Sunday, August 1, 2010

Charon carries souls of the dead over Styx by Konstantin Makovsky

Image: Charon transfers souls of the dead over Styx River, 1861 painting by Russian painter Konstantin Makovsky (1839-1915)

According to Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman who carries the souls of dead persons across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divide the world of the living from the world of the dead. A coin to pay passage charges to Charon was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person. Those who could not pay passage charges to Charon, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years.

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