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Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Underworld Gods >> Hades >> Hades Estate & Retinue

HAIDES ESTATE

Greek Name

Ἁιδης

Transliteration

Haidês

Latin Spelling

Hades

Roman Name

Pluto, Dis

The Chariot of Hades | Apulian red-figure krater C4th B.C. | British Museum, London
The Chariot of Hades, Apulian red-figure krater C4th B.C., British Museum

HAIDES (Hades) was the king of the underworld and god of the dead.

This page describes his estate and attributes, sacred plants and animals, and his retinue.


(1) ESTATE & ATTRIBUTES

CHARIOT & HORSES Haides drove a golden chariot drawn by a team of four immortal, sable-black horses.

HELM The magical helm of Haides was crafted by the elder Kyklopes (Cyclopes) for use in the Titan-War. It bestowed complete invisibility upon the wearer--making him indiscernable even to the gods.

SCEPTRE The king of the dead held a royal sceptre, a staff which could sunder the earth, creating a passage between the worlds of the living and the dead\.

PALACE The golden palace of Haides was located in the dark, dank realm of the underworld.

THRONE The king of the underworld received newly arriving dead in the hall of palace where, seated upon a throne of gold attended by the three Judges, he assigned them their lot in the afterlife.

KEYS The gates of Haides were securely locked to prevent the escape of souls. Haides, or his doorman Aiakos, kept the golden keys.

HOUND OF HAIDES The gate of the house of Haides was guarded by the ferocious, three-headed hound Kerberos (Cerberus). [See KERBEROS]

ORCHARD An orchard of pomegranate trees grew beside the underworld palace of the king of the dead. They were the source of the the fruit which trapped Persephone in the underworld.

CATTLE King Haides possessed a herd of immortal, sable-black cattle which roamed the asphodel fields in the care of the herdsman Menoites.


(2) SACRED PLANTS & ANIMALS

CYPRESS The cypress was the tree of mourning, a plant held sacred to the god of the dead.

MINT The mint was a sacred plant of the Mystery cults. In myth Haides lover Minthe was transformed into the herb.

WHITE POPLAR The poplar tree with its bone-white bark was sacred to the god Haides, it was the metamorphosed form of Leuke, a nymph abducted by the god to Elysium.

ASPHODEL The grey asphodel was sacred to Haides. He was sometimes depicted holding the plant.

SCREECH-OWL The screech-owl, a bird of ill-omen, was sacred to the god Haides. It was the metamorphosed form of his orchardist Askalaphos.


(3) ATTENDANTS

ASKALAPHOS (Ascalaphus) The daimon orchardist of Haides was transformed into a screech-owl by the goddess Demeter as punishment for reporting Persephone's tasting of the pomegranate seed.

ERINYES The goddesses of fury oversaw the Dungeons of the Damned and the torture of its inmates. They were also called upon by Haides to accompany ghosts of the wrathful dead in their quest for vengeance.

JUDGES OF THE DEAD Minos, Aiakos (Aeacus) and Rhadamanthys were the three judges of the dead in the underworld who sat beside the throne of Haides. Aiakos was sometimes also described as the doorman of Haides.

KERES The vicious daimones of violent death were attendants of Haides.

KHARON (Charon) The ferryman of the dead carried souls across the river Akheron to the land of the dead, barring those who had not received the proper burial rites.

MENOITES (Menoetes) The daimon-herdsman of Haides tended the god's herd of sable-black cattle.

ONEIROI Haides was sometimes named master of the Oneiroi, daimones of dreams.

RIVERS OF THE UNDERWORLD The gods of the netherworld rivers attended the court of Haides.

THANATOS The daimon of Death was a minister of Haides.


CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES

CHARIOT & HORSES OF HADES

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :
"The wide-pathed earth yawned there in the plain of Nysa, and the lord [Haides], Polydegmon (Host of Many), with his immortal horses sprang out upon her--the Son of Kronos, Polyonomos (He who has many names) . . .
He caught her [Persephone] up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away . . . So he, that Son of Kronos, of many names, Polysemantor (Ruler of Many), Polydegmon (Host of Many), was bearing her away by leave of Zeus on his immortal chariot."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter :
"Aidoneus Polysemantor (the Ruler of Many) [Haides] openly got ready his deathless horses beneath the golden chariot [when commanded by Zeus to return Persephone to her mother]. And she mounted on the chariot, and the strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] took reins and whip in his dear hands and drove forth from the hall, the horses speeding readily. Swiftly they traversed their long course, and neither the sea nor river-waters nor grassy glens nor mountain-peaks checked the career of the immortal horses, but they cleft the deep air above them as they went."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter :
"A narcissus the wide earth caused to grow yellow as a crocus. That I plucked in my joy; but the earth parted beneath, and there the strong lord Polydegmon (Host of Many) [Haides] sprang forth and in his golden chariot he bore me away, all unwilling, beneath the earth."

Orphic Hymn 18 to Pluton (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"[Persephone] captive, through grassy plains, drawn in a four-yoked car [of Haides] with loosened reins, rapt over the deep."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 21. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Some are of opinion that . . . here [near Olympia in Elis] the earth gaped (khanein) for the chariot of Hades and then closed up (mysai) once more."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 2. 3 - 5. 5. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"[In the meadows of Enna in Sicily is] a huge grotto which contains a chasm which leads down into the earth and opens to the north, and through it, the myth relates, Plouton [Haides], coming out with his chariot, effected the Rape of Kore (Core) [Persephone] . . . The myth relates that it was near Syrakousa (Syracuse) that Plouton effected the Rape of Kore and took her away in his chariot, and that after cleaving the earth asunder he himself descended into Haides, taking along with him the bride whom he had seized, and that he caused the fountain named Kyane (Cyane) to gush forth."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 146 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"While Proserpina [Persephone] was gathering flowers . . . Pluto [Haides] came in his four-horse chariot, and seized her."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 354 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Tyrannus [Pluto-Haides] had left his dark domains to and fro, drawn in his chariot and sable steeds, inspected the foundations of the isle [of Sicily wrent by the buried giant Typhoeus]. His survey done, and no point found to fail, he put his fears aside . . . Proserpina [Persephone] was playing in a glade [nearby] . . . when, in a trice, Dis [Haides] saw her, loved her, carried her away . . . Away the chariot sped; her captor urged each horse by name and shook the dark-dyed reins on mane and neck. On through deep lakes he drove, on through Palici's sulphurous pools . . . [to the spring of] Cyane . . . [where the Naiad Cyane attempted to bar his way]. But Saturnius [Hades] restrained his wrath no longer. Urging on his steeds, his terrible steeds, and brandishing aloft his royal sceptre in his strong right arm, he hurled it to the bottom of the pool. The smitten earth opened a way to Hell and down the deep abyss the chariot plunged."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 443 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Pluto-Hades] sees her [Proserpina-Persephone picking flowers in Sicily] and swiftly abducts what he sees, and bears her to his realm on black horses. She screamed . . . Meanwhile a path gapes open for Dis; his horses barely endure the foreign daylight."


HELM OF HADES

Hesiod, Shield of Heracles 126 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Upon the head of the hero [Perseus] lay the dread cap of Haides which had the awful gloom of night [i.e. the power of invisibility]."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 6 - 7 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"After ten years of fighting [in the war of the gods against the Titanes] Ge (the Earth) prophesied a victory for Zeus if he were to secure the prisoners [the three Kyklopes (Cyclopes)] down in Tartaros as his allies . . . [he did so and] the Kyklopes gave Zeus thunder, lightning, and a thunderbolt, as well as a helmet for Plouton [Haides] and a trident for Poseidon. Armed with these the three gods overpowered the Titanes, confined them in Tartaros."

Plato, Republic 612b (trans. Shorey) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"The ring of Gyges or the helmet of Haides." [I.e. Two magical items which made the wearer invisible.]

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 12 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Perseus . . . when sent by Polydectes, son of Magnes, to the Gorgones, he received from Mercurius [Hermes], who is thought to have loved him, talaria (winged sandals) and petasus (cap), and, in addition, a helmet which kept its wearer from being seen by an enemy. So the Greeks have called it the helmet of Hades (the Unseen One), though Perseus did not, as some ignorant people interpret it, wear the helmet of Orcus himself, for no educated person could believe that."

