Charon’s obol – Wikipedia

Coin placed in or on the mouth of the dead

Charon’s obol is an allusive term for the coin placed in or on the mouth [ 1 ] of a absolutely person before burying. greek and latin literary sources specify the coin as an obol, and explain it as a requital or bribe for Charon, the ferryman who conveyed souls across the river that divided the worldly concern of the populate from the universe of the dead. archaeological examples of these coins, of versatile denominations in rehearse, have been called “ the most celebrated grave goods from antiquity. ” [ 2 ] The customs is chiefly associated with the ancient Greeks and Romans, though it is besides found in the ancient Near East. In western Europe, a exchangeable use of coins in burials occurs in regions inhabited by Celts of the Gallo-Roman, Hispano-Roman and Romano-British cultures, and among the Germanic peoples of former antiquity and the early Christian era, with sporadic examples into the early twentieth hundred.

Although archeology shows that the myth reflects an actual custom-made, the placement of coins with the dead was neither permeant nor confined to a single coin in the deceased ‘s mouthpiece. [ 3 ] In many burials, inscribed metal-leaf tablets or Exonumia take the plaza of the coin, or gold-foil crosses during the early christian menstruation. The presence of coins or a coin-hoard in Germanic ship-burials suggests an analogous concept. [ 4 ] The phrase “ Charon ’ s obol ” as used by archaeologists sometimes can be understood as referring to a particular religious rite, but much serves as a kind of shorthand for neologism as grave goods presumed to further the deceased ‘s passage into the afterlife. [ 5 ] In Latin, Charon ‘s obol sometimes is called a viaticum, or “ support for the travel ” ; the placement of the coin on the sass has been explained besides as a seal to protect the deceased ‘s soul or to prevent it from returning .

terminology [edit ]

Charon ’ south Obols Charon ’ s Obol. 5th-1st century BC. All of these pseudo-coins have no polarity of attachment, are besides thin for normal habit, and are frequently found in burial sites .[6]Medusa coin from the Black Sea region, of a type sometimes used as Charon’s obol, with anchor and crustacean on reverse The mint for Charon is conventionally referred to in greek literature as an obolos ( Greek ὀβολός ), one of the basic denominations of ancient greek neologism, worth one-sixth of a dram. [ 7 ] Among the Greeks, coins in actual burials are sometimes besides a danakē ( δανάκη ) or other relatively small-denomination gold, silver, bronze or copper mint in local anesthetic use. In Roman literary sources the coin is normally bronze or copper. [ 8 ] From the 6th to the fourth centuries BC in the Black Sea region, low-value coins depicting arrowheads or dolphins were in consumption chiefly for the purpose of “ local commute and to serve as ‘ Charon ’ s obol. ‘ “ [ 9 ] The payment is sometimes specified with a term for “ boat fare ” ( in Greek naulon, ναῦλον, Latin naulum ) ; “ tip for ferrying ” ( porthmeion, πορθμήϊον or πορθμεῖον ) ; or “ waterway toll ” ( Latin portorium ). The son naulon ( ναῦλον ) is defined by the Christian-era lexicographer Hesychius of Alexandria as the mint put into the mouth of the dead ; one of the meanings of danakē ( δανάκη ) is given as “ the obol for the dead ”. The Suda defines danakē as a coin traditionally buried with the dead for paying the ferryman to cross the river Acheron, [ 10 ] and explicates the definition of porthmēïon ( πορθμήϊον ) as a ferryman ’ s fee with a quotation from the poet Callimachus, who notes the custom of carrying the porthmēïon in the “ parch mouths of the dead. ” [ 11 ]

Charon ‘s obol as viaticum [edit ]

In Latin, Charon ’ second obol is sometimes called a viaticum, [ 12 ] which in everyday usage means “ provision for a travel ” ( from via, “ way, road, journey ” ), encompassing food, money and other supplies. The lapp bible can refer to the surviving allowance granted to those stripped of their property and condemned to exile, [ 13 ] and by metaphorical elongation to preparing for death at the end of life sentence ’ second journey. [ 14 ] Cicero, in his philosophic negotiation On Old Age ( 44 BC ), has the interlocutor Cato the Elder combine two metaphors — nearing the end of a journey, and ripening fruit — in talk of the set about to death :

I don ’ metric ton understand what avarice should want for itself in old age ; for can anything be sillier than to acquire more provisions ( viaticum ) as less of the travel remains ? [ 15 ] … Fruits, if they are green, can barely be wrenched off the trees ; if they are good and softened, they fall. In the same direction, violence carries off the life of young men ; old men, the fullness of time. To me this is thus amply pleasing that, the cheeseparing I draw to end, I seem within sight of landfall, as if, at an unscheduled clock time, I will come into the harbor after a long ocean trip. [ 16 ]

Drawing on this metaphorical sense of “ provision for the journey into death, ” ecclesiastical Latin borrowed the terminus viaticum for the form of Eucharist that is placed in the mouth of a person who is dying as planning for the soul ’ second passage to ageless liveliness. [ 17 ] The earliest literary evidence of this christian usage for viaticum appears in Paulinus ’ s report of the death of Saint Ambrose in 397 AD. [ 18 ] The 7th-century Synodus Hibernensis offers an etymological explanation : “ This discussion ‘ viaticum ’ is the diagnose of communion, that is to say, ‘ the care of the manner, ’ for it guards the soul until it shall stand before the opinion – induct of Christ. ” [ 19 ] Thomas Aquinas explained the term as “ a prefiguration of the fruit of God, which will be in the promise Land. And because of this it is called the viaticum, since it provides us with the manner of getting there ” ; the estimate of Christians as “ travelers in search of salvation “ finds early expression in the Confessions of St. Augustine. [ 20 ] An equivalent bible in Greek is ephodion ( ἐφόδιον ) ; like viaticum, the word is used in antiquity to mean “ provision for a travel ” ( literally, “ something for the road, ” from the prefix ἐπ-, “ on ” + ὁδός, “ road, way ” ) [ 21 ] and late in Greek patristic literature for the Eucharist administered on the point of death. [ 22 ]

In literature [edit ]

[23] Charon receiving a child ( drawing based on a scene from a lekythos greek and Roman literary sources from the fifth century BC through the second century AD are consistent in attributing four characteristics to Charon ’ s obol :

