A-Z: General definitions: Underworld


The Underworld was the region under the earth where the spirits of the dead existed. The dead could only enter the Underworld proper by being ferried across the River Styx in a leaky boat steered by Charon. There, they might be assigned to various areas within it, depending on their former lives and deeds. An obol, a small coin, was placed on the lips of a corpse in order to pay the ferryman. Those who were not properly buried were not permitted to cross the Styx and were condemned to wait for eternity on its bank.

Related Topics


Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.