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Posted by Victor Minca on

In the 1st century BC, the Roman poet Virgil describes Charon, manning his rust-colored skiff, in the course of Aenea's descent to the underworld (Aeneid, Book 6), after the Cumaean Sibyl has directed the hero to the golden bough that will allow him to return to the world of the living:

There Chairon stands, who rules the dreary coast -

A sordid god: down from his hairy chin

A length of beard descends, uncombed, unclean;

His eyes, like hollow furnaces on fire;

A girdle, foul with grease, binds his obscene attire.

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