The Hell Hound Cerberus Picture

In Greek mythology, Cerberus or Kerberos (Greek Κέρβερος, Kérberos, "demon of the pit") was the hound of Hades, a monstrous three-headed dog with a snake for a tail (sometimes said to have 50 or 100 heads) called a hellhound. 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 was overcome several times:

* 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 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.

Cerberus© Greekies
Art© ~zazouko
Continue Reading: Echidna