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Myths and Folklore Wiki

The Myths and Folklore Wiki is a website for cataloging, studying, and celebrating the various mythological and folkloric traditions that have existed throughout humanity. Our goal is to create a website that serves as an open, easy access, and scholarly resource in the study of mythology and folklore. We plan to fulfill this goal by creating accessible, easy to understand articles on both mythology and folklore that are accurate and credibly sourced. Feel free to jump right in and begin adding material to existing articles or create new ones!

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Featured Article



Cerberus (Ancient Greek: Κέρβερος Kérberos), also referred to as "The Hound of Hades," is a bronze, traditionally three-headed, dog from ancient Greek and Roman mythology who guards the entrance to Hades, the realm of the dead, to prevent those who entered from ever escaping.

According to descriptions, Cerberus was gigantic in size and terrible to behold. The poet Hesiod describes Cerberus as being "unspeakable, unmanageable...," and, "...a dreaded hound." He was bronze with a mane of snakes, snakes down the ridge of his back, and the tail of a dragon-like serpent. Cerberus also had the claws of a lion. According to Hesiod, Cerberus had a total of fifty heads, though most later sources say that he had three. A common descriptor used by ancient authors for Cerberus is "jagged-toothed."

In mythology, Cerberus' main role is as the watchdog of the realm of Hades. Cerberus prevents the dead from ever leaving Hades, and denies entry of the living into the realm of the dead. Hesiod describes Cerberus guarding Hades as follows:

There in the front stand the resounding abodes of the infernal god, of mighty Hādēs, and awesome Persephone besides; and a fierce dog keeps guard in front, a ruthless dog; and he has an evil trick: those who enter he fawns upon with his tail and both ears alike, yet he allows them not to go forth back again, but lies in wait and devours whomsoever he may have caught going forth outside the gates of strong Hādēs and dread Persephone.

-Hesiod's Theogony

Cerberus is primarily featured in mythological stories describing the few times he's ever been bested or overcome. The first of these is the story of Orpheus' attempt at rescuing his love, Eurydice, from the realm of Hades. Orpheus, as a fabled musician, was able to sneak past Cerberus by lulling him with his music. The second, is the story of Heracles' twelfth labor, where the demigod was tasked with bringing Cerberus to the surface from Hades.

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  • You may join one of various Projects working to complete high-quality collections of articles on various cultures' mythology:
Greek-Medusa.png Greek Mythology Project

The Greek Mythology Project is a project dedicated to producing high-quality articles pertaining to Greek myth. If you're interested in Greek mythology, start here! You can also browse Greek mythology articles on the Greek Mythology Category Page!


Futhark mjolnir decal.png Norse Mythology Project

The Norse Mythology Project is a project dedicated to producing high-quality articles pertaining to Norse myth. If you're interested in Norse mythology, start here! You can also browse Norse mythology articles on the Norse Mythology Category Page!


Tutankhamun decal.png Egyptian Mythology Project

The Egyptian Mythology Project is a project dedicated to producing high-quality articles pertaining to Egyptian myth. If you're interested in Egyptian mythology, start here! You can also browse Egyptian mythology articles on the Egyptian Mythology Category Page!


Triple-Spiral-Symbol-heavystroked.svg Celtic Mythology Project

The Celtic Mythology Project is a project dedicated to producing high-quality articles pertaining to Celtic myth. If you're interested in Celtic mythology, start here! You can also browse Celtic mythology articles on the Celtic Mythology Category Page!


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Statistics

Launched: February 14, 2006
Articles: 2,898
Files: 14,817
Total Edits: 178,571
Users (wiki-wide): 30,694,694

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