What is the significance of putting pennies on one's eyes when one dies?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The River Styx is the principal and most famous river of Hades, generally thought of as forming its border. When they first journeyed to the Underworld, the ghostly remains of the dead congregated on the near shore of the Styx, seeking passage from the ferryman Charon. If they presented a bribe, they were allowed to cross the river. If not, they roamed the near side for eternity.

    The pennies are used to pay Charon which allows the dead to pass across the Styx.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is derived from the old Greek cuctom of putting coins on the eyes of the deceased so they had money to pay Charon the Ferryman to take them Across the River STYX into the underworld realm of the god Hades.

  • 1 decade ago

    KHARON (or Charon) was the ferryman of the dead, an underworld daimon (spirit) in the service of King Haides. He received the shades of the dead from Hermes, who gathered them from the upper world and guided them to the shores of the Akherousian mere. From there Kharon transported them in his skiff to a final resting place in Hades, the land of the dead, on the other side. The fee for his service was a single obolos coin which was placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial. Those who had not received due burial and were unable to pay his fee, would be left to wander the earthly side of the Akheron, haunting the upper world as ghosts.

  • 1 decade ago

    Dates back to Greek mythology - the pennies or coins are to pay the boatman to cross the river Styx into the underworld, otherwise your soul would get left behind.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    If you covered the deceased eyes with pennies, or gold, or really any heavy coinage it is a little joke that we get to play, just in case the deceased is just faking it, or just took a really long strong nap. When they awake it will make them feel like they are covered in riches, and then the jokes on them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Mythology aside, it kept the deads eyes from popping open when rigor mortise set in. During rigor mortise a cadaver can sit up, the eyes pop open, and limbs move. I've seen this occur and seen people faint, run, or mess themselves when witnessing rigor mortise. I've vitnessed quarters being put ont the deads eyes, because it provides more weight, to prevent the eyes from opening during the rigors.

  • Donna
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    i was born on the 25th and was about to turn 16 a month after aaliyah died. Im still in shock over michael and i was just thinking the same thing. Why is everyone going away on the 25th?

  • 1 decade ago

    the pennies are to help keep the eyes closes,for when a man are women pass from this world they paas with their eyes open.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, to pay the ferryman's toll to get across the river. Very old myth. Hope its true 'cause then i'll rob his a-s-s!

  • H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I've heard the explanation about paying the boatman. I've also heard that when it was done, it was done to keep the eyelids shut. Who knows!


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.