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October 27, 2010

Dante's Charon: Crossings.

charon.jpg

The Ferryman Charon. Gustave Doré's illustration to Dante's Inferno. Plate IX: Canto III:

And lo! towards us coming in a boat
An old man, hoary with the hair of eld,
Crying: 'Woe unto you, ye souls depraved!'

In Greek mythology, non-lawyer Charon took souls to Hades--the entrance to the underworld. He did, however, have a standard fee agreement. Supernatural Charon ferried the newly dead across the river Acheron other if they had an obolus (a silver coin worth a sixth of a drachma) to pay for the ride. If you couldn't pay him, you had to wander the shores for a period of one hundred years.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at October 27, 2010 11:59 PM

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