  • it is a single, low-denomination coin;
  • it is placed in the mouth;
  • the placement occurs at the time of death;
  • it represents a boat fare.[24]

greek epigrams that were literary versions of epitaph refer to “ the obol that pays the passage of the departed, ” [ 25 ] with some epigrams referring to the impression by mocking or debunking it. The satirist Lucian has Charon himself, in a dialogue of the lapp name, declare that he collects “ an obol from everyone who makes the down travel. ” [ 26 ] In an elegy of consolation spoken in the person of the dead womanhood, the Augustan poet Propertius expresses the finality of death by her requital of the tan mint to the infernal toll collector ( portitor ). [ 27 ] Several other authors mention the tip. Often, an generator uses the low value of the coin to emphasize that death makes no distinction between rich people and poor people ; all must pay the same because all must die, and a rich person can take no greater sum into death : [ 28 ]

My baggage is only a flask, a wallet, an old cloak, and the obol that pays the passage of the departed. [ 29 ]

The incongruity of paying what is, in effect, entrance fee to Hell encouraged a comedian or satirical treatment, and Charon as a ferryman who must be persuaded, threatened, or bribed to do his occupation appears to be a literary reconstruct that is not reflected in early classical music art. Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood has shown that in 5th-century BC depictions of Charon, as on the funerary vases called lekythoi, he is a non-threatening, evening reassuring presence who guides women, adolescents, and children to the afterlife. [ 30 ] Humor, as in Aristophanes ‘s comic catabasis The Frogs, “ makes the travel to Hades less terrorization by articulating it explicitly and trivializing it. ” Aristophanes makes jokes about the tip, and a quality complains that Theseus must have introduced it, characterizing the athenian hero in his character of city personal digital assistant as a bureaucrat. [ 31 ] Lucian satirizes the obol in his essay “ On Funerals ” :

so thoroughly are people taken in by all of this that when one of the family dies, immediately they bring an obol and put it into his mouth to pay the ferryman for setting him over, without considering what sort of neologism is accustomed and current in the lower worldly concern and whether it is the athenian or the macedonian or the Aeginetan obol that is legal tender there, nor indeed that it would be army for the liberation of rwanda better not to pay the menu, since in that casing the ferryman would not take them and they would be escorted to life again. [ 32 ]

In another satirical sour of Lucian, the “ Dialogs of the dead ”, a character called Menippus has just died and Charon is asking for an obol in order to convey him across the river to the hell, Menippus refuses to pay the obol, and consequently to enter the populace of the dead claim that :

You can ’ thymine get blood out of a stone

literally, “ You ca n’t get [ any obols ] from one who does n’t have any. ” [ 33 ]

archaeological attest [edit ]

The consumption of coins as grave goods shows a diverseness of exercise that casts doubt on the accuracy of the condition “ Charon ’ s obol ” as an interpretational class. The phrase continues to be used, however, to suggest the ritual or religious significance of coinage in a funerary context. Coins are found in greek burials by the fifth hundred BC, deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as Greece was monetized, and appear throughout the Roman Empire into the fifth hundred AD, with examples conforming to the Charon ’ s obol type as far west as the iberian Peninsula, north into Britain, and east to the Vistula river in Poland. [ 34 ] The jawbones of skulls found in certain burials in Roman Britain are stained green from contact with a copper mint ; Roman coins are found belated in Anglo-Saxon graves, but often pierced for wearing as a necklace or amulet. [ 35 ] Among the ancient Greeks, only about 5 to 10 percentage of known burials contain any coins at all ; in some Roman cremation cemeteries, however, american samoa many as half the graves yield coins. many if not most of these occurrences adjust to the myth of Charon ’ s obol in neither the numeral of coins nor their placement. variety of placement and issue, including but not express to a unmarried coin in the mouth, is characteristic of all periods and places. [ 36 ]

Hellenized world [edit ]

ca. 450 BC), On this white-ground lekythos 450 BC ), Hermes prepares a charwoman for her travel to the afterlife Some of the oldest coins from Mediterranean tombs have been found on Cyprus. In 2001 Destrooper-Georgiades, a specialist in Achaemenid numismatics, said that investigations of 33 tombs had yielded 77 coins. Although denomination varies, as does the count in any given burial, small coins predominate. Coins started to be placed in grave about vitamin a soon as they came into circulation on the island in the sixth century, and some predate both the inaugural return of the obol and any literary reference to Charon ’ s tip. [ 37 ] Although alone a small percentage of greek burials contain coins, among these there are widespread examples of a single mint positioned in the mouthpiece of a skull or with cremation remains. In cremation urns, the coin sometimes adheres to the lower jaw of the skull. [ 38 ] At Olynthus, 136 coins ( largely bronze, but some silver ), were found with burials ; in 1932, archaeologists reported that 20 graves had each contained four tan coins, which they believed were intended for placement in the mouth. [ 39 ] A few grave at Olynthus have contained two coins, but more frequently a unmarried tan mint was positioned in the mouth or within the head of the skeletal system. In Hellenistic-era grave at one cemetery in Athens, coins, normally bronze, were found most much in the dead person ’ second mouth, though sometimes in the hand, loose in the dangerous, or in a vessel. [ 40 ] At Chania, an in the first place Minoan colony on Crete, a grave dating from the second half of the third century BC held a fat kind of sculpt goods, including ticket gold jewelry, a gold tray with the persona of a bird, a mud vessel, a bronze mirror, a bronze strigil, and a bronze “ Charon coin ” depicting Zeus. [ 41 ] In excavations of 91 tombs at a cemetery in Amphipolis during the mid- to late 1990s, a majority of the absolutely were found to have a coin in the mouth. The burials dated from the 4th to the late second hundred BC. [ 42 ] A celebrated use of a danake occurred in the burying of a woman in 4th-century BC Thessaly, a likely initiate into the Orphic or Dionysiac mysteries. Her religious gear included gold tablets inscribed with instructions for the afterlife and a terracotta trope of a Bacchic worshiper. Upon her lips was placed a amber danake stamped with the Gorgon ’ second head. [ 43 ] Coins begin to appear with greater frequency in graves during the third century BC, along with amber wreaths and plain unguentaria ( little bottles for oil ) in place of the earlier lekythoi. Black-figure lekythoi had much depicted Dionysiac scenes ; the by and by white-ground vessels much show Charon, normally with his pole, [ 44 ] but rarely ( or questionably ) accepting the mint. [ 45 ] The Black Sea region has besides produced examples of Charon ’ s obol. At Apollonia Pontica, the custom-made had been practiced from the mid-4th hundred BC ; in one cemetery, for case, 17 percentage of graves contained small bronze local coins in the mouthpiece or hired hand of the deceased. [ 46 ] During 1998 excavations of Pichvnari, on the coast of contemporary Georgia, a single coin was found in seven burials, and a pair of coins in two. The coins, argent triobols of the local Colchian currency, were located near the mouth, with the exception of one that was near the hand. It is ill-defined whether the abruptly were Colchians or Greeks. The investigating archaeologists did not regard the rehearse as typical of the region, but speculate that the local geography lent itself to adapting the greek myth, as bodies of the dead in actuality had to be ferried across a river from the town to the cemetery. [ 47 ]

