Why did they put coins on the eyes of the dead?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

Why did they put coins on the eyes of the dead?

According to legend, the coins were a bribe or payment used to ferry the dead into the Underworld. While this might sound strange in modern times, this practice brought peace to ancient people, ensuring their family members made it safely into the afterlife.

What happens if you don’t pay Charon?

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, until they were allowed to cross the river.

How much do you pay the ferryman?

When you die, how much exactly do you “pay the ferryman”? In mythology, the ferryman Charon was paid one obol, representing in weight one half of a scruple of silver (itself 20 grains) or one-sixth of a drachma.

How much is an obol worth?

Modern historians and economists have valued the ancient Drachma at about $50 in today’s money. For larger transactions, one Mina was originally equivalent to 70 Drachma and was later decimalized to an even 100 Drachma.

Why do people put pennies on graves?

A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldier’s family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respects. If you leave a penny, it means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together.

How long does a body stay warm for after death?

For approximately the first 3 hours after death the body will be flaccid (soft) and warm. After about 3-8 hours is starts to stiffen, and from approximately 8-36 hours it will be stiff and cold. The body becomes stiff because of a range of chemical changes in the muscle fibres after death.

What happens if you fall into the river Styx?

Bodies dipped into the river will receive the gift of immortality; one famous example is when Thetis, mother of the demigod Achilles, dipped him into the river by his heel.

Is Charon dead?

In Etruscan mythology he was known as Charun and appeared as a death demon, armed with a hammer. Eventually he came to be regarded as the image of death and of the world below. As such he survives in Charos, or Charontas, the angel of death in modern Greek folklore.

What culture puts coins on the eyes of the dead?

The greeks placed coins, usually coins called either an “obulus” or a “danake” to pay Charon, the boatman who would ferry the dead across the river Styx. Without payment, there was a danger that the departed soul would be forced to stay on the shore of Hades for an undetermined length of time.

What religion puts coins on the eyes of the dead?

Jewish ritual in antiquity 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 prior to the modern era.

Where can I buy an OBOL?


  • 1 Obol is given by spirit characters when they board the ship or after one of their quests.
  • 1 Obol can be bought from a shop in Edgeborough Lane for 2,000 Glim.
  • 1 Obol can be acquired from Hades after 8 spirits have been delivered.
  • 1 Obol can be acquired on Greymist Peaks (see page for more details).

Why do they place coins on the eyes of the dead?

In Ancient Greek tradition, coins would be placed over the eyes of the dead so they would be able to pay the toll to Charon, ferryman of the River Styx. Occasionally the coins would be placed in the mouth instead. This tradition persists in many other cultures today,…

Why do people put coins on the eyes of Veterans?

If you leave a quarter, you’re indicating that you were present when the individual died during their service. Each coin means something different, and leaving one is a sign of respect for veterans and their families. These coins go towards maintaining the cemeteries or paying costs for other veterans’ burials.

Why are coins placed over the eyes of Charon?

In the event that a deceased was not accorded due burial and so lacked the coin for Charon’s service, their soul was left wandering the river shore while tormenting the living on earth as ghosts. The coin was therefore placed in the mouth or on the eyes but for the same purpose; to pay Charon for transporting the dead souls to Hades.

What’s the colour of the eyes of the world?

The eye of the Australia’s mythical Rainbow Serpent is resplendent on the coin’s reverse. But instead of silver like the rest of the coin, the eye is made of Swarovski Crystal® in a shade of orange with a hint of red, called fire opal. The colour fuels creativity and stands for joie de vivre, curiosity and creative activity.

Categories: Popular lifehacks