In Greek mythology, Ploutos ("wealth" Πλοῦτος), usually Romanized as Plutus, was equally a son of the pre-Hellenic Cretan Demeter— [Karl Kerenyi, "We are not surpd to learn that the fruit of her love was Ploutos, "riches". What else could have sprung from the willingness of the grain goddess? ("Eleusis: Archtypal Image of Mothger and Daughter" (Bollingen) 1967, p 30).] and the demigod Iasion, with whom she lay in a thrice-ploughed field— and, in the mythic context of Eleusinian Demeter, also the divine child, the issue of the ravisher, the child and boy-double of the "wealthy" Hades ("Plouton"). Plutus was the personification of wealth.

He was also thought to have been the child of Hades and Persephone. Many vase paintings show him with the king and queen of the Underworld.

Plutus in the arts

In the philosophized mythology of the later Classical period, Plutus is envisaged by Aristophanes ["Plutus" ("Wealth", second version, 388 BC)] as blinded by Zeus, so that he would be able to dispense his gifts without prejudice; he is also lame, as he takes his time arriving, and winged, so he leaves faster than he came. When the god's sight is restored, in Aristophanes' comedy, he is then able to determine who is deserving of wealth, creating havoc.

Among the Eleusinian figures painted on Greek ceramics, Plutus, whether a boy child or a youthful "ephebe", is recognized by the cornucopia, or horn of plenty, that he bears. In later, allegorical bas-reliefs, Plutus is a boy in the arms of Eirene, as Prosperity is the gift of "Peace", or in the arms of Tyche, the Fortune of Cities.

In Lucian of Samosata's satirical dialogue "Timon", Ploutus, the very embodiment of worldly goods written up in a parchment will, says to Hermes: :"it is not Zeus who sends me, but Pluto, who has his own ways of conferring wealth and making presents; Pluto and Plutus are not unconnected, you see. When I am to flit from one house to another, they lay me on parchment, seal me up carefully, make a parcel of me and take me round. The dead man lies in some dark corner, shrouded from the knees upward in an old sheet, with the cats fighting for possession of him, while those who have expectations wait for me in the public place, gaping as wide as young swallows that scream for their mother's return."

In Canto VII of Dante's Divine Comedy, Plutus ("Pluto" in the original Italian) is a wolf-like demon of wealth which guards the fourth circle of the Inferno, the Hoarders and the Wasters. Dante almost certainly conflated Plutus with Pluto, the Roman god of the Underworld.

Words with the prefix Pluto- (implying wealth)

Like many other figures in Greek and Roman mythology, Plutus' name leads to many modern words. These include:
*Plutocracy: Rule by the wealthiest
*: The study of wealth management
*: Wealthy ruler
*Plutolatry: the "worship" of money
*Plutomania: the delusion that one is immensely wealthy

See also

* Pluto (mythology)


External links

* [ Plutus]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Plutus — [plo͞ot′əs] n. 〚L < Gr Ploutos < ploutos, wealth: see PLUTOCRACY〛 Gr. Myth. the blind god of wealth * * * ▪ Greek mythology       in Greek religion, god of abundance or wealth, a personification of ploutos (Greek: “riches”). According to Hesiod,… …   Universalium

  • Plutus — Plu tus, n. [L., fr. Gr. ?.] (Class. Myth.) The son of Jason and Ceres, and the god of wealth. He was represented as bearing a cornucopia, and as blind, because his gifts were bestowed without discrimination of merit. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • PLUTUS — a Graecis fingitur divitiarum Deus, quem in adventu claudum esse volunt, recessu alatum: hoc nimirum innuentes, quod serius quidem opes contrahantur, partae autem, nisi frugaliter dispenses, velocissime dilabantur, Eundem et caecum saciunt, et… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Plutus — [plo͞ot′əs] n. [L < Gr Ploutos < ploutos, wealth: see PLUTOCRACY] Gr. Myth. the blind god of wealth …   English World dictionary

  • Plutus — Ploutos ou Plutus dans la myth. gr., dieu de la Richesse agricole. Plutus V. Ploutos …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Plutus — Plutos (griechisch Πλοῦτος, lateinisch Plutus „Reichtum“) bezeichnet: den personifizierten Reichtum, siehe Plutos (Mythologie) eine Komödie des Aristophanes, siehe Der Reichtum Siehe auch: Pluto …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plutus — Ploutos Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ploutos (homonymie). Statuette de Ploutos, copie romaine du I …   Wikipédia en Français

  • plutus — (plu tus ) s. m. Terme de la religion gréco romaine. Le dieu qui présidait à la distribution des richesses et que l on représentait aveugle …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • PLUTUS —    the god of riches, son of Jason and Demeter. Zeus is said to have put out his eyes that he might bestow his gifts without respect to merit, that is, on the evil and the good impartially …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Plutus — /ˈplutəs/ (say ploohtuhs) noun Classical Mythology a personification of wealth, the son of Demeter, and associated with peace. {Latin, from Greek Ploutos god of riches, literally, wealth} …   Australian English dictionary

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