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Charon  (CARE-on)

Spectral figure who ferried the dead across the river Styx, a bribe for whom persisted into modern times. The custom was to place a coin in the mouth of a corpse to secure its passage into Hades. Charon was not well disposed to passengers who were still living. Heracles had to muster up all his powers of intimidation when dispatched to bring back Cerberus to the upper world as one of his Labors. But Orpheus merely played a particularly enchanting strain on his lyre to induce Charon to pole him across the Styx.
Charon. (zoom)