Suidas s.v. Aidos kune (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Aidos kune (helmet of Hades) : A proverb [applied] to those concealing themselves with certain devices. For such was the helmet of Haides, which Perseus used when he killed the Gorgon."


SCEPTRE OF HADES

Hades king of the underworld | Apulian red-figure krater C4th B.C. | Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich
Hades (detail), Apulian red-figure krater C4th B.C., Staatliche Antikensammlungen

Pindar, Olympian Ode 9 str2 (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"By the walls of Pylos . . . Hades [in defence of the besieged town] spared not to ply him [Herakles] with that sceptred staff, which takes our mortal bodies down along the buried road to the dead world."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 2. 3 - 5. 5. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"The myth relates that it was near Syrakousa (Syracuse) that Plouton [Haides] effected the Rape of Kore (Core) and took her away in his chariot, and that after cleaving the earth asunder he himself descended into Haides, taking along with him the bride whom he had seized, and that he caused the fountain named Kyane (Cyane) to gush forth."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 354 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[The Sicilian Naiad Cyane] held out her arms outstretched to bar his [Pluto-Haides'] way [as he was carrying off Prosperina-Persephone]. But Saturnius [Haides] restrained his wrath no longer. Urging on his steeds, his terrible steeds, and brandishing aloft his royal sceptre in his strong right arm, he hurled it to the bottom of the pool. The smitten earth opened a way to Hell and down the deep abyss the chariot plunged."

Seneca, Hercules Furens 559 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"What time thou [Heracles] wast making war on Pylos, Nestor's land, [Pluto-Haides] brought to combat with thee his plague-dealing hands, brandishing his three-forked spear."


PALACE OF HADES

Hesiod, Theogony 767 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"There, in front [at the ends of the earth], stand the echoing halls of the god of the lower-world, strong Hades, and of awful Persephone. A fearful hound [i.e. Kerberos (Cerberus)] guards the house in front . . . keeps watch and devours whomsoever he catches going out of the gates of strong Hades and awful Persephone."

Theognis, Fragment 1. 703 (trans. Gerber, Vol. Greek Elegiac) (Greek elegy C6th B.C.) :
"The shadowy place of the dead and passed the black gates which hold back the souls of the dead, for all their protestations."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 437 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The Stygian city and the cruel court of swarthy Dis [Haides]. Countless broad entrances that city has and portals everywhere open . . . There the Umbrae (Shades) wander without flesh or blood or bones; some gather in the central square; some throng the courts of Tyrannus Imus (Hell's King) [Haides]."

Seneca, Hercules Furens 707 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"What of him who holds sway over the dark realm? Where sits he, governing his flitting tribes?
There is a place in dark recess of Tartarus [i.e. in Haides], which with a heavy pall dense mists enshroud. Hence flow from a single source two streams, unlike: one, a placid river (by this do the gods sear), with silent current bears on the sacred Styx; the other with mighty roar rushes fiercely on, rolling down rocks in its flood, Acheron, that cannot be recrossed. The royal hall of Dis [Haides] stands opposite, girt by a double moat, and the huge house is hid by an o'ershadowing grove. Here in a spacious cavern the tyrant's doors overhang; this is the road for spirits, this is the kingdom's gate. A plain lies round about this where sits the god, where with haughty mien his awful majesty assorts the new-arriving souls. Lowering is his brow, yet such as wears the aspect of his brothers and his high race; his countenance is that of Jove, but Jove the thunderer; chief part of that realm's grimness is its own lord, whose aspect whate'er is dreaded dreads."

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 1. 830 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Beneath our pole [the earth] cut off from the things of the upper world, deep down lies the palace of the Tartarean Father [Pluto-Haides]; never would it share the fate of the toppling sky, even if the mass were sent rolling . . . wide-mouthed Chaos lies, so huge that it would swallow all matter, wearied with its own burden, and the falling universe. Here are the twin doors of the Shades below; one [the gate of Haides], by stern law ever open, receives nations and kinds . . . by the left gate, how many monstrous creatures stand upon the threshold."

