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.
Julius Caesar writes in Commentarii de Bello Gallico that the Gauls considered Dis Pater to be an ancestor. This may in part be due to confusion between Dis Pater and the Proto-Indo-European deity *Dyeus, who would have been addressed as *Dyeu Phter ("Sky Father"). This name is also the likely origin of the name of many Indo-European gods, including Zeus and Jupiter, though its relationship with Dis Pater may be in part coincidental.
In being conflated with Pluto, Dis Pater took on some of the Greek mythological attributes of Pluto/Hades, being one of the three sons of Saturn (Greek: Cronus) and Ops (Greek: Rhea), along with Jupiter and Neptune. He ruled the underworld and the dead beside his wife, Proserpina (Greek: Persephone). In literature, Dis Pater was commonly used as a symbolic and poetic way of referring to death itself.
In 249 BC and 207 BC, the Roman Senate ordained special festivals to appease Dis Pater and Proserpina. Every hundred years, a festival was celebrated in his name. According to legend, a round marble altar, Ara Ditis Patris et Proserpinae (Altar of Dis Pater and Proserpina), was miraculously discovered by the servants of a Sabine called Valesius, the ancestor of the first consul. The servants were digging in the Tarentum on the edge of the Campus Martius to lay foundations following instructions given to Valesius's children in dreams, when they found the altar 20 ft. (6.09 m) underground. Valesius reburied the altar after three days of games. Sacrifices were offered to this altar during the Ludi Saeculares or Ludi Tarentini. It may have been uncovered for each occasion of the games, to be reburied afterwards, a clearly chthonic tradition of worship. It was rediscovered in 1886–87 beneath the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Rome.
In addition to being considered the ancestor of the Gauls, Dis Pater was sometimes identified with the Sabine god Soranus. In southern Germany and the Balkans, Dis Pater had a Celtic goddess, Aericura, as a consort. Dis Pater was rarely associated with foreign deities in the shortened form of his name, Dis.