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Styx, River Styx(noun)
(Greek mythology) a river in Hades across which Charon carried dead souls
the river, in Hades, over which the souls of the dead are ferried by Charon
Origin: From Στύξ.
the principal river of the lower world, which had to be crossed in passing to the regions of the dead
Origin: [L., fr. Gr. .]
The Styx is a river in Greek mythology that formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. The rivers Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, and Cocytus all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which is also sometimes called the Styx. The important rivers of the underworld are Lethe, Eridanos, and Alpheus. The gods were bound by the Styx and swore oaths on it. The reason for this is during the Titan war, Styx, the goddess of the river Styx, sided with Zeus. After the war, Zeus promised every oath be sworn upon her. Zeus swore to give Semele whatever she wanted and was then obliged to follow through when he realized to his horror that her request would lead to her death. Helios similarly promised his son Phaëton whatever he desired, also resulting in the boy's death. According to some versions, Styx had miraculous powers and could make someone invulnerable. According to one tradition, Achilles was dipped in it in his childhood, acquiring invulnerability, with exception of his heel, by which his mother held him. This is the source of the expression Achilles' heel, a metaphor for a vulnerable spot.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
name (from the Greek verb signifying "to abhor") of the principal river of the nether world, which it flows sluggishly round seven times; is properly the river of death, which all must cross to enter the unseen world, and of which, in the Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman. In their solemn engagements it was by this river the gods took oath to signify that they would forego their godhood if they swore falsely. The Styx was a branch of the Great Ocean which girds the universe. See Oceanus.
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