Hades abducts Persephone

Hades was the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. According to myth, Zeus was given the sky to rule over, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the underworld. Hades is the most important of the gods who did not live on Mt.Olympus.

The underworld was the realm of the spirits of the dead. Hades ruled there with his wife, Persephone.

Above: Hades with Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the underworld


Persephone, also known as Kore, was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the crops. Hades kidnapped her, and Demeter complained to Zeus, Persephone's father. Zeus made an arrangement for Kore to spend half the year with Demeter and half with Hades.

The half with Demeter symbolised the growth and harvest of the crops; the half with Hades the barren, 'dead' winter.