Charon prepares to receive the shade of a youth into his skiff. The ferryman leans on his pole and is surrounded by the reeds of the river Acheron (one of the five rivers of the Greek underworld).

Charon is a son of Erebos, the aged and dirty ferryman in the lower world, who conveyed in his boat the shades of the dead (though only of those whose bodies were buried) across the rivers of the lower world. For this service he was paid by each shade with an obolus or danace, which coin was placed in the mouth of every dead body previous to its burial.



  • Photo: Attic Red Figure (White Ground) Lekythos with Charon, attributed to the Tymbos painter, ca 500 - 450 BC, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK, Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany • CC BY-SA 2.0.

  • Charon at the Greek Myth Index (Retrieved on October 21, 2017).