Hades, son of Cronus
, received the Underworld
for his realm, when his brother gods, Zeus
, received dominion of the sky and sea. Hades is the enemy of all life, gods, and men. Since nothing will sway him, he is rarely worshiped. There are, however, a few myths in which he plays a major role.
Hades and Persephone:
Perhaps the most infamous story about Hades is his abduction of Persephone. Hades was the brother of Persephone's mother Demeter
. While the girl Persephone was playing, Hades and his chariot emerged briefly from a crack in the earth to seize her. While in the Underworld, Hades tried to win Persephone's affections. Eventually Hades tricked her into staying with him by offering her a tempting pomegranate to eat.
Hades and Heracles (Hercules):
As one of his labors for King Eurystheus
had to bring Hades' watchdog Cerberus
back from the Underworld. Heracles had divine help -- probably from Athena. Since the dog was only being borrowed, Hades was sometimes portrayed as willing to lend Cerberus -- so long as Heracles used no weapon to capture the fearsome beast. Elsewhere Hades was portrayed as injured or threatened by a club and bow-wielding Heracles.
Theseus Attempts to Abduct Persephone:
After seducing a young Helen of Troy, Theseus decided to go with Perithous to take the wife of Hades -- Persephone. Hades tricked the two mortals into taking seats of forgetfulness from which they could not get up until Heracles came to rescue them.