Statius, Thebaid 8. 21 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"The lord of Erebus [Pluto-Haides], enthroned in the midst of the fortress of his dolorous realm."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 520 ff :
"Himself [Pluto-Haides] I behold, all pale upon the throne, with Stygian Eumenides [Erinyes] ministering to his fell deeds about him, and the remorseless chambers and gloomy couch of Stygian Juno [Proserpina-Persephone]."


THRONE OF HADES

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :
"Hermes . . . sprang down with speed to the hidden places of the earth. And he found the lord Aides in his house seated upon a couch, and his shy mate [the newly wed Persephone] with him."

Orphic Hymn 18 to Pluton (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"Thy [Haides'] throne is fixed in Haides' dismal plains, distant, unknown to the rest, where darkness reigns."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 520 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Himself [Pluto-Haides] I behold, all pale upon the throne."


KEYS OF HADES

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 159 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Aiakos (Aeacus), even after death, is honoured in the company of Plouton [Haides], and has charge of the keys of Hades' realm."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 20. 2 - 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[Depicted on table made by Kolotes depicted at Olympia :] On the other are Plouton [Hades], Dionysos, Persephone and Nymphai (Nymphs) . . . As to the key (Plouton holds a key) they say that what is called Haides has been locked up by Plouton, and that nobody will return back again there from."

Orphic Hymn 18 to Pluton (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"Earth's keys to thee, illustrious king [Haides], belong, its secret gates unlocking, deep and strong."


HOUND OF HADES

The house or realm of Haides was guarded by the three-headed, serpent-maned hound Kerberos.

For MORE information on the Hound of Haides see KERBEROS


ORCHARDS OF HADES

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :
"He [Haides] on his part secretly gave her [Persephone] sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with [her mother in the upper world] grave, dark-robed Demeter . . .
[Demeter queries Persephone upon her return :] ‘If you have tasted food, you must fo back again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you shall be with me and the other deathless gods.’ . . .
[Persephone replies :] ‘He [Haides] secretly put in my mouth sweet food, a pomegranate seed, and forced me to taste against my will.’"

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 33 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"When Zeus commanded Plouton (Pluto) [Hades] to send Kore (Core) [Persephone] back up, Plouton gave her a pomegranate seed to eat, as assurance that she would not remain long with her mother. With no foreknowledge of the outcome of her act, she consumed it. Askalaphos (Ascalaphus) [the orchard-keeper], the son of Akheron and Gorgyra, bore witness against her, in punishment for which Demeter pinned him down with a heavy rock in Haides' realm. But Persephone was obliged to spend a third of each year with Plouton, and the remainder of the year among the gods."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 520 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Jupiter-Zeus addresses Ceres-Demeter :] ‘Proserpina [Persephone] shall reach the sky again on one condition, that in Hell her lips have touched no food; such is the rule forestablished by the three Parcae [Moirai].’ So Jove [Zeus] replied; but Ceres [Demeter] was resolved to win her daughter back. Not so fate permitted, for the girl had broken her fast and wandering, childlike, through the orchard trees from a low branch had picked a pomegranate and peeled the yellow rind and found the seeds and nibbled seven. The only one who saw was Orphne's son, Ascalaphus . . . He saw and told, in spite, and by his tale stole her return away . . .
[But] Juppiter [Zeus], to hold the balance fair between his brother and his sister in her grief, portioned the rolling years in equal parts. Now Proserpine, of two empires alike great deity, spends with her mother half the year's twelve months and with her husband half."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 443 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The winged Herald [Mercury-Hermes] visits Tartarus [Haides] as ordered, returns . . . tells what he witnessed. ‘The ravished girl [Proserpina-Persephone],’ he said, ‘broke her fast with three seeds buried in a pomegranate's tough rind.’
The grieving mother wept, as if the loss were new. At length she recovered, but not easily. She said : ‘Heaven is not my home either; order the Taenarian dell [Haides] to admit me, too.’ And she would have done this, if Jove [Zeus] had not arranged that the daughter spend six months in heaven."