Near East [edit ]

ancient jewish ossuaries sometimes contain a single coin Charon ‘s obol is normally regarded as Hellenic, and a single mint in burials is frequently taken as a mark of Hellenization, [ 48 ] but the exercise may be autonomous of greek charm in some regions. The invest of a mint in the mouth of the deceased is found besides during parthian and Sasanian times in what is now Iran. Curiously, the coin was not the danake of Persian beginning, as it was sometimes among the Greeks, but normally a greek dram. [ 49 ] In the Yazdi region, objects consecrated in graves may include a coin or piece of silver ; the customs is thought to be possibly deoxyadenosine monophosphate old as the Seleucid era and may be a form of Charon ’ s obol. [ 50 ] Discoveries of a single coin near the skull in grave of the Levant suggest a similar practice among Phoenicians in the iranian menstruation. [ 51 ] jewish ossuaries sometimes contain a single coin ; for example, in an ossuary bear the inscriptional mention “ Miriam, daughter of Simeon, ” a coin minted during the reign of Herod Agrippa I, dated 42/43 AD, was found in the skull ’ mho mouth. [ 52 ] Although the placement of a coin within the skull is rare in jewish antiquity and was potentially an act of idolatry, rabbinical literature preserves an allusion to Charon in a elegy for the dead “ tumbling aboard the ferry and having to borrow his do. ” Boats are sometimes depicted on ossuaries or the walls of jewish crypts, and one of the coins found within a skull may have been chosen because it depicted a ship. [ 53 ]

Western Europe [edit ]

Cemeteries in the western Roman Empire vary wide : in a 1st-century BC residential district in Cisalpine Gaul, coins were included in more than 40 percentage of graves, but none was placed in the mouth of the deceased ; the figure is only 10 percentage for cremations at Empúries in Spain and York in Britain. On the iberian Peninsula, evidence interpreted as Charon ‘s obol has been found at Tarragona. [ 54 ] In Belgic Gaul, varying deposits of coins are found with the dead for the 1st through 3rd centuries, but are most frequent in the deep 4th and early fifth centuries. Thirty Gallo-Roman burials near the Pont de Pasly, Soissons, each contained a coin for Charon. [ 55 ] Germanic burials show a preference for aureate coins, but even within a individual cemetery and a narrow time period, their inclination varies. [ 56 ] In one merovingian cemetery of Frénouville, Normandy, which was in use for four centuries after Christ, coins are found in a minority of the graves. At one prison term, the cemetery was regarded as exhibiting two clear-cut phases : an earlier Gallo-Roman period when the dead were buried with vessels, notably of methamphetamine, and Charon ‘s obol ; and late, when they were given funerary dress and goods according to Frankish custom. This neat division, however, has been shown to be misleading. In the 3rd- to 4th-century area of the cemetery, coins were placed near the skulls or hands, sometimes protected by a pouch or vessel, or were found in the grave-fill as if tossed in. Bronze coins normally total one or two per dangerous, as would be expected from the customs of Charon ’ south obol, but one burying contained 23 bronze coins, and another held a amber solidus and a semissis. The latter examples indicate that coins might have represented relative social condition. In the newer share of the cemetery, which remained in manipulation through the sixth century, the deposition patterns for neologism were alike, but the coins themselves were not contemporaneous with the burials, and some were pierced for wearing. The function of older coins may reflect a deficit of newfangled currency, or may indicate that the old coins held a traditional emblematic meaning apart from their denominational value. “ The vary placement of coins of different values … demonstrates at least partial derivative if not accomplished loss of sympathize of the original religious function of Charon ’ mho obol, ” remarks Bonnie Effros, a specialist in merovingian burial customs. “ These factors make it unmanageable to determine the rite ’ s meaning. ” [ 57 ]
Ornamental hat of the purse-hoard from the Sutton Hoo ship burying, containing coins possibly intended to pay the oarsmen to the otherworld Although the rite of Charon ’ s obol was practiced no more uniformly in Northern Europe than in Greece, there are examples of individual burials or small groups conforming to the traffic pattern. At Broadstairs in Kent, a young man had been buried with a merovingian gold tremissis ( ca. 575 ) in his mouth. [ 58 ] A goldplate coin was found in the talk of a young valet buried on the Isle of Wight in the mid-6th century ; his early grave goods included vessels, a drink horn, a knife, and gaming-counters [ 59 ] of ivory with one cobalt-blue glass part. [ 60 ] scandinavian and Germanic gold bracteates found in burials of the 5th and 6th centuries, particularly those in Britain, have besides been interpreted in sparkle of Charon ’ s obol. These aureate disks, similar to coins though broadly single-sided, were influenced by late Roman imperial coins and medallions but feature iconography from Norse myth and runic inscriptions. The stamping serve created an exsert flange that forms a frame with a loop for threading ; the bracteates much appear in burials as a charwoman ’ s necklace. A function comparable to that of Charon ’ mho obol is suggested by examples such as a man ‘s burial at Monkton in Kent and a group of several male graves on Gotland, Sweden, for which the bracteate was deposited in a pouch beside the body. In the Gotland burials, the bracteates lack rim and closed circuit, and show no traces of wear, suggesting that they had not been intended for casual use. [ 61 ] According to one interpretation, the purse- roll up in the Sutton Hoo embark burying ( Suffolk, East Anglia ), which contained a assortment of merovingian amber coins, unites the traditional Germanic ocean trip to the afterlife with “ an unusually brilliant class of Charon ‘s obol. ” The burying yielded 37 gold tremisses dating from the late 6th and early seventh hundred, three unstruck mint blanks, and two humble gold ingots. It has been conjectured that the coins were to pay the oarsmen who would row the ship into the adjacent world, while the ingots were meant for the steersmen. [ 62 ] Although Charon is normally a lone calculate in depictions from both antiquity and the modern era, there is some slender evidence that his ship might be furnished with oarsmen. A fragment of 6th hundred BC pottery has been interpreted as Charon sitting in the austere as helmsman of a boat fitted with ten pairs of oars and rowed by eidola ( εἴδωλα ), shades of the dead. A reference in Lucian seems besides to imply that the shades might row the gravy boat. [ 63 ] In Scandinavia, scattered examples of Charon ’ randomness obol have been documented from the Roman Iron Age and the Migration Period ; in the Viking Age eastern Sweden produces the best attest, Denmark rarely, and Norway and Finland inconclusively. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Charon ‘s obol appears in graves in Sweden, Scania, and Norway. swedish folklore documents the customs from the 18th into the twentieth hundred. [ 64 ]

