Glossary of Terms

Here is a glossary of words and names used in Greek Mythology that feature in The Guardians Series.

Hades: – used to denote both the God of the Underworld and the Underworld itself

Hades the God: He drew lots with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, when they were dividing up the World after they had overthrown the Titans. Zeus gained the earth, Poseidon the sea and Hades the Underworld

Persephone: daughter of Demeter, the Goddess of the harvest. Seduced by Hades and taken as his wife

Hades the Underworld: In front of the entrance to the Underworld live Grief, Anxiety, Diseases and Old Age. Fear, Hunger, Death, Agony, and Sleep also live in front of the entrance, together with Guilty Joys.

On the opposite threshold is War, the Erinyes, and Eris. Close to the doors are many beasts, including Centaurs, Gorgons, the Lernaean Hydra, the Chimera, and Harpies. In the midst of all this, an Elm can be seen where false dreams cling under every leaf.

Erebus: Meaning deep, darkness. A place of darkness between Earth and Hades. This was the region of the Underworld where the dead pass immediately after dying

Cerberus: The 3 headed dog who guarded Hades the Underworld to keep the souls in. He was generally viewed as a pet of Hades the God.

The Erinyes (also known as the Furies): These were the three Goddesses associated with the souls of the dead and they avenged crimes against the natural order of the world. They consist of Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. They were particularly concerned with crimes done by children against their parents such as matricide, patricide, and un-filial conduct. They would inflict madness upon the living murderer, or if a nation was harboring such a criminal, the Erinyes would cause starvation and disease to the nation.

Eris: She was the Goddess of Chaos, Strife and discord

Charon: He is the ferryman who carried the souls of the dead down the River Styx, to the gates of Hades where they were to be judged. It was customary for the souls to pay a coin to the ferryman for his trouble. To this end the relatives of the deceased would place a coin in the mouth of the dead.

Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus: These are the three judges of the Underworld. Aeacus held the keys to Hades and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus judged the souls between them but Minos had the final decision.

Eurynomos: a daimon (or spirit) of the Underworld who eats off all the flesh of the corpses and leaves only the bones

The Fields of Punishment: the place in the Underworld where people are punished for evil deeds, using a variety of methods of torture

Hecate: A goddess whom Zeus honored highly. She is most often shown holding two torches or a key. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery. Through the honors bestowed upon her by Zeus she had influence in all parts of the universe but preferred to reside in the Underworld where she became a handmaiden to Persephone

Dionysus: The God of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, ritual madness, ecstasy and fertility.

Prometheus: He was one of the Titans. He stole fire from Zeus to give to the humans. As a punishment he was chained to a rock by Zeus and sentenced to have his liver eaten each day by an eagle. At night it would re-grow so that he would suffer the same torment again. Finally, he was cast down into Tartarus

Cronus: He was the youngest leader of the Titans and the father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. He ruled during the so called Golden Age until he was overthrown by Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus

Tartarus: The deep abyss that was used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans

The five rivers of the Underworld:

  • The Styx – the river of hatred which circles the Underworld seven times
  • The Acheron – the river of pain
  • The Lethe – the river of forgetfulness
  • The Phlegethon – the river of fire which leads to Tartarus
  • The Cocytus – the river of wailing

 Other Titans:

Lapetus: – Father of Prometheus

Clymene: Daughter of Oceanus, therefore an Oceanid. She was also the mother of Prometheus

Atlas: The God of astronomy and navigation. He was brother to Prometheus, and son of Lapetus and Clymene

Oceanus: The God of the sea, and father to Clymene