ACADEMIC AMERICAN ENCYCLOPEDIA CHARON {kair'-uhn} In Greek mythology, Charon is the boatman who ferries the dead across the river STYX to HADES. Though old and gray, Charon is strong and sturdy. Dressed in a short cloak, he chooses his passengers from among the multitudes of the dead that crowd the shore. Only those properly buried in the world above are chosen, and then only if they have the fare--a silver coin placed in the mouth of the corpse before burial. 
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