Among Christians [edit ]

The custom of Charon ’ s obol not only continued into the Christian earned run average, [ 65 ] but was adopted by Christians, as a single coin was sometimes placed in the mouthpiece for christian burials. [ 66 ] At Arcy-Sainte-Restitue in Picardy, a merovingian grave accent yielded a coin of Constantine I, the first base Christian emperor, used as Charon ’ s obol. [ 67 ] In Britain, the practice was fair as frequent, if not more so, among Christians and persisted even to the end of the nineteenth hundred. [ 68 ] A folklorist write in 1914 was able to document a witness in Britain who had seen a penny placed in the mouth of an old man as he lay in his coffin. [ 69 ] In 1878, Pope Pius IX was entombed with a coin. [ 70 ] The practice was widely documented around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in Greece, where the mint was sometimes accompanied by a key. [ 71 ]

‘Ghost ‘ coins and crosses [edit ]

owl of Athens Coin ( 450s BC ) stamped with the alleged “ ghost coins ” besides appear with the dead. These are impressions of an actual coin or numismatic icon struck into a small slice of gold hydrofoil. [ 72 ] In a 5th- or 4th-century BC scratch at Syracuse, Sicily, a small orthogonal gold leaf stamped with a dual-faced figure, possibly Demeter / Kore, was found in the skeletal system ’ randomness mouthpiece. In a marble cremation box from the mid-2nd century BC, the “ Charon ‘s objet d’art ” took the form of a bit of gold foil stamped with an owl ; in addition to the charred bone fragments, the box besides contained gold leaves from a wreath of the type sometimes associated with the mystery religions. [ 73 ] Within an athenian family burial plot of the second century BC, a reduce gold phonograph record similarly stamped with the owl of Athens had been placed in the mouth of each male. [ 74 ] These examples of the “ Charon ‘s piece ” resemble in material and size the bantam code pad or funerary amulet called a lamella ( Latin for a metal-foil sheet ) or a Totenpass, a “ passport for the absolutely ” with instructions on navigating the afterlife, conventionally regarded as a form of Orphic or Dionysiac devotional. [ 75 ] Several of these prayer sheets have been found in positions that indicate placement in or on the deceased ‘s mouthpiece. A functional comparison with the Charon ‘s slice is further suggested by the tell of flatten coins used as mouth coverings ( epistomia ) from graves in Crete. [ 76 ] A gold phylactery with a damaged inscription invoking the syncretic god Sarapis was found within the skull in a burial from the recently first century AD in southern Rome. The gold pad may have served both as a protective amulet during the dead person ’ randomness life and then, with its interpolation into the talk, possibly on the model of Charon ’ s obol, as a Totenpass. [ 77 ]
In a late Roman-era burying in Douris, near Baalbek, Lebanon, the frontal bone, nose, and mouth of the dead person — a charwoman, in so far as skeletal remains can indicate — were covered with sheets of gold-leaf. She wore a wreath made from amber oak leaves, and her clothe had been sewn with gold-leaf ovals decorated with female faces. several methamphetamine vessels were arranged at her feet, and her discoverers interpreted the bronze coin close to her oral sex as an example of Charon ’ s obol. [ 78 ] textual attest besides exists for covering portions of the deceased ‘s body with aureate foil. One of the accusations of heresy against the phrygian Christian movement known as the Montanists was that they sealed the mouths of their dead with plates of gold like initiates into the mysteries ; [ 79 ] actual or not, the charge indicates an anxiety that christian commit be distinguished from that of other religions, and again suggests that Charon ’ s obol and the “ Orphic ” gold tablets could fulfill a alike aim. [ 80 ] The early Christian poet Prudentius seems [ 81 ] to be referring either to these inscribed gold-leaf tablets or to the larger gold-foil coverings in one of his condemnations of the mystery religions. Prudentius says that auri lammina ( “ sheets of amber ” ) were placed on the bodies of initiates as separate of funeral rites. [ 82 ] This practice may or may not be clear-cut from the funerary practice of gold leaf inscribed with figures and placed on the eyes, mouths, and chests of warriors in macedonian burials during the late Archaic period ( 580–460 BC ) ; in September 2008, archaeologists working near Pella in northerly Greece publicized the discovery of twenty warrior graves in which the deceased wear tan helmets and were supplied with iron swords and knives along with these gold-leaf coverings. [ 83 ]

Goldblattkreuze [edit ]

tremissis of 5th century) of Julius Nepos with thwart on inverse ( In Gaul and in Alemannic district, christian graves of the merovingian time period reveal an analogous Christianized practice in the form of gold or gold-alloy leaf shaped like a cross, [ 84 ] imprinted with designs, and deposited possibly as votives or amulets for the asleep. These paper-thin, fragile gold crosses are sometimes referred to by scholars with the german term Goldblattkreuze. They appear to have been sewn onto the asleep ’ second dress just ahead burial, not worn during liveliness, [ 85 ] and in this practice are comparable to the pierce Roman coins found in Anglo-Saxon graves that were attached to clothing alternatively of or in addition to being threaded onto a necklace. [ 86 ]

The crosses are characteristic of Lombardic Italy [ 87 ] ( Cisalpine Gaul of the Roman imperial era ), where they were fastened to veils and placed over the deceased ‘s talk in a good continuation of Byzantine drill. Throughout the Lombardic kingdom and north into Germanic territory, the crosses gradually replaced bracteates during the seventh hundred. [ 88 ] The transition is signalled by scandinavian bracteates found in Kent that are stamped with cross motifs resembling the Lombardic crosses. [ 89 ] Two plain gold-foil crosses of Latin class, found in the burial of a 7th-century East Saxon baron, are the first known examples from England, announced in 2004. [ 90 ] The king ’ s early grave goods included glass vessels made in England and two different merovingian gold coins, each of which had a cross on the reverse. [ 91 ] Coins of the period were adapted with christian iconography in separate to facilitate their use as an alternative to amulets of traditional religions. [ 92 ]
Gullgubber, gold-foil images from Scandinavia (6th–7th century) gold-foil images from Scandinavia ( 6th–7th hundred )

scandinavian gullgubber [edit ]