CATTLE OF HADES

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 125 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Desiring to supply the soul [of a dead prophet] with blood, he [Herakles] slaughtered one of Haides' cattle [on his journey to the underworld]. Their keeper Menoites (Menoetes), son of Keuthonymos, challenged Herakles to a wrestling match. Herakles hugged his torso and broke his ribs, but set him down at the request of Persephone."


SACRED BIRDS & ANIMALS

I. SCREECH-OW

The screech-owl was a bird of ill omen which was regarded as the messenger of Haides and the infernal deities. It was the metamorphosed form of Haides' orchardist Askalaphos who was transformed into the bird by Demeter for revealing Persephone's tasting of the pomegranate seed.

For MORE information on the orchardist see ASKALAPHOS


SACRED PLANTS & FLOWERS

I. WHITE POPLAR

The white poplar tree was sacred to Haides being the metamorphosed form of Leuke, a nymph abducted by the god to Elysium (according to Servius).

For MORE information on the nymph see LEUKE

II. MINT

Strabo, Geography 8. 3. 14 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Near Pylos, towards the east, is a mountain named after Minthe, who, according to myth, became the concubine of Haides, was trampled under foot by Kore (Core) [Persephone], and was transformed into garden-mint, the plant which some call Hedyosmos. Furthermore, near the mountain is a precinct sacred to Haides."

Oppian, Cynegetica 3. 485 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd A.D.) :
"Mint, men say, was once a maid beneath the earth, a Nymphe of Kokytos (Cocytus), and she lay in the bed of Aidoneus [Haides]."

For MORE information on the nymph see MINTHE

III. CYPRESS

The cypress was a tree of mourning sacred to the god Haides--the aromatic branches were presumably used to mask the smell of death.

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 1. 730 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Beneath the gloom of an ancient cypress ,squalid and ghastly with darksome hue [sacrifices were made to Haides in a necromantic ritual]."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 410 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"He [the seer Teiresias] prepares the rites of Lethe [nekromankia ], and makes . . . [an altar] for thee, lord of Avernus [Haides], a heap of pinewood though sunk into the ground yet towers high into the air; next to this an altar of lesser bulk is raised to Ceres of the Underworld [Persephone]; in front and on every side the cypress of lamentation intertwines them."

IV. ASPHODEL

The realm of Haides was also known as the Asphodel Fields for this edible, grey plant. It was sacred to the gods of the underworld. Haides was sometimes depicted holding an asphodel frond, and statues of Persephone and Hekate were crowned with its leaves in their cult on the island of Rhodes.


HADES ATTENDANTS : ROYAL COURT

Haides was enthroned in Erebos attended by a large court which included the three Judges of the Dead, the Erinyes (Furies), Moirai (Fates), Keres (Death-Daimones) and Thanatos (Death) and the gods of the netherworld rivers.

Statius, Thebaid 8. 21 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"The lord of Erebus [Pluto-Haides], enthroned in the midst of the fortress of his dolorous realm, was demanding of his subjects the misdoings of their lives, pitying nought human but wroth against all the Manes (Shades). Around him stand the Furiae (Furies) [Erinyes] and various Mortes (Deaths) [Thanatoi or Keres] in order due, and savage Poena (Vengeance) thrusts forth her coils of jangling chains; the Fatae (Fates) [Moirai] bring the Animas (Souls) and with one gesture [literally ‘thumb’ as in the amphitheatre] damn them; too heavy grows the work. Hard by, Minos with his dread brother [Rhadamanthys] in kindly mood counsels a milder justice, and restrains the bloodthirsty king; Cocytus and Phelgethon, swollen with tears and fire, aid in the judgement, and Styx accuses the gods of perjury."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 520 ff :
"Himself [Pluto-Haides] I behold, all pale upon the throne, with Stygian Eumenides [Erinyes] ministering to his fell deeds about him, and the remorseless chambers and gloomy couch of Stygian Juno [Proserpina-Persephone]. Black Mors (Death) [Thanatos] sits upon an eminence, and numbers the silent peoples for their lord; yet the greater part of the troop remains. The Gortynian judge [Minos] shakes them [the ghosts of the dead] in his inexorable urn, demanding the truth with threats, and constrains them to speak out their whole lives' story and at last confess their extorted gains."


