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Styx, in Greek mythology, river of the underworld. The souls of the dead had to cross the Styx to reach Hades, the underworld. For payment, the boatman Charon would ferry them across. Styx in Greek means “hateful.” The Greeks abhorred death. According to the Greek poet Homer, the gods made their most important oaths in the name of the Styx. If a god lied, he or she would be punished severely by being banished to a deep pit in the underworld for nine years. The Styx was thought to begin at a waterfall in Arcadia, an ancient Greek region.

See also: Mythology.

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