He claimed the souls that inhabited his domain and rarely let anyone who had entered the Underworld to ever leave again, the gates to the Underworld were guarded by the monstrous three-headed dog called Cerberus.
Who was Pluto?
Pluto was the Roman god of death and the Underworld. Festivals of the Winter were associated with the dead and the underworld when Pluto was particularly worshipped. Animal Sacrifices were made to the god at the Roman Colosseum when a marble altar was set in the middle of the arena, complete with a burning fire. During the blood sacrifices to the Roman gods the sex of the victim had to correspond to the sex of the god to whom it was offered. White animals were given to the gods of the upper world whereas black victims to the gods of the underworld. A black pig was a characteristic animal sacrifice to Pluto. The blood from sacrifices were dripped into a pit so it could reach him in the Underworld. As the god of Death the name of Pluto was used in Roman curse tablets where promises of various offerings were made to the god if the curse is fulfilled by the desired deadline. At funeral ceremonies slaves or servants attended the funeral dressed as Pluto or Charon the Ferryman who were revered as Roman gods of the dead
Facts about Pluto
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Pluto:
Roman Name: Pluto
Role & Function: The function of Pluto is described as being the god of death and the Underworld
Status: God of the Underworld, he rarely joined the major gods on Mount Olympus, preferring his palace in the infernal regions
Symbols: Scepter, keys, Cerberus, throne, and horses
Alternative Names: Plouton, Ploutos. He was known in Latin as Tertius
Greek Counterpart: The Greek name for this god was Hades
Name of Wife: Proserpina
Name of Father: Saturnus (Saturn)
Name of Mother: Ops (Opis)
Name of siblings: Brothers & sisters: Jupiter, Neptune, Vesta, Juno and Ceres
Names of Children: Macaria, Melinoe, Zagreus and Plutus
Facts about Pluto in Roman Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about the Roman god of death and the Underworld. The facts about Pluto provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Pluto in Roman history and Mythology.
Fact 1 about Pluto: Pluto was the son of Saturnus and Ops and the husband of Proserpina
Fact 2 about Pluto: Pluto is strongly associated with Cerberus, the monstrous three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to the Underworld and prevented anyone from leaving
Fact 3 about Pluto: Originally he was honored as the God of Metals and believed to be the lord of all the metals and riches that lie underground
Fact 4 about Pluto: In the Battle of the Titans Pluto was given the Cap of Invisibility by Vulcan
Fact 5 about Pluto: Romans were afraid to say his name because they were afraid he might notice them and they would die.
Fact 6 about Pluto: He was known as a pitiless god because if a mortal entered his Underworld they could never hope to return
Fact 7 about Pluto: Pluto's nephew, Hercules, was forced to perform twelve great feats, known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules
Fact 8 about Pluto: Pluto, is the second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System. It was originally classified as the ninth planet from the Sun
Fact 9 about Pluto: The name derives from the Latin word 'Pluton meaning "wealth, riches and overflowing"
Fact 10 about Pluto: The gods of the Underworld were called the 'di inferi' meaning the infernal gods
Roman Festivals to Pluto
There were few Roman festivals in honor of Pluto, he was never associated with a time of celebration and Romans were afraid to say his name as they were afraid he might notice them and they would die. The "Feralia" was the Festival of the Dead, held on the 21st of February, in honor of the Manes, who were Roman spirits of the dead, who were thought to represent souls of deceased loved ones. The Lemuralia or Lemuria was a a festival in which Romans performed rites to exorcise the malevolent ghosts of the dead from their homes. Pluto was honored in the festivals called the Secular Games which were only held in the Campus Martius once every hundred years. The Secular Games were instituted in obedience to the Sibylline verses, with the promise that “the empire should remain in safety so long as this admonition was observed.” Black bulls were offered to Pluto and Proserpina during the Secular Games on the altar of Pluto that was buried deep under ground. The Secular Games lasted for three days and ceremonies involved burning herbs of purification (suffimenta) and other blood sacrifices were also made to Jupiter, Apollo, Diana, Tellus, the Mother Earth and Juno.
Pluto (Greek Counterpart was Hades)
The Romans habitually assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Greeks and other nations. When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC many of the Greek gods and goddesses were adopted by the Romans. The Romans simply changed the Greek gods names to Latin equivalents. The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman deity was Hades. The name 'Hades' was also used to describe the Roman underworld. The Roman religion significantly differed from the Greeks in that it was officially endorsed by the state and exerted influence over the government of Rome. Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the popular worship.