Scandinavia besides produced minor and flimsy gold-foil pieces, called gullgubber, that were worked in repoussé with human figures. These begin to appear in the late Iron Age and continue into the Viking Age. In form they resemble the gold-foil pieces such as those found at Douris, but the gullgubber were not fashioned with a fastener element and are not associated with burials. They occur in the archaeological record sometimes singly, but most often in large numbers. Some scholars have speculated that they are a shape of “ temple money ” or votive offer, [ 93 ] but Sharon Ratke has suggested that they might represent good wishes for travelers, possibly as a metaphor for the dead on their travel to the otherworld, [ 94 ] particularly those depicting “ wraiths. ” [ 95 ]

religious significance [edit ]

Ships frequently appear in Greek and Roman funerary art representing a voyage to the Isles of the Blessed, and a 2nd-century sarcophagus found in Velletri, near Rome, included Charon ‘s boat among its subject matter. [ 96 ] In modern-era Greek folkloric survivals of Charon ( as Charos the death devil ), sea ocean trip and river thwart are conflated, and in one later fib, the soul is held hostage by pirates, possibly representing the oarsmen, who require a ransom for dismissal. [ 97 ] The mytheme of the passage to the afterlife as a voyage or intersect is not unique to classical impression nor to aryan culture as a hale, as it occurs besides in ancient egyptian religion [ 98 ] and other belief systems that are culturally unrelated. [ 99 ] The boatman of the dead himself appears in divers cultures with no special relative to Greece or to each other. [ 100 ] A sumerian model for Charon has been proposed, [ 101 ] and the human body has potential antecedents among the Egyptians ; scholars are divided as to whether these influenced the tradition of Charon, but the 1st-century BC historian Diodorus Siculus thought so and mentions the fee. [ 102 ] It might go without saying that only when coinage comes into common habit is the estimate of requital introduced, [ 103 ] but coins were placed in graves before the appearance of the Charon myth in literature. [ 104 ] Because of the diversity of religious beliefs in the Greco-Roman world, and because the mystery religions that were most concerned with the afterlife and soteriology placed a high value on secrecy and arcane cognition, no single theology [ 105 ] has been reconstructed that would account for Charon ’ s obol. Franz Cumont regarded the numerous examples found in Roman tombs as “ tell of no more than a traditional rite which men performed without attaching a definite mean to it. ” [ 106 ] The function of a coin for the rite seems to depend not just on the myth of Charon, but besides on other religious and fabulous traditions associating wealth and the hell. [ 107 ]

Death and wealth [edit ]

In cultures that practiced the ritual of Charon ’ s obol, the infernal ferryman who requires payment is one of a phone number of hell deities associated with wealth. For the Greeks, Pluto ( Ploutōn, Πλούτων ), the rule of the all in and the consort of Persephone, became conflated with Plutus ( Ploutos, Πλοῦτος ), wealth personified ; Plato points out the meaningful ambiguity of this etymological maneuver in his dialogue Cratylus. [ 108 ] Hermes is a god of boundaries, travel, and liminality, and therefore conveys souls across the border that separates the support from the dead, acting as a psychopomp, but he was besides a god of central, commerce, and profit. [ 101 ] The diagnose of his Roman counterpart Mercury was thought in ancientness to share its derivation with the Latin word merces, “ goods, trade. ” [ 109 ] The numerous chthonian deities among the Romans were besides frequently associated with wealth. In his treatise On the Nature of the Gods, Cicero identifies the Roman god Dis Pater with the Greek Pluton, [ 110 ] explaining that riches are hidden in and arise from the earth. [ 111 ] Dis Pater is sometimes regarded as a chthonian Saturn, ruler of the Golden Age, whose run Ops was a goddess of abundance. [ 112 ] The dark goddess Angerona, whose iconography depicted secrecy and secrecy, [ 113 ] and whose festival followed that of Ops, seems to have regulated communications between the kingdom of the live and the underworld ; [ 114 ] she may have been a defender of both arcane cognition and stored, hidden wealth. [ 115 ] When a Roman died, the treasury at the Temple of Venus in the sacred grove of the funeral goddess Libitina collected a coin as a “ death tax ”. [ 116 ] The Republican poet Ennius locates the “ treasuries of Death ” across the Acheron. [ 117 ] Romans threw an annual offer of coins into the Lacus Curtius, a pit or chasm in the center of the Roman Forum [ 118 ] that was regarded as a mundus or “ port of communication ” with the hell. [ 119 ]
The horned deity Cernunnos holding his pouch of abundance ( food, or coins ? ), flanked by Apollo and Mercury, with a bull and hart below ; the animal in the pediment above is a rat Chthonic wealth is sometimes attributed to the Celtic horned idol of the Cernunnos type, [ 120 ] one of the deities proposed as the divine progenitor of the Gauls that Julius Caesar identified with Dis Pater. [ 121 ] On a easing from the Gallic civitas of the Remi, [ 122 ] the idol holds in his lap a hammock or purse, the contents of which — identified by scholars variably as coins or food ( granulate, small fruits, or nuts ) [ 123 ] — may be intentionally ambiguous in expressing hope abundance. The antler-horned god appears on coins from Gaul and Britain, in denotative association with wealth. [ 124 ] In his best-known representation, on the baffling Gundestrup Cauldron, he is surrounded by animals with mythico-religious significance ; taken in the context of an accompanying scene of trigger, the horn god can be interpreted as preside over the process of metempsychosis, the cycle of death and metempsychosis, [ 125 ] regarded by ancient literary sources as one of the most authoritative tenets of Celtic religion [ 126 ] and characteristic besides of Pythagoreanism and the Orphic or Dionysiac mysteries. [ 127 ] From its 7th-century BC beginnings in western Anatolia, ancient neologism was viewed not as distinctly worldly, but as a form of communal reliance tie up in the ties expressed by religion. The earliest known coin-hoard from antiquity was found buried in a pot within the foundations of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, dating to the mid-6th century BC. The iconography of gods and diverse godhead beings appeared regularly on coins issued by greek cities and late by Rome. [ 128 ] The effect of monetization on religious practice is indicated by notations in greek calendars of sacrifices pertaining to fees for priests and prices for offerings and victims. One fragmental text seems to refer to a individual obol to be paid by each lead up of the Eleusinian Mysteries to the priestess of Demeter, the symbolic value of which is possibly to be interpreted in faint of Charon ’ s obol as the originate ’ second gaining access to knowledge required for successful passage to the afterlife. [ 129 ] Erwin Rohde argued, on the footing of former folk music customs, that the obol was in the first place a requital to the dead person himself, as a way of compensating him for the loss of place that passed to the surviving, or as a nominal substitute for the more ancient commit of consigning his property to the sculpt with him. In Rohde ‘s opinion, the obol was late attached to the myth of the ferryman as an ex post facto explanation. [ 130 ] In the see of Richard Seaford, the introduction of coinage to Greece and the theorizing about value it provoked was attendant with and even contributed to the universe of greek metaphysics. [ 131 ] Plato criticizes coarse currency as “ polluting ”, but besides says that the guardians of his ideal republic should have divine gold and silver money from the gods always present in their souls. [ 132 ] This Platonic “ money in the soul ” holds the promise of “ theology, homogeneity, static permanence, autonomy, invisibility. ” [ 133 ]

