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Encyclopedia > Cerberus
Cerberus, picture by William Blake (18th cent.)

In Greek mythology, Cerberus or Kerberos (Greek Κέρβερος, Kérberos or Sürbürǔs, the daemon or ker of Erebos) was the hound of Hades, a monstrous three-headed dog[1] with a snake for a tail and snakes down his back like a mane, whose analogs in other cultures are hellhounds. Other hell hounds included Orthus, his two-headed brother. Cerberus guarded the gate to Hades and ensured that spirits of the dead could enter, but none could exit (additionally, no living person was to come into Hades). Among his siblings are Chimera and the Hydra. He is the offspring of Echidna and Typhon. In Dante's Inferno, he is described as having a human head. This symbolizes the possibility of Cerberus being more human than animal. Cerberus may refer to: Cerberus, a mythical three-headed dog Cerberus in popular culture, list of references to the dog in modern media (books, computer games, et. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x725, 261 KB) Info: [1] Pen, ink and watercolour over pencil and black chalk (NGV 6) Felton Bequest, 1920 991-3 National Gallery of Victoria Source:http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x725, 261 KB) Info: [1] Pen, ink and watercolour over pencil and black chalk (NGV 6) Felton Bequest, 1920 991-3 National Gallery of Victoria Source:http://www. ... For other persons named William Blake, see William Blake (disambiguation). ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In Greek mythology, the Keres (singular: Ker) were female death-spirits and sources of evils. ... In Greek mythology, Erebus, or Érebos was a primordial god, personification of darkness, offspring of Chaos alone. ... Image:DianaHound. ... For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... Heracles and the Lernaean Hydra by Gustave Moreau: The Hydra is perhaps the best known mythological multi-headed animal, also popularised in many fantasy settings. ... For other uses, see Hellhound (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, Orthrus (also called Orthros, Orthos, Orthus, Orth and Orphus) was a two-headed dog. ... For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Chimera. ... The 16th-century German illustrator has been influenced by the Beast of Revelation in his depiction of the Hydra. ... In the most ancient layers of Greek mythology Echidna (ekhis, meaning she viper) was called the Mother of All Monsters. Echidna was described by Hesiod as a female monster spawned in a cave, who mothered with her mate Typhoeus (or Typhon) every major monster in the Greek myths, (Theogony, 295... Zeus darting his lightning at Typhon, Chalcidian black-figured hydria, ca. ...


Cerberus was overcome several times, with the aid of gods or supernatural talents:

  • Heracles' final labour was to capture Cerberus, which he did by wrestling it into submission.
  • Orpheus used his musical skills to lull Cerberus to sleep.
  • Hermes put him to sleep with water from the river Lethe.
  • In Roman mythology, the Sybil of Cumae lulled Cerberus to sleep with drugged honeycakes in order to permit Aeneas fuller entry to the underworld.
  • In a Roman tale, Psyche also lulled Cerberus to sleep with drugged honeycakes.
  • In The Inferno, Cerberus punishes the gluttons and is passed by Virgil and Dante due to Virgil throwing into one of his mouths some of the putrid earth found in the Third Circle.
  • In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Hagrid's three-headed dog Fluffy draws striking similarities to Cerberus. For example, both Cerberus and Fluffy are lulled to sleep by the power of song.

In the Greek Oracle of the Dead at Cumae in southern Italy, the recently excavated subterranean shrine was found to contain giant chains fixed to the wall for three large dogs before the entrance to the shrine of Hades and Persephone. The three dogs would have represented Cerberus in this ancient temple.[citation needed] Today, it also appears in popular culture; for instance, Cerberus is the name of the "Smoke Monster" on the popular television show Lost. Alcides redirects here. ... For other uses, see Orpheus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Hermes (disambiguation). ... In Classical Greek, Lethe (LEE-thee) literally means forgetfulness or concealment. The Greek word for truth is a-lethe-ia, meaning un-forgetfulness or un-concealment. In Greek mythology, Lethe is one of the several rivers of Hades. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... Cumae (Cuma, in Italian) is an ancient Greek settlement lying to the northwest of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598. ... The Abduction of Psyche by William Bouguereau The tale of Cupid and Psyche first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius novel, The Golden Ass, written in the second century AD. Apuleius probably used an earlier folk-tale as the basis for his story... For other uses see The Divine Comedy (disambiguation), Dantes Inferno (disambiguation), and The Inferno (disambiguation) Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelino... Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is the first volume in a series of seven books by British author J. K. Rowling and featuring the fictional character, Harry Potter, a young wizard. ... Look up fluffy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Magna Graecia around 280 b. ... Cumae (Cuma, in Italian) is an ancient Greek settlement lying to the northwest of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. ... For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Greek goddess. ... Look up lost in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

Twelfth Labour of Hercules

Heracles and Cerberus. Detail of a Roman mosaic from Llíria (Spain).

