In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon (pronounced /ˈkɛrɒn,
ˈkɛrən/; Greek Χάρων) is the ferryman of Hades who carries
souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron
that divided the world of the living from the world of the
dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or
danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead
person. Some authors say that those who could not pay the
fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander
the shores for one hundred years. In the catabasis mytheme,
heroes - such as Heracles, Orpheus, Aeneas, Dionysus and
Psyche - journey to the underworld and return, still alive,
conveyed by the boat of Charon...
（Χάρων), 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. (Verg. A. 6.295, &c.; Senec. Herc.
Fur. 764.) 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. This notion of Charon seems
to be of late origin, for it does not occur in any of the
early poets of Greece. (Paus. 10.28.1; Juv. 3.267; Eustath. ad
Hom. p. 1666.) Charon was represented in the Lesche of Delphi
by Polygnotus. - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and
mythology, William Smith, Ed.