Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Roman Underworld

The Roman Underworld

The Romans believed that the souls of the dead were grabbed by two spirits, one pulling form the front, the other pushing from behind. These led the soul deep underground to the land of Hades to meet the god Dis Pater, who would decide the souls fate.

Dis Pater met the soul and read out from a scroll the deeds that the person had performed while alive. If there were more deeds that pleased the gods than displeased them, the soul was allowed to enter Hades.

If a person had committed more acts that displeased the gods than had pleased them, the soul would be handed over to the goddess Tuchulcha and her husband Charon. Tuchulcha had eyes of fire, pointed ears and snakes wrapped around her body. She and Charon enjoyed torturing people.

Februus was the god who caused death. He walked across the earth searching out those whose lives were coming to an end. The second month of the year was sacred to him, and is still called February.

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