Kerberos_Hercules.jpgKerveros was son of Tyfon and Echidna and the dog of Hades. Plouton put him in front of the gates of Hades as guardian in order not to leave the dead to come out. He was a very wild beast and he had three heads or according to others fifty or one hundred. For hairs he had snakes and his tail was a tail of dragon with a head at the end. His voice was terrific and analogus to his appearance and that's why Hesiodus describe his voice as “chalcophonous” (=with copper voice).

Hes was lashed down with one thousand chains in a den full of human bones very close to the gates of Hades because he was mauling the people who were trying to escape. When he was untethered nobody could approach Kerveros but when people were entering Hades he was very kind to them.

When Hercules went down to Hades he took Kerveros up to earth. Kerveros was not used to the light of the sun and he lost consciousness. When he fell down saliva flowed out of his mouth onto the earth. From his saliva the herb aconite growed which is poisonous leading to death.

Check the famous image with Hekate and Kerberus, from our pottery, now "copyrighted" by the famous website theoi.com