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The River Styx is mentioned quite a lot when a Greek hero meets his demise.

However is this really a body of water in Hades?

Is it made out of something else?

What is the River Styx?

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The River Styx is one of the five rivers of the Greek Underworld, rivers that separate Hades from the land of the living.

During the Titanomachy (the Titan war), which was fought between the Titans and the Olympians, the goddess Styx sided with the Olympians.

Once the war was won, Zeus, king of the Olympians, promised that every oath be sworn on Styx's name, as a sign of the greatest respect.

He also proceeded to name the River Styx after her.

Achilles was dipped in it as a child and was rewarded with invulnerability, except for his heel, which was where his mother was holding him, hence the term : Achilles' heel.

The full list of rivers surrounding Hades :

  1. Acheron - the river of woe

  2. Cocytus - the river of lamentation

  3. Phlegethon - the river of fire

  4. Lethe - the river of forgetfulness

  5. Styx - the river of hate

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    Beautiful answer. Keep it up! – Young Guilo Apr 28 '15 at 20:40
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    How is lamentation different than woe? Not necessarily the rivers, but the names, I mean, seem to mean the same thing to me: great sorrow. – user93 Apr 28 '15 at 23:41
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    @fredsbend to lament something would probably mean you regret it, so you regret something you did or did not do while alive. Woe would just be general sadness over being dead. That's my understanding of it anyway. – Daft Apr 29 '15 at 12:16
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It is the mystical division between life and death - or rather, life and afterlife. It is a symbol of that border.

It is definitely not made out of normal water, as falling into the Styx causes one to lose one's memories. Which is why one has to take the ferry to the other side.

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