HADES ATTENDANTS : THE ERINYES

The Erinyes were the jailors of the Dungeons of the Damnedand the goddesses who avenged the ghosts of the dead. They attended the throne of Haides and Persephone.

Statius, Thebaid 8. 21 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"The lord of Erebus [Haides], enthroned in the midst of the fortress of his dolorous realm . . . Around him stand the Furiae (Furies) [Erinyes] and various Mortes (Deaths)."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 520 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Himself [Pluto-Haides] I behold, all pale upon the throne, with Stygian Eumenides [Erinyes] ministering to his fell deeds about him."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 44. 198 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Persephone was arming her Erinyes . . . Then at the grim nod of Khthonion Zeus [Haides], the Eumenides [Erinyes] assailed the palace of Pentheus [driving him to madness]."

For MORE information on these goddesses see ERINYES


HADES ATTENDANTS : THE JUDGES OF THE DEAD

The three Judges of the Dead--Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aiakos--were seated beside the throne of Haides.

Statius, Thebaid 8. 21 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"The lord of Erebus [Pluto-Haides], enthroned in the midst of the fortress of his dolorous realm . . . Hard by, Minos with his dread brother [Rhadamanthys] in kindly mood counsels a milder justice, and restrains the bloodthirsty king."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 520 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Himself [Pluto-Haides] I behold, all pale upon the throne . . . Black Mors (Death) [Thanato] sits upon an eminence, and numbers the silent peoples for their lord; yet the greater part of the troop remains. The Gortynian judge [Minos] shakes them [the ghosts of the dead] in his inexorable urn, demanding the truth with threats, and constrains them to speak out their whole lives' story and at last confess their extorted gains."

For MORE information on these demigods see JUDGES OF THE DEAD


HADES ATTENDANTS : AEACUS

Aiakos was the doorkeeper of the house of Haides and one of the judges of the dead.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 159 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Aiakos (Aeacus), even after death, is honoured in the company of Plouton [Haides], and has charge of the keys of Hades' realm."

Aristophanes, Frogs 466 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"[Comedy play in which Dionysos travels to the underworld to bring back the great tragic poets. Here Aiakos (Aeacus) is portrayed as the doorman of Hades.]
Dionysos : What's the right way to knock [on the gates of Haides]? I wonder how the natives here are wont to knock at doors . . .
Dionysos (knocking) : Boy! boy!
(The door opens. Aiakos appears.)
Aiakos : Who's there?"

For MORE information on this demigod see AIAKOS


HADES ATTENDANTS : CHARON

Kharon (Charon) was the ferryman of the dead.

For MORE information on this daimon see KHARON


HADES ATTENDANTS : MENOETES

Menoites was the cattle-herder of Haides. Herakles wrestled him and broke his ribs.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 108 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Menoites (Menoetes) . . . tending the cattle of Haides."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 125 :
"Haides' cattle. Their keeper Menoites (Menoetes), son of Keuthonymos."

For MORE information on this daimon see MENOITES


HADES ATTENDANTS : ASCALAPHUS

Askalaphos was the orchardist of Haides. Demeter transformed him into a screech-owl for reporting to his master that Persephone had tasted the pomegranate seed.

For MORE information on this daimon see ASKALAPHOS


HADES ATTENDANTS: THE ONEIROI

Haides was the master of the Oneiroi (Dream Spirits) which issued forth from the underworld at night, sometimes bearing messages from the dead.

Homer, Odyssey 24. 12 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"So did these ghosts travel on together squeaking, while easeful Hermes led them down through the ways of dankness. They passed the streams of Okeanos (Oceanus), the White Rock, the Gates of the Sun and the Land of Dreams (Demos Oneiroi), and soon they came to the field of asphodel, where the souls (psykhai), the phantoms (eidola) of the dead have their habitation."

Greek Lyric Anonymous, Fragments 963 (from Demetrius, On Style) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric V) (Greek lyric) :
"Plouton [Hades], master of the black-winged Oneiroi (Dreams)."

For MORE information on these daimones see ONEIROI


SOURCES

GREEK

ROMAN

BYZANTINE

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.