View Full Version : Dis Pater {God of the Week}

November 1st, 2006, 04:42 AM
Dis Pater, or Dispater, was a Roman and Celtic god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Jupiter. Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Dis Pater was commonly shortened to simply Dis. This name has since become an alternate name for the underworld or a part of the underworld, such as the Dis of The Divine Comedy.
From Dis Pater: Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis_Pater)

The Roman ruler of the underworld and fortune, similar to the Greek Hades. Every hundred years, the Ludi Tarentini were celebrated in his honor. The Gauls regarded Dis Pater as their ancestor.
From Pantheon (http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/dis_pater.html)

Dis Pater probably should not be included in this list per se for the Dis Pater is actually to Roman god of the underworld and the dead, equated with but separate from the Greek Pluto. Julius Caesar in his De Bello Gallico VI, 18 (Gallic Wars) calls Dis the transcendant god amongst the Gauls, one of the six in their pantheon, and asserts that all Gauls claimed him as their ultimate ancestor. Thus we know of Dis Pater only through interpretatio romano; yet there probably was a native Gaulish deity associated on whom the likeness with Dis Pater was based and whose name is now lost. Dis Pater is thus used in place of the true name of this original Celtic deity.

The association of the Gaulish Allfather with the Roman Dis Pater is associated with the Celtic emphasis on the continued existence of the soul after death and the continuing cult of the ancestors that survives from the Neolithic through the bronze age to the Iron Age of the Celts (which may well be why ancient burial mounds and other ancient tumuli are regarded as the dwellings of the departed, the sídh mounds of the gods and the enclaves of the Tylwyth Teg. Rachel Bromwich in Pagan Celtic Britain has suggested that Gaulish Cernunnos was one of the deities Caesar likened to Dis Pater as both seem to be deities of wealth, fecundity and the chthonic regions. Indeed, Cernunnos is associated with the world serpent, guardian of earth-bound treasure and Dis Pater's temple in Rome was above a subterranean cave that was given over to the protection of the Roman state treasure.

As an ancestral figure and a guardian of the dead Dis Pater has also been linked with the Irish deity Donn who serves a similar mythological function, though he may be more correctly associated with the father of the Irish gods, the In Dagda. The Berne scholia's ninth century CE commentaries on Lucian's first century CE Pharsalia equates the thunder deity Taranis with Dis Pater. However, if the Dis Pater is also the ancestral deity of the people he may also be equated with Teutates whose name is interpreted as “Father of the Tribe”.

In southern Germany and the Balkans inscriptions invoke Dis Pater along with the native deity Aericura. The associated imagery reveals a goddess posessing all the emblems of a Celtic mother deity; though her consort holds a scroll that may be the ‘Book of Life’, symbolic of the passage from youth to old age. On a stele from Varhély, Rumania Dis Pater is depictad with a three-headed canid; the native equivalent to Cerberus, guardian of the netherworld.
From Dis Pater (http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_d/dis_pater.html)

The Roman ruler of the underworld and fortune, similar to the Greek Hades. Every hundred years, the Ludi Tarentini were celebrated in his honor. The Gauls regarded Dis Pater as their ancestor. The name is a contraction of the Latin Dives, "the wealthy", Dives Pater, "the wealthy father", or "Fater Wealth". It refers to the wealth of precious stone below the earth. Hades has a title Theos Chthonios may mean god of the lower world/ Underworld or sullen god. This title of Hades was found in a fragment from Scholiast on Hesiod. Through the writers and poets who wrote about Hades, it could be clear that he isn't popular among human and that they fear him. Comparing Satan with Hades is like comparing ice with sand. It doesn't work. Hades is and never will be Satan. Hades is the almighty ruler of the Kingdom of the Dead, but Death itself is he not. Death is another God called Thanatos but the Underworld is sometimes referred as his name. He rules over the Elysium, the Asphodel plains and Tartarus. While Elysium is for the decent and good people, the Asphodel plains are for heroes and Tartarus are for criminals and others like them. It was Hades who kidnapped Demeters daughter called Kore before she turned her name into Persephone. This myth was the foundation of the seasons according to the Hellenes. However Hades is feared throughout Hellas, a malevolent deity is he not. He maybe cranky and lonely but he is justefull. He rules over the Underworld with an iron fist with and without Persephone. When Persephone is with her mother for another six months he rules with Hecate the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria. All Gods are good and evil, thats why they are dualistic of nature. Hades has many servants like the Harpies, the Erinyes (The Furies), Charon and his followers (The Charonites), Menoeiteus, the shepherd in the Underworld. He's rarely seen upon Olympus. If someone dies his soul will be transported to the Underworld through a tunnel which on the end that person is going meet Charon and his followers and Cerberus, than Hecate or Hermes or Thanatos who will bring the person to the three Judges. He rarely shows himself on Earth and when he does, he has a helmet, which gives him invisibility. The one time he shown himself on Earth was when Sisyphus captured Thanatos and he had to free him or otherwise nobody on Earth would die. Sisyphus wanted to escape from death by capturing him but the only way to do this is that the Gods themselves intervene and let you live forever. Sisyphus paid a high price for his defiance. He was sent to the Tartarus pushing a rock up hill but when he arrived on the top of the hill, the rock returned.
From TheoWiki (http://www.theowiki.com/index.php/Hades)

Every once in a while, Dis or Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, will reprieve a candidate for the entire process and send him or her back to live again, especially if the deceased was unjustly murdered. He is given the Water of Forgetfulness and sent back across the Styx, presumably with a treat for Cerberus! (This is where the old phrase, " a sop for Cerberus" comes from — a bribe.)

Dis, while he is God of the Underworld, is NOT the God of Death. He does not decide who lives and dies. Instead, this is determined by the Three Fates. However, Dis does dispatch the god of death, Mors or Thanatos, to do his duty. He also has some connection with Morpheus, god of dreams.

Interestingly, Dis Pater is the only god with no name. He is known by the name of his kingdom: Hades, Pluto, or Dis, all of which refer to the secret riches of the earth.
From Novo Roma (http://www.novaroma.org/religio_romana/afterlife.html)

Other links:
THE Conquest of the Gods by mortals (http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cml/cml14.htm)
Mythography (http://www.loggia.com/myth/hades.html)
Taranis (http://www.chronarchy.com/esus/eor_esus.html)

November 1st, 2006, 04:48 AM
Yay, thanks Minerva! :hugz:

November 1st, 2006, 02:15 PM
Interesting, Dis Pater is for some reason or the other one of the gods I've found it hard to find a lot of information on.