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10 Gods and Goddesses of the Underworld

Main Greek Gods and Goddesses of the Underworld

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Hecate - Greek Goddess Hecate

Hecate - Greek Underworld Goddess Hecate

Public Domain. Courtesy of Jastrow.

Hades is Lord of the Underworld, but he doesn't manage the Underworld's limitless denizens on his own. Hades has many helpers. Here are 10 of the most important gods and goddesses of the Underworld:

  1. Hades
    - Lord of the Underworld. Combined with Plutus (Pluto) lord of wealth. Although there is another god who is official god of death, sometimes Hades is considered to be Death.

    Parents: Cronus and Rhea

  2. Persephone
    - (Kore) Wife of Hades and queen of the Underworld.

    Parents: Zeus and Demeter or Zeus and Styx

  3. Hecate
    - A mysterious nature goddess associated with sorcery and witchcraft, who went with Demeter to the Underworld to fetch Persephone, but then stayed to assist Persephone.

    Parents: Perses (and Asteria) or Zeus and Asteria (a second-generation Titan) or Nyx (Night) or Aristaios or Demeter (see Theoi Hecate)

  4. Erinyes
    - (Furies) The Erinyes are goddesses of vengeance who pursue their victims even after death. Euripides lists 3. These are Allecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera.

    Parents: Gaia and the blood from the castrated Uranus or Nyx (Night) or Darkness or Hades (and Persephone) or Poine (see Theoi Erinyes)

  5. Charon
    - The son of Erebus (also a region of the Underworld in which both the Elysian Fields and the Plain of Asphodel are found) and the Styx, Charon is the ferryman of the dead who takes an obol from the mouth of each dead person for each soul he ferries over to the Underworld.

    Parents: Erebus and Nyx

    Also note the Etruscan god Charun

  6. Thanatos
    - 'Death' [Latin: Mors]. A son of Night, Thanatos is the brother of Sleep (Somnus or Hypnos) who along with the gods of dreams seem to inhabit the Underworld.

    Parents: Erebus (and Nyx)

  7. Hermes
    - A conductor of dreams and a chthonian god, Hermes Psychopompous herds the dead towards the Underworld. He is shown in art conveying the dead to Charon.

    Parents: Zeus (and Maia) or Dionysus and Aphrodite

  8. Judges - Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus.
    Rhadamanthus and Minos were brothers. Both Rhadamanthus and Aeacus were renowned for their justice. Minos gave laws to Crete. They were rewarded for their endeavors with the position of judge in the Underworld. Aeacus holds the keys to Hades.

    Parents: Aeacus: Zeus and Aegina; Rhadamanthus and Minos: Zeus and Europa

  9. Styx
    - Styx lives at the entrance to Hades. Styx is also the river that flows around the Underworld. Her name is taken only for the most solemn oaths.

    Parents: Oceanus (and Tethys) or Erebus and Nyx

  10. Cerberus
    - I hesitate to include him because he is, after all, a dog, and not a humanoid creature of the Underworld, but his parentage is similar to others listed here. Cerberus was the serpent-tailed 3- or 50-headed hell-hound Hercules was told to bring up to the land of the living as part of his labors. The task of Cerberus was to guard the gates of Hades' realm to make sure no ghosts escaped.

    Parents: Typhon and Echidna

Which Is Your Favorite Underworld Myth?

 

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