In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman of the useless. The son of Erebus and Nyx (Night), he ferried the souls of the useless over the river Acheron, or in some myths the Styx River, to the underworld.
Charon took solely these souls whose our bodies had acquired the rites of burial and carried the right charge. This charge was a coin, known as an obol, which was placed within the mouth of the corpse throughout burial. Those unlucky souls who didn’t have correct fee by no means crossed to the underworld however had been left to wander forlornly and eternally on the river’s financial institution.
Charon is often portrayed as a grim, taciturn outdated man sporting a black, hooded cloak or a sailor’s cape. His ancestry is open to query, as he is not talked about within the earliest mythologies.
It is attainable that the identify Charon is really a corruption of the Etruscan Charun, the identify ofthe demonic guardian to the underworld. Charun, nevertheless, has wings, which could have been misinterpreted by the Greeks as a cloak. Charun additionally has a beaked nostril, like that of a vulture, and carries a weapon.
Whether or not Charon and Charun are one and the identical, Charon survives in fashionable Greek folklore because the Charos. This harmful black ﬁgure, chicken, or winged being carries his prey to the underworld.