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Toby North, age 14, of Barre, Vt., for his question:

IS THERE REALLY A RIVER STYX?

River Styx was a dark and dreary river that existed only in Greek and Roman mythology. There actually is no such river.

The boatman Charon carried the souls of the dead across either the River Styx or the Acheron River to the Lower World. The gods took their most sacred oaths by the name of the River Styx.

The Kingdom of Hades was on the other side of the Styx. After being judged, the dead souls remained in Hades or were sent to the happy Elysian fields or to the dismal land of Tartarus.

A high waterfall in Arcadia, an ancient Greek state, was also called the Styx. People believed its waters were poisonous and that the entry to the Lower World lay behind it.

 

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