The mint as food or cachet [edit ]

Attempts to explain the symbolism of the ritual besides must negotiate the confused placement of the mint in the talk. The latin term viaticum makes common sense of Charon ’ randomness obol as “ sustenance for the travel, ” and it has been suggested that coins replaced offerings of food for the dead in Roman custom. [ 134 ] This dichotomy of food for the be and gold for the dead is a theme in the myth of King Midas, versions of which absorb on elements of the dionysian mysteries. The phrygian king ‘s celebrated “ fortunate affect ” was a divine endowment from Dionysus, but its adoption separated him from the human universe of nutriment and reproduction : both his food and his daughter were transformed by contact with him into immutable, unreciprocal amber. In some versions of the myth, Midas ‘s hard-won insight into the mean of biography and the limitations of earthly wealth is accompanied by conversion to the cult of Dionysus. Having learned his lessons as an initiate into the mysteries, and after ritual concentration in the river Pactolus, Midas forsakes the “ bogus eternity ” of aureate for apparitional metempsychosis. [ 135 ] John Cuthbert Lawson, an early 20th-century folklorist whose set about was influenced by the Cambridge Ritualists, argued that both the food metaphor and the coin as payment for the ferryman were late rationalizations of the original ritual. Although single coins from inhumations appear most frequently inside or in the vicinity of the skull, they are besides found in the hired hand or a pouch, a more legitimate place to carry a payment. [ 136 ] Lawson viewed the coin as in the first place a seal, used as potsherds sometimes were on the lips of the dead to block the return of the soul, believed to pass from the body with the last breath. One of the foremost steps in preparing a cadaver was to seal the lips, sometimes with linen or gold bands, to prevent the person ’ s reelect. [ 137 ] The break of the mouth by Charon ‘s obol has been used to illuminate burial practices intended, for exemplify, to prevent vampires or other revenants from returning. [ 138 ]
The placement of the coin on the mouth can be compared to practices pertaining to the disposal of the dead in the Near East. An egyptian customs is indicated by a burial at Abydos, dating from the 22nd Dynasty ( 945–720 BC ) or late, for which the asleep charwoman ‘s mouth was covered with a faience uadjet, or protective eye amulet. [ 139 ] Oval mouth coverings, perforated for fastening, are found in burials throughout the Near East from the first century BC through the first hundred AD, providing evidence of an analogous practice for sealing the mouths of the dead in regions not under Roman Imperial control. Bahraini excavations at the cemetery of Al-Hajjar produced examples of these coverings in gold flick, one of which retained labial imprints. [ 140 ] A coin may make a ranking seal because of its iconography ; in the thessalian burial of an initiate described above, for case, the mint on the lips depicted the apotropaic device of the Gorgon ’ s head. The seal may besides serve to regulate the manner of speaking of the dead, which was sometimes sought through rituals for its prophetic powers, but besides highly regulated as dangerous ; mystery religions that offered arcane cognition of the afterlife prescribed ritual silence. [ 141 ] A fortunate samara (chrusea klês) was laid on the tongue of initiates [ 142 ] as a symbol of the revelation they were obligated to keep secret. [ 143 ] “ Charon ‘s obol ” is frequently found in burials with objects or inscriptions indicative of mystery cult, and the coin figures in a Latin prose narrative that alludes to initiation ritual, the “ Cupid and Psyche ” report from the Metamorphoses of Apuleius .

The catabasis of Psyche [edit ]

For a outline of Apuleius ‘s narrative, see Cupid and Psyche In the 2nd-century “ Cupid and Psyche ” narrative by Apuleius, Psyche, whose identify is a greek word for “ soul, ” is sent on an hell bay to retrieve the box containing Proserpina ’ randomness secret smasher, in order to restore the love of Cupid. The fib lends itself to multiple interpretational approaches, and it has frequently been analyzed as an allegory of Platonism a well as of religious initiation, iterating on a smaller scale the plot of the Metamorphoses as a wholly, which concerns the supporter Lucius ’ s journey towards salvation through the cult of Isis. [ 144 ] ritual elements were associated with the report evening before Apuleius ’ s version, as indicated in ocular representations ; for case, a 1st-century BC sardonyx cameo depicting the marriage of Cupid and Psyche shows an attendant elevating a liknon ( basket ) used in Dionysiac initiation. [ 145 ] C. Moreschini saw the Metamorphoses as moving away from the Platonism of Apuleius ’ s earlier Apology toward a vision of mysterious redemption. [ 146 ]
Before embarking on her origin, Psyche receives instructions for navigating the hell :

The air lane of Dis is there, and through the drowsy gates the pathless road is revealed. once you cross the brink, you are committed to the steadfast course that takes you to the very Regia of Orcus. But you shouldn ’ t run emptyhanded through the shadows past this sharpen, but quite post cakes of dulcet barley in both hands, [ 147 ] and transportation two coins in your mouth. … communicate by in silence, without uttering a word. Without foster delay you ’ ll come to the river of the dead, where Prefect Charon demands the toll ( portorium ) up front before he ’ ll ferry transients in his sewed boat [ 148 ] to the distant shore. So you see, even among the dead avarice lives, [ 149 ] and Charon, that collection agent of Dis, is not the kind of god who does anything without a tap. But even when he ’ s fail, the poor homo ’ south required to make his own way ( viaticum … quaerere ), and if it happens that he doesn ’ t have a penny ( aes ) at hand, cipher will give him permission to draw his final hint. To this nasty old man you ’ ll give one of the two coins you carry — call it boat fare ( naulum ) — but in such a way that he himself should take it from your mouth with his own hand. [ 150 ]

