Hades (Greek: ᾍδης, Háidēs) is the god of the underworld in Ancient Greek religion and myth. While he was a major deity in ancient Greek religion, and the brother of the first generation of Olympians (Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia), Hades was not counted among them, as he resided in the dark and dismal realm of the dead, where he reigned supreme. Lord of the dead, Hades was greatly feared by the Greeks, who would go to great lengths to avoid speaking his name, for fear that death would come quicker. He was thought to be a wealthy being, as he possessed all the precious metals and jewels found under the Earth; as such, Hades was often referred to as Plouton (Greek: Πλούτων). Cold and stern, he presided over funeral rites and defended the right of the dead to receive proper burial. Husband of the goddess Persephone, Hades was also associated with fertility, as the crops of the harvest originally came from below the Earth. Hades’ symbols were his three-headed guard dog Cerberus, the cornucopia, a royal sceptre, and the cypress and narcissus plant, along with his Helm of Darkness, and the screech owl was his sacred animal. Hades’ Roman equivalent was Pluto, whose name is merely a Latinization of Plouton.
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