Got Change?

There are so many different currencies in the world, it’s mind-boggling! I just learned that one dollar and forty-two cents in US dollars is one pound in British money. And while we’re on the topic of European currency, I have a Greek myth to tell you. It’s all about money!

You probably know the basic layout of the Underworld: Big, murky island surrounded by the River Styx. Gloom and doom everywhere. Spirits would gather on the shore and wait for Charon the boatman, to ferry them across. Before Hades came along and got everything organized, Charon could charge anything he wanted for a ferry fee. If he liked the looks of you, he would charge you next to nothing, but if he didn’t, he’d charge you mounds and mounds of drachmas (Greek currency). You can see how this is really unfair. When Hades took over, he called Charon in, gave him a good scolding, and convinced (read: bullied) him to charge a standard fee of one drachma. 

Cool story, huh? That’s why the Ancient Greeks always buried their dead with drachmas under their tongues so that they could get safe passage across the River Styx. If your family forgot this necessary carry-on, well, you’d be stuck on that shore forever. Have a nice afterlife.