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Jonah's Run Baptist Church

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For Hellenes, the deceased entered the underworld by crossing the Styx, ferried across by Charon (kair'-on), who charged an obolus, a small coin for passage placed in the mouth of the deceased by pious relatives. Paupers and the friendless gathered for a hundred years on the near shore according to Book VI of Vergil's Aeneid. Greeks offered propitiatory libations to prevent the deceased from returning to the upper world to "haunt" those who had not given them a proper burial. The far side of the river was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog defeated by Heracles (Roman Hercules). Passing beyond Cerberus, the shades of the departed entered the land of the dead to be judged.


The first region of Hades comprises the Fields of Asphodel, described in Odyssey xi, where the shades of heroes wander despondently among lesser spirits, who twitter around them like bats. Only libations of blood offered to them in the world of the living can reawaken in them for a time the sensations of humanity.

Hades is a son of Cronus and Rhea, and a brother of Zeus and Poseidon. He was married to Persephone, the daughter of Demeter. In the division of the world among the three brothers, Hades obtained "the darkness of night," the abode of the shades, over which he rules. (Apollod. i. 1. 5, 2. 1.) Hence he is called the infernal Zeus (Zeus katachthonios), or the king of the shades (anae enerôn, Hom. Il. ix. 457, xx. 61. xv. 187, &c.). As, however, the earth and Olympus belonged to the three brothers in common, he might ascend Olympus, as he did at the time when he was wounded by Heracles. (Il. v. 395; comp. Paus. vi. 25. 3; Apollod. ii. 7. 3; Pind. Ol. ix. 31.) But when Hades was in his own kingdom, he was quite unaware of what was going on either on earth or in Olympus (Il. xx. 61, &c.), and it was only the oaths and curses of men that reached his ears, as they reached those of the Erinnyes. He possessed a helmet which rendered the wearer invisible (Il. v. 845), and later traditions stated that this helmet was given him as a present by the Cyclopes after their delivery from Tartarus. (Apollod. i. 2. 1.) Ancient story mentions both gods and men who were honoured by Hades with the temporary use of this helmet. (Apollod. i. 6. 2, ii. 4. 2.) His character is described as fierce and inexorable, whence of all the gods he was most hated by mortals. (Il. ix. 158.) He kept the gates of the lower world closed (whence he is called Pulartês, Il. viii. 367; comp. Paus. v. 20. 1.; Orph. Hymn. 17. 4), that no shade might be able to escape or return to the region of light. When mortals invoked him, they struck the earth with their hands (Il. ix. 567), and the sacrifices which were offered to him and Persephone consisted of black male and female sheep, and the person who offered the sacrifice had to turn away his face. (Od. x. 527; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. ii. 380.)

The ensign of his power was a staff, with which, like Hermes, he drove the shades into the lower world (Pind. Ol. ix. 35), where he had his palace and shared his throne with his consort Persephone. When he carried off Persephone from the upper world, he rode in a golden chariot drawn by four black immortal horses. (Orph. Argon. 1192, Hymn. 17. 14; Ov. Met. v. 404; Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 19; Claudian, Rapt. Proserp. i. in fin.) Besides these horses he was also believed to have herds of oxen in the lower world and in the island of Erytheia, which were attended to by Menoetius. (Apollod. ii. 5. 10, 12.) Like the other gods, he was not a faithful husband; the Furies are called his daughters (Serv. ad Aen. i. 86); the nymph Mintho, whom he loved, was metamorphosed by Persephone into the plant called mint (Strab. viii. p. 344; Ov. Met. x. 728), and the nymph Leuce, with whom he was likewise in love, was changed by him after her death into a white poplar, and transferred to Elysium. (Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 61.) Being the king of the lower world, Pluton is the giver of all the blessings that come from the earth: he is the possessor and giver of all the metals contained in the earth, and hence his name Pluton. (Hes. Op. et Dies, 435; Aeschyl. Prom. 805; Strab. iii. p. 147; Lucian, Tim. 21.) He bears several surnames referring to his ultimately assembling all mortals in his kingdom, and bringing them to rest and peace; such as Polydegmon, Polydectes, Clymenus, Pankoitês, &c. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 9; Aeschyl. Prom. 153 ; Soph. Antig. 811; Paus. ii. 35. 7.) Hades was worshipped throughout Greece and Italy. In Elis he had a sacred enclosure and a temple, which was opened only once in every year (Paus. vi. 25. 3) ; and we further know that lie had temples at Pylos Triphyliacus, near Mount Menthe, between Tralles and Nysa, at Athens in the grove of the Erinnyes, and at Olympia. (Strab. iii. p. 344, xiv. p. 649 Paus. i. 28. 6, v. 20. 1.) We possess few representations of this divinity, but in those which still exist, he resembles his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, except that his hair falls down his forehead, and that the majesty of his appearance is dark and gloomy. His ordinary attributes are the key of Hades and Cerberus.

