In Greek mythology, *1* The ruler of the underworld, commonly called PLUTO. *2* The world of the dead, ruled by Pluto and PERSEPHONE. Guarded by CERBERUS, it was either underground or in the far west and was separated from the land of the living by five rivers. One of these was the STYX, across which the dead were ferried. Three judges decided the fate of souls; heroes went to the ELYSIAN FIELDS, evildoers to TARTARUS (the lowest region).

When science discovered that the center of the Earth is molten-hot rock, this probably encouraged the use of the underground Hades as a synonym for Hell.

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Definitions courtesy The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia

This page devoted to Hades