarus, reserved for evildoers, or ton the Champs
Elysees, which is heaven as the ultimate abode of the righteous.
© Elsa Dax - Les Chemins de l'Image - 1999