Myth, Mystery, and the Valley: Hades and His Underworld Realm
Molly C. Polette
Dr. Martha L. Rose and Dr. Steven Reschly , Faculty Mentors
The Olympian gods are central to ancient Greece. One of the most powerful yet least prominent of these gods is Hades, god of the Underworld. The mystery surrounding the afterlife frightens mortals, yet draws reverence and respect. The portrayal of the Underworld in Greek mythology and the physical entrance to Hades (in ancient Greek belief) differs greatly. The god Hades’s most prominent role in mythology is his capture of Persephone; his forcing the goddess of spring and renewal to live in the Underworld three months of the year caused winter. This negative image of the god contrasts to the neutral portrayal of the Underworld itself in literature, and of the lush entrance to the Underworld in Livadia, which we visited during the 2007 "Sacred Sites in Greece" course. This paper considers the balance between Hades and his frightening realm of the dead, and its peaceful representation on earth.
Keywords: Hades, Greek mythology, Sacred sites in Greece, Underworld
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: OP 2111