U is for Underworld

Governed by Hades, the Underworld is the kingdom of the dead. It is invisible to the living, and was considered as the dark counterpart to Mount Olympus, home of the gods.
Hades by Elsa Dax Wikimedia Commons
There are five main rivers; the Styx (river of hatred), the Acheron (river of pain), the Lethe (river of oblivion), the Phlegethon (river of fire) and the Cocytus (river of wailing).

The Underworld is made up of several different places. The Fields of Punishment was for those who had committed crimes and created havoc in the world. Asphodel Meadows was for ordinary souls who didn't commit any crimes, but also didn't achieve greatness. Elysian Fields was a place for people who lived righteous and virtuous lives, and for people who were favoured by the gods. The Isles of the Blessed were islands in the realm of Elysium, and were only accessible to those who had been reincarnated and achieved Elysium three times.

Hades ruled over the Underworld with his wife Persephone. The Erinyes (the Furies) were welcome in the Underworld since they increase the number of dead there. The god Hermes does not live in the Underworld, but he does lead the souls of the dead there. Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus were the judges of the dead, and decided where souls would go to. Charon was the ferryman who would guide souls across the river Acheron to the Underworld. Cerberus was Hades' three headed dog which guards the entrance to the Underworld. He allows anyone into the Underworld, but won't let anyone out.

Comments

  1. I didn't know about the rivers in the Underworld or even how it was ruled Laura, basically I didn't know anything but that the Underworld did exist before seeing this post so this is a great one for me Laura, love this.

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  2. Hades is a trickster! Styx was a great band. haha - had to say it.

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  3. I wish I had known about The Fields of Punishment before I wrote my own post it would have been rather useful.

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  4. A wonderful post. All the names confused me at first so I had to give it a second read. But this is very informative. Maybe I'll use this to craft a story...hmm...

    Sania at Embracing Dawn

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  5. He allows anyone into the underworld, but won't let anyone out. Very frightening.

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  6. The underworld is a very scary place. The tricks the gods played on each other, and underhandedness of their actions to gain more power is frightening and intense.

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  7. I always thought the Greek Underwold sounded really coo, with all the different areas and Hades brooding down there with his half-a-year wife.

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  8. I've always loved Charon. I'd like to hear his back story... or write it.

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  9. I've always had a soft spot for the ferryman.

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  10. I've always thought the myth of the underworld was interesting. I would have made a joke about the band Styx, but it looks like Dani beat me to it!

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  11. Didn't know about the other sections of the Underworld. Most people seem to only focus on the suffering parts.

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