The Dread Of The Unknow Essay Research

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The Dread Of The Unknow Essay, Research Paper The Dread of the Unknown Man has always feared what he can not see or comprehend. The ancient times, specifically of Greece and Rome, were no exception. The ancient gods of these two civilizations were regaurded with both veneration and terror. None were dreaded more than the dark god of the Underworld, Hades. His presence to any mortal meant the icy hand of death would sieze him and he would be brought to the sinister gods realm not knowing what would become of him in the after life or what foul, tortuous beasts would stalk his exsitance for eternity. The kingdom, god, and inhabitants of Hades were feared by mortal men in ancient times of Greece and Rome and looked upon with both mystery and dread. Hades was vexed from the very

beginning of his reign as a god of mystery and horror. Hades was the son of Cronus and Rhea, both Titans, along with his brothers Posiden and Zeus (Guerber 159). Cronus fearing a prophecy that one day his children would overthrow him devoured all his children after they were born, excluding Zeus (Ames 14). However one day Zues returned and his siblings were all rescued thus beginning the war with the Titans (Ames 15). Hades and his brothers were victoryous over the Titans and divided up the world among into thirds among themselves. Pluto, the most taciturn of the brothers, received for his portion the scepter of Tartarus and all the Lower World, where no beam of sunlight was ever allowed to find its way; (Guerber 25). Gaining control over a realm of death and darkness naturally

struck fear in the hearts of mortals. The desrciption of his visage and powers reflected the fear mortals had for Hades. Little was known of the secluded god, his description and personality varied greatly among the people of ancient Greece and Rome. Generally Hades was described as a stern, dark, bearded man with tightly closed lips (Guerber 150). Often he was pictured with a crown on his head and a scepter and the key to Tartarus in his hand (Guerber 160). When Hades was referred to by the ancient Greeks he was regaurded as a god of terror and mystery and rarely paid homage (Ames 126). Hades is not to be soothed, neither overcome, wherefore he is most hated by mortals of all gods. (Iliad 9.158). Even the river nymph in the Persephone myth feared the sinister god fearing his

vengence for telling Ceres of her daughters abduction (Benson 82). However on the contrary when the Romans referred to him as Pluto he was honored as the god of riches and was regaurded as a benevolent and respected god (Ames 126). In each civilization he was appointed as both the god of the dead and of riches, due to all the precious metals found beneath the earth, his kingdom (Guerber 159). Hades power came from two main objects in his posession. He possessed the helmet of invisibility, which was made by the Cyclopes, it made him undetectable when he came to the surface (Graves 37). The magical bronze helmet was a gift from the cyclops forges after they were freed from Tartarus by the Olympians during the Titan War (Ames 62). The second item of his power was his trident.

Whenever the stern god set out on one of these expeditions, he rod in a chariot drawn by four coal-black steeds; and , if any obstacle presented itself to impede his progress, he struck it with his two-pronged fork, the emblem of his power, and the obstacle was immeadiately removed (Guerber 159). Hades grew very rich because of all the treasure found beneath the earth in his realm; yet everyone hated him, including Persephone (Graves 37). Most myths involving the dark god depict him as a malicious god with evil intent. He seemed happy there and was seen to leave his kingdom on only two ocassions: once to abduct Persephone and the other time to go in search o Panan in order to be cured of a wound inflicted by Hercules (Ames 126). Hades never visited Olympus although he was the