Charon, in Greek mythology, son of Erebus and Night, the ferryman who transported the souls of the dead over the river Acheron to the infernal regions. The fee exacted for this service from each spirit ferried over by him was never less than one obolus, nor more than three; and to provide for this fee small coins were placed in the mouth of the dead. The spirits of those whose bodies had not been buried were not permitted to enter Charon's boat without having previously wandered on the shore for a century; nor could any living person be admitted into it till he had shown its master a golden branch, the gift of the Cumaaan sibyl. The ferryman was once im-prisoned for a whole year for having conveyed Hercules across in violation of this rule, even though he had been compelled by the hero to do so. Charon is generally represented as a robust old man of stern countenance, his eyes glowing like flame, his hair white and bushy, and in his hands an oar to direct his boat on her course. The myth of Charon seems to have been of late invention, for he is not mentioned by any of the early Greek poets.

Charon.

Charon.