Psychopomp: Greek Edition I

Charon: The Ferryman
Charon, son of Nyx, was the ferryman of Hades, who carries the souls of the newly deceased across the River Styx that divided the world of the living from the dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or drachma, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person.
The people who didn't receive a proper burial and thus had no obolus were left to wander on the shores of the river Acheron for one hundred years. That's why for the ancient Greeks it was so important to give a respectable burial to the deceased. In some places, it is require by law to properly bury the dead for protection for the citizens and honor gods especially Hades. For instance, Antigone risked her life by burying her brother, Polyneces, because he was considered a traitor and the king of Thebes forbid everyone to bury him.
Plato tells us that the souls of the deceased were judged and then, according to their sins, they were taken by Charon to different areas where they were purified from their sins or where they received punishment.
Charon also had to ferry some living people, even if he didn't really want to. Among them were the hero Heracles (Roman name Heracles), who easily convinced Charon by using his club, and Orpheus, who probably convinced him with his song, when he got into the underworld. After returning to the world of the living and looking back, he lost Eurydice for the second time. Orpheus could see her taken by Charon to the other shore; as much as he wanted to return to Hades, Charon refused to ferry him again. When a pregnant Psyche wanders into the Underworld on a final quest for Aphrodite, Charon initially refuses to take her over the Styx, but has a change of heart once she gives him a fresh golden drachma. He later takes her back over for a second drachma.

Charon's Associate:

Titan nymph of the River of the Hate and his business partner

Ruler of the Underworld and his boss

Messenger of the Gods, God of Traveler and his supplyer of souls (likely pay customers)


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