Statius, Thebaid 11. 444 ff :"The Warden of the Larvae (Shades) [Haides] and the third heir of the world, after the lot's unkind apportioning, leapt down from his chariot and grew pale, for he was come to Tartarus and heaven was lost for ever."

Seneca, Hercules Furens 760 ff :"Now tell my son's [Herakles] famous struggle. Is it [the hound Kerberos (Cerberus)] his willing uncle's [Haides'] gift, or his spoil, he brings? . . . here appears the palace of greedy Dis [Haides]. Here the savage Stygian dog frightens the shades . . . At last the dog, vanquished [by the club of Herakles] ceases his threatenings and, spent with struggle, lowers all his heads and yields all wardship of his cavern. Both rulers [Haides and Persephone] shiver on their throne, and bid lead the dog away. Me [Theseus] also they give as boon to Alcides' [Herakles'] prayer."

Seneca, Phaedra 93 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :"Through the deep shades of the pool which none recrosses is he [Theseus] faring, this brave recruit of a madcap suitor [Peirithoos (Pirithous)], that from the very throne of the infernal king [Haides] he may rob and bear away his wife [Persephone]. He hurries on, a partner in mad folly; him nor fear nor shame held back. And there in the depths of Acherontis [i.e. the underworld] he seeks adultery and an unlawful bed."

In Descendants, 3, Mal and the VKs try to leave the Isle with the new VKs, but Hades tries to 'escape' as the barrier is closing. Mal turns into a dragon and battles him, but with his Ember, he starts to drain Mal's magic before being forced back inside. Hades is later to be seen asleep in the chair with his shades covering his eyes when Mal and Celia hear him snoring, Celia gets annoyed with his record player so she turns it off, Hades wakes up at the moment to catch Celia and Mal. It is later revealed that Hades is Mal's estranged father which is why she goes to his underground lair to get his ember and was able to convince him when others would not. Mal reignites the Ember and defeats Audrey, who falls under a death-like state. Mal tries to use the Ember to help, but fails since she cannot use the Ember to revive Audrey because she is only 'half Hades'.

Hades' reputation paints him as a dark ruler, with mortals fearing him so terribly they refuse to call him by name, instead referring to him by his aliases. In reality, Hades is polite, sensitive, and often melancholy, having not chosen the Underworld for himself. Nyx tells him that she "had never seen a child with so many worries," a personality trait that, combined with the trauma from being consumed by Kronos, led to an adult Hades with low self-esteem. Despite being assured by his brother Zeus that becoming the King of the Underworld would not affect his relationships, after taking control of the realm Hades was frequently isolated from others, leading to misconceptions about him. In the present day, Hades remains isolated, with few true friends and a belief that he deserves the toxic relationship he is stuck in. After meeting Persephone, Hades continues to believe she is too good for someone like him, citing his own heavy baggage. Eventually, however, Hades begins to believe he deserves better, telling Minthe he wants to feel happy and safe every day. Hades is kind and understanding to those he cares for and is a gentleman in comparison to the rowdy and lewd behavior his brothers exhibit. Hades' dark reputation is not all rumor, however. He is quick to jump to cruel punishments for those who wrong him and sees the shades under his care as a constant source of unpaid labor. Like most of the Gods, Hades cares little for living mortals, explaining to a distraught Persephone that they are "a dime a dozen." Hades also has a temper that occasionally flares to the surface, most often when those he cares about are wronged.

The Greek Hades, the Latin infernus (inferum, inferi), and the Hebrew sheol correspond to the word hell, formed from the Anglo-Saxon helan or behelian, "to hide". Haides, formed from the root fid, to see, and a privative, denotes an invisible, hidden, and dark place; thus it is similar to the term hell. Hades was a place in which the souls both of the righteous and the unrighteous were detained, but not in the same place. In the Old Testament (Septuagint hades; Vulgate infernus) sheol is used quite in general to designate the kingdom of the dead, of the good (Genesis 37:35) as well as of the bad (Numbers 16:30). But, as the limbo of the Fathers ended at the time of Christ's Ascension, hades (Vulgate infernus) in the New Testament always designates the hell of the damned. Since Christ's Ascension the just no longer go down to the lower world, but they dwell in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1). 041b061a72


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