Life In The Underworld

The Underworld was one of the most mysterious places for the Greeks. Just as Hades was one of the least depicted of the gods—information about the Underworld was sketchy.

The Underworld was hidden deep in the depths of the earth and was the Kingdom of the Dead, ruled by a greedy god named Hades who had one purpose to fulfil. That purpose was to increase the number of souls in the Underworld. His palace lay deep within the kingdom where he could keep watch on the souls he held captive.

shutterstock_201548636 (1)Upon death, a soul was led by Hermes to the entrance of the Underworld, where a ferry waited to carry the soul across the Acheron. There was a single ferry run by Charon, the boatman. Only those who could pay the fare with coins placed on their lips when buried could afford to take the ferry. After the boat ride, souls were taken through the gates. Once inside the Underworld, Hades rarely allowed anyone to leave, but life was unpleasant for those who dwelled there.

The souls would appear before three judges: Minos, Aeacus and Rhadamanthus, who would pass sentence based on the life of the soul. Good souls would go to the Elysian Fields; whereas bad souls would be sentenced to be tormented for all eternity.

It is said that life in the Underworld was rather like living through a dark dream, filled with shadows and without any hope. The Underworld was a place where the souls of the dead faded away into the ether, never to be seen again.

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