In Greek mythology, the world was divided into three parts. Zeus ruled the heavens and Poseidon commanded the seas. The dark underworld was given to their brother, Hades. Souls arriving there found more than one body of water -- one to navigate and another to drink from.

The Greek Underworld

The underworld was called Hades after the god who ruled it. It was a dark place where all souls, or shades, went after they died. The evil were condemned for eternity to the pit of Tartarus. Great heroes went to the Islands of the Blessed, and the virtuous to the Elysian Fields. The gates to Hades remained firmly closed at all times so that no shades could escape back into the world.

Arriving and Forgetting

Souls arriving in Hades had to cross the River Styx, also known as Acheron. The ferryman, Charon, charged a coin for the journey. Once the souls arrived on the opposite shore, they encountered another river called Lethe. It was also known as the river of forgetfulness because when souls drank from it they forgot their former lives.