The two coins serve the diagram by providing Psyche with do for the return ; allegorically, this render trip suggests the soul ’ s reincarnation, possibly a platonic reincarnation or the divine imprint implied by the alleged Orphic gold tablets. The myth of Charon has rarely been interpreted in unaccented of mystery religions, despite the association in Apuleius and archaeological tell of burials that incorporate both Charon ’ s obol and cultic gear. And so far “ the picture of the ferry, ” Helen King notes, “ hints that death is not final, but can be reversed, because the ferryman could carry his passengers either way. ” [ 151 ] A funeral rite is itself a kind of trigger, or the transition of the soul into another stage of “ liveliness. ” [ 152 ]

Coins on the eyes ? [edit ]

contrary to popular etiology there is little testify to connect the myth of Charon to the custom of placing a copulate of coins on the eyes of the asleep, though the larger gold-foil coverings discussed above might include pieces shaped for the eyes. Pairs of coins are sometimes found in burials, including cremation urns ; among the collections of the british Museum is an urn from Athens, ca. 300 BC, that contained cremate remains, two obols, and a terracotta figure of a mourn enchantress. [ 153 ] Ancient Greek and Latin literary sources, however, citation a pair of coins only when a reelect trip is anticipated, as in the character of Psyche ’ s catabasis, and never in respect to sealing the eyes. only rarely does the placement of a pair of coins suggest they might have covered the eyes. In Judea, a pair of argent denarii were found in the eye sockets of a skull ; the burying dated to the second century A.D. occurs within a jewish community, but the religious affiliation of the deceased is unclear. jewish ritual in ancientness did not require that the eye be sealed by an object, and it is debatable whether the custom of placing coins on the eyes of the dead was practiced among Jews anterior to the modern earned run average. [ 154 ] During the 1980s, the emergence became embroiled with the controversies regarding the Shroud of Turin when it was argued that the eye area revealed the outlines of coins ; since the placement of coins on the eyes for burial is not securely attested in antiquity, aside from the one exemplar from Judea cited above, this interpretation of evidence obtained through digital persona process can not be claimed as firm subscribe for the shroud ‘s authenticity. [ 155 ]
(Walters Art Museum) Fourth-century pendant with the effigy of Alexander the Great

Coins at the feet [edit ]

Coins are found besides at the die ’ sulfur feet, [ 156 ] although the aim of this put is uncertain. John Chrysostom mentions and disparages the use of coins depicting Alexander the Great as amulets attached by the populate to the drumhead or feet, and offers the Christian traverse as a more powerful alternative for both salvation and curative :

And what is one to say about them who use charms and amulets, and encircle their heads and feet with aureate coins of Alexander of Macedon. Are these our hopes, tell me, that after the crabbed and death of our Master, we should place our hopes of salvation on an image of a greek king ? Dost thou not know what big result the cross has achieved ? It has abolished death, has extinguished sine, has made Hades useless, has done for the office of the devil, and is it not worth trusting for the health of the body ? [ 157 ]

christian transformation [edit ]

viaticum (engraving by Knight, Death and the Devil) The quest or hunting knight risked dying without a ( engraving by Dürer With instructions that recall those received by Psyche for her expansive descent, or the inscribed Totenpass for initiates, the Christian protagonist of a 14th-century french pilgrimage narrative is advised :

This bread ( pain, i.e. the holy eucharist ) is most necessary for the travel you have to make. Before you can come to the space where you will have what you desire, you will go through identical difficult straits and you will find poor lodgings, so that you will much be in trouble if you do not carry this bread with you. [ 158 ]

Anglo-Saxon and early–medieval Irish missionaries took the estimate of a viaticum literally, carrying the eucharistic bread and petroleum with them everywhere. [ 159 ] The necessitate for a viaticum figures in a myth -tinged account of the death of King William II of England, told by the Anglo-Norman chronicler Geoffrey Gaimar : die from a struggle wound and delirious, the desperate king kept calling out for the corpus domini ( Lord ‘s body ) until a hunter [ 160 ] acted as priest and gave him flowering herb as his viaticum. [ 161 ] In the dominant custom of William ‘s death, he is killed while hunting on the second day of red stag season, which began August 1, the date of both Lughnasadh and the Feast of St. Peter ‘s Chains. [ 162 ] The hound is besides associated with the administer of a herb tea viaticum in the medieval chansons de geste, in which traditional expansive culture and christian values interpenetrate. The chansons put up multiple examples of denounce or foliation substituted as a viaticum when a warrior or knight meets his crimson end outside the Christian residential district. Sarah Kay views this substitute rite as communion with the Girardian “ primitive sacred, ” speculating that “ heathen ” beliefs lurk beneath a christian veneer. [ 163 ] In the Raoul de Cambrai, the dying Bernier receives three blades of grass in place of the corpus Domini. [ 164 ] Two early chansons rate this desire for communion within the mytheme of the sacrificial wild boar hunt. [ 165 ] In Daurel et Beton, Bove is murdered next to the boar he barely killed ; he asks his own killer whale to grant him communion “ with a leaf, ” [ 166 ] and when he is denied, he then asks that his enemy eat his heart alternatively. This request is granted ; the cause of death partakes of the victim ‘s body as an alternative sacrament. In Garin le Loheren, Begon is similarly assassinated following to the cadaver of a wild boar, and takes communion with three blades of grass. [ 167 ] Kay ‘s conjecture that a pre-christian custom accounts for the consumption of leaves as the viaticum is supported by attest from Hellenistic magico-religious exercise, the continuance of which is documented in Gaul and among Germanic peoples. [ 168 ] Spells from the greek Magical Papyri often require the interpolation of a leaf — an actual leaf, a papyrus trash, the representation of a flick in metal foil, or an enroll orthogonal lamella ( as described above ) — into the mouth of a cadaver or skull, as a intend of conveying messages to and from the region of the animation and the dead. In one spell attributed to Pitys the Thessalian, the practitioner is instructed to inscribe a flax leaf with magic trick words and to insert it into the mouth of a dead person. [ 169 ] The interpolation of herb into the mouth of the dead, with a promise of resurrection, occurs besides in the Irish fib “ The Kern in the Narrow Stripes, ” the earliest written version of which dates to the 1800s but is thought to preserve an oral custom of early irish myth. [ 170 ] The kern of the championship is an nonnatural trickster name who performs a series of miracles ; after inducing twenty armed men to kill each other, he produces herb from his bag and instructs his host ‘s gatekeeper to place them within the jaw of each dead man to bring him bet on to biography. At the end of the fib, the mysterious visitor is revealed as Manannán mac Lir, the Irish god known in other stories for his herd of pigs that offer endless feasting from their self-renewing flesh. [ 171 ]

sacrament and superstition [edit ]

