Cerberus- The Three Headed Hound In Greek Mythology

Introduction To Cerberus

Have you ever pictured a hound with three heads? Cerberus, in Greek Mythology is indeed a three headed hound. He's the hound that guarded the gates of the underworld to stop those who have crossed the river styx from leaving. The most common physical appearance of Cerberus that has been depicted is a hound with three heads that have manes of live snakes and a tale of a snake.

The Three Heads

There are many different sources that have different opinions of what the three heads represented. Some say that they are of the past, present and the future. While others state that they represent birth, youth and old age. My personal favorite representation is the one that says they are of past, present and future.

In either case each head is said to have an appetite of live meat and only for live meat. He allows people to enter the underworld freely but will never allow them to leave.

Hercules And Cerberus

Hercules was assigned twelve tasks by King Eurystheus and one of them included capturing Cerberus. It's said that he wouldn't have had to capture him in the first place if he hadn't received help in two of his tasks prior to Cerberus.

While he was in the underworld Hercules asked Hades if he could take Cerberus from the underworld, Hades was willing to allow this if this hero could successfully overpower the monstrous hound with out any weapons. The well known Greek hero was very successful and returned with Cerberus, bringing him to the king. However the king was absolutely terrified of Cerberus and asked Hercules to return him back to Hades.

Interesting and Terrifying

I find the very idea of a three headed hound guarding Hades to be both very interesting as well as frightening. This hound was not said to be of normal size. Imagine a gigantic three headed hound. Yes, gigantic! The Greeks have very interesting creatures in their mythology as well as Gods and Goddesses but Cerberus will always captivate my attention.

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Comments 7 comments

OutsideTheLines profile image

OutsideTheLines 5 years ago from Tulsa, OK

Awesome stuff. Ive always loved Greek mythology. Are you going to do more like this in the future? :)


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 5 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Yes I do plan on making more. I have one written about the furies if you're interested in them. But yes I plan on doing more involving Greek mythology.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I find it very interesting that Hades of all people would need guarding. I like Greek myths. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Clash of the Titans", the original version. I have this love hate relationship with Medusa.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

This is such a cool hub! It is so interesting to learn about mythology, its like taking a dive into our brains. I can't wait for more awesome hubs about Greek mythology. Voted up and interesting.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 5 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Cardisa, I too share a love hate relationship with Medusa. And it is interesting that Hades of all, would need guarding.

stephaniedas, glad you liked it so much. There will be a whole lot more hubs like this.


MonetteforJack profile image

MonetteforJack 5 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

I clicked everything ! It was fun reading your hub.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 5 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Wow MonetteforJack, I am glad you clicked on everything. And thank you for reading once again.

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