The Greek ferryman of the dead, Charon took the dead souls of men
and women across the River Styx, into the underworld
of Hades, but not
before their bodies had been buried in the earth above, with all due
ceremony of sacrifice and marks of affection. Until this was done, the
souls of the dead would wander listlessly along the banks of the Styx.
As payment for the journey across the River of the Dead, Charon
demanded a coin, one per soul, which had to be placed under the tongue
of the corpse. Without this fee, the Ferryman would refuse to convey a
soul into Hades.