Scholars have suggested that the use of a viaticum in the Christian ritual for the fail reflected preexisting religious practice, with Charon ’ s obol replaced by a more acceptably christian sacrament. [ 172 ] In one marvelous report, recounted by Pope Innocent III in a letter go steady 1213, the coins in a moneybox were said literally to have been transformed into communion wafers. [ 173 ] Because of the viaticum ’ sulfur presumed pre-christian lineage, an anti-Catholic historian of religion at the turn of the 18th–19th centuries propagandized the commit, stating that “ it was from the heathens [ that ] the papists borrowed it. ” [ 174 ] Contemporary scholars are more probable to explain the adopt in light of the deep-rooted conservatism of burying practices or as a kind of religious syncretism motivated by a psychological need for continuity. [ 175 ]
viaticum for the journey contrary to Church doctrine, the communion wafer was sometimes placed in the talk of those already dead as afor the travel Among Christians, the exercise of burying a cadaver with a coin in its mouth was never widespread enough to warrant disapprobation from the Church, but the alternate ritual came under official examination ; [ 176 ] the viaticum should not be, but frequently was, placed in the talk after death, apparently out of a superstitious desire for its charming protection. [ 177 ] By the time Augustine wrote his Confessions, “ african bishops had forbidden the celebration of the holy eucharist in the presence of the cadaver. This was necessary to stop the periodic exercise of placing the eucharistic bread in the mouthpiece of the dead, a viaticum which replaced the coin needed to pay Charon ’ second fare. ” [ 178 ] Pope Gregory I, in his biography of Benedict of Nursia, tells the story of a monk whose body was doubly ejected from his grave ; Benedict advised the family to restore the dead world to his resting place with the viaticum placed on his breast. The placement suggests a running equivalence with the Goldblattkreuze and the Orphic gold tablets ; its aim — to assure the dead person ’ randomness successful passage to the afterlife — is analogous to that of Charon ’ s obol and the Totenpässe of mystery initiates, and in this case it acts besides as a seal to block the dead from returning to the world of the living. [ 179 ] ideally, the journey into death would begin immediately after taking the sacrament. [ 180 ] Eusebius offers an example of an aged christian who managed to hold off death until his grandson placed a assign of the Eucharist in his mouthpiece. [ 181 ] In a general audience October 24, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI quoted Paulinus ‘s history of the death of St. Ambrose, who received and swallowed the corpus Domini and immediately “ gave up his intent, taking the good Viaticum with him. His person, thus refreshed by the virtue of that food, now enjoys the company of Angels. ” [ 182 ] A possibly apocryphal narrative from a trappist chronicle circa 1200 indicates that the viaticum was regarded as an apotropaic seal against demons ( ad avertendos daemonas [ 183 ] ), who however induced a womanhood to attempt to snatch the Host ( viaticum ) from the mouth of Pope Urban III ‘s cadaver. [ 184 ] Like Charon ‘s obol, the viaticum can serve as both sustenance for the travel [ 185 ] and seal. [ 136 ] In the nineteenth century, the german learner Georg Heinrici proposed that Greek and Roman practices pertaining to the care of the dead, specifically including Charon ’ randomness obol, shed unaccented on vicarious baptism, or baptism for the dead, to which St. Paul refers in a letter to the Corinthians. [ 186 ] A century after Heinrici, James Downey examined the funerary practices of christian Corinthians in historical context and argued that they intended vicarious baptism to protect the asleep ’ second soul against noise on the travel to the afterlife. [ 187 ] Both vicarious baptism and the placement of a viaticum in the mouth of a person already dead reflect christian responses to, rather than outright rejection of, ancient religious traditions pertaining to the cult of the dead. [ 188 ]

art of the modern era [edit ]

Although Charon has been a popular topic of artwork, [ citation needed ] peculiarly in the nineteenth century, the act of payment is less frequently depicted. An exception is the Charon and Psyche of John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, exhibited ca. 1883. The story of Cupid and Psyche found several expressions among the pre-raphaelite artists and their literary peers, [ 190 ] and Stanhope, while mourning the death of his only child, produced a number of works dealing with the afterlife. His Psyche paintings were most probable based on the narrative poem of William Morris that was a fictionalize of the version by Apuleius. [ 191 ] In Stanhope ’ s sight, the ferryman is a calm and patriarchal human body more in keeping with the Charon of the archaic Greek lekythoi than the awful antagonist frequently found in Christian-era art and literature. [ 192 ]

modern poetry [edit ]

Poets of the modern earned run average have continued to make use of Charon ‘s obol as a know allusion. In “ Don Juan aux enfers ” ( “ Don Juan in Hell ” ), the french Symboliste poet Charles Baudelaire marks the eponymous hero ‘s entrance to the underworld with his payment of the obol to Charon. [ 193 ] A. E. Housman speaks of a man “ Crossing alone the benighted ferry / With the one mint for tip, ” to “ the equitable city / And free estate of the grave accent. ” irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney makes a less send allusion with a simile — “ words imposing on my tongue like obols ” — in the “ fostering ” section of his long poem Singing School : [ 194 ]

The speaker associates himself with the dead, bearing payment for Charon the ferryman, to cross the river Styx. here, the poet is placing great meaning on the terminology of poetry — potentially his own speech — by virtue of the spiritual, charming prize of the currency to which it is compared. [ 195 ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

further read [edit ]

  • Grabka, Gregory (1953). “Christian Viaticum: A Study of Its Cultural Background”. Traditio. 9 (1): 1–43. JSTOR 27830271.
  • Morris, Ian (1992). Death-ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37465-0.
  • Sourvinou-Inwood, Christiane (1996). “Reading” Greek Death: To the End of the Classical Period. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-815069-5.
  • Stevens, Susan T. (1991). “Charon’s Obol and Other Coins in Ancient Funerary Practice”. Phoenix. 45 (3): 215–229. doi:10.2307/1088792.

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