Charon carries souls across the river Styx - by Alexander Dmitrievich Litovchenko (1835-1890)
In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon (pronounced /ˈkɛərən/; Greek Χάρων) was the ferryman of Hades who carried souls of the newly deceased across the river that divided the world of the living the world of the dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person. Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years. In the catabasis mytheme, heroes вЂ” such as Heracles, Orpheus, Aeneas, Dionysus and Psyche вЂ” journey to the underworld and return, still alive, conveyed by the boat of Charon.