Charon | Greek God

Charon Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Charon (Greek: Χάρων, transl.: Chárōn) is the boatman of Hades, who carries the souls of the newly dead over the waters of the River Styx and Aqueron, which divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.

A coin to pay him for the journey, usually an obit or danaca, was sometimes placed in or on the mouths of corpses, according to the funerary tradition of Ancient Greece. According to some authors, those who could not afford to pay the amount, or those whose bodies had not been buried, had to wander the banks for a hundred years.

Charon was the son of Nix (the Night) and Erebo (the Darkness). He was also the brother of Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death).

In the mytheme of the catabasis, or descent into the world of the dead, some heroes - such as Heracles, Orpheus, Aeneas, Dionysus and Psyche - manage to travel to the nether world and return still alive, brought by Charon's boat.