Hercules final mission was told to bring back the Hound of Hell, Cerberus, alive! Alcides redirects here. ... Fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries. ... Llíria (Valencian, pronounced Yeeria or Lyeeria) or Liria (Spanish) is a medium sized town off the CV35 motorway to the north of Valencia City, Spain. ...


Before Hercules began his quest he had to go through purification rituals. Then down in the underworld Athena and Hermes guided him as far as the Styx River. When he saw monsters like Medusa on the other side he had to be stopped from shooting arrows at them. "They are only ghosts," Hermes told him, "you can't harm them, and they can’t harm you." Charon the boatman was terrified of Hercules and decided not to argue about taking him across the river. He didn’t even charge his usual fee as he ferried him over in fear.


Once he was across, Hercules strode to the Gates of Tartarus. He then Spotted a herd of cattle, he thought he better make a sacrifice to please the ghosts. The herdsman was not too happy about this, and challenged him to a wrestle.


Hercules was just about to crush the ribs of the herdsman when Persephone appeared. She begged for the life of her servant. "Only in return for CERBERUS," demanded Hercules. Hade came over, attracted by the argument. "Be my guest. Take our dog for a walk by all means, only you must not use any weapons against him."


Chained to the gates was the object Hercules’ quest, Cerberus. Having his protective lionskin that had been given to him from the Nemean-Lion, Hercules had no trouble taking the dog in both his hands. He squeezed its three necks until it stopped slobbering out poison, lashing its tail, and it became very week.


With the dog on a chain he had it running to the upper-world at a very fast pace. CERBERUS, never having seen daylight before, was violently sick.


On arrival at Mycenae, King Eurystheus was, as usual, terrified. Even though he was in shock, he still managed to turn and run away. Hercules had completed his final labour.


Nobody wanted Cerberus so Hercules let it go. It ran whining and wincing all the way back to Hell.


In modern culture

As a famous beast, Cerberus is occasionally referenced in modern fiction. Some of these are listed at Cerberus (disambiguation). Others include 'Fluffy' a three headed dog which forms a key part of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In Devil May Cry 3 you fight a frozen version of Cerberus who is chained to a wall. Cerberus may refer to: Cerberus, a mythical three-headed dog Cerberus in popular culture, list of references to the dog in modern media (books, computer games, et. ... Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is the first volume in a series of seven books by British author J. K. Rowling and featuring the fictional character, Harry Potter, a young wizard. ...


Gallery

Greek underworld
Residents
Geography
Famous Inmates

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Cerberus
Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... Doré photographed by Felix Nadar. ... For other uses, see Hecate (disambiguation). ... Hercules and the hydra by Antonio Pollaiuolo The Twelve Labours of Hercules (Greek: dodekathlos) are a series of archaic episodes connected by a later continuous narrative, concerning a penance carried out by the greatest of the Greek heroes Herakles, romanised as Hercules. ... Alcides redirects here. ... The Nemean Lion (Latin: Leo Nemaeus) was a vicious monster in Greek mythology that lived in Nemea. ... The 16th-century German illustrator has been influenced by the Beast of Revelation in his depiction of the Hydra. ... The Ceryneian Hind, also called Cerynitis, was an enormous hind sacred to Artemis, the chaste goddess of the hunt and moon. ... Hercules Carrying the Boar by Giambologna In Greek mythology, the Erymanthian Boar is remembered in connection with The Twelve Labours, in which Heracles, the (reconciled) enemy of Hera, visited in turn all the other sites of the Goddess throughout the world, to conquer every conceivable monster of nature and rededicate... In Greek mythology, Augeas (or Augeias, Greek: Αυγείας), whose name means bright, was King of Elis and husband of Epicaste. ... In Greek mythology, the Stymphalian Birds were birds with claws of brass and sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims, and also they were Ares pets. ... Heracles capturing the Cretan Bull. ... Heracles capturing the Mares of Diomedes. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Heracles fighting Geryon, amphora by the E Group, ca. ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cerberus - Lostpedia (562 words)
Cuse said that Cerberus was one of the Monster's names, and Lindelof confirmed that both Radzinsky and Kelvin referred to the Monster as Cerberus, and suggested that Cerberus "might have just been the DHARMA Initiative's name" for the Monster.
Cerberus was the child of Typhon and Echidna.
Cerberus is also the common name for dog-faced water snakes, a genus of water snakes in the Colubridae family.
HMVS Cerberus - Home Page. (1339 words)
Cerberus was the first, and is the only remaining example, of a Monitor having a central superstructure.
The design for the Cerberus was the first in the world to incorporate the combination of a central superstructure with fore and aft gun turrets.
Cerberus is the oldest as well as the only surviving warship, to have served in the Royal Australian Navy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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