The following is the reason why the Eleans worship Hades; they are the only men
we know of so to do. It is said that, when Heracles was leading an expedition
against Pylus in Elis, Athena was one of his allies. Now among those who came
to fight on the side of the Pylians was Hades, who was the foe of Heracles but
was worshipped at Pylus.
Homer is quoted in support of the story, who says in the Iliad: "And among them huge Hades suffered a wound from a swift arrow, When the same man, the son of aegis-bearing Zeus, Hit him in Pylus among the dead, and gave him over to pains". (Hom. Il. 5.395-397)
If in the expedition of Agamemnon and Menelaus against Troy Poseidon was according to Homer an ally of the Greeks, it cannot be unnatural for the same poet to hold that Hades helped the Pylians. At any rate it was in the belief that the god was their friend but the enemy of Heracles that the Eleans made the sanctuary for him. The reason why they are wont to open it only once each year is, I suppose, because men too go down only once to Hades. (Paus. 6.25.2)
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