Paranormal Science

What friendly faces have the Greek and Norse cultures ascribed to death?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Since the beginning of time, human beings have been preoccupied with death and mortality. To help make sense of these abstract concepts, they've often given death a form they recognize. The Greeks put a friendly and helpful face on death and named it Thanatos. He and his brother Hypnos, the god of sleep, were portrayed as pleasant-looking young men. Thanatos, who had wings and carried an extinguished flame, accompanied the departed to the underworld of Hades and delivered souls to Charon, who rowed the ferry on the River Styx.

    The Valkyries, beautiful young women from Norse mythology, were escorts for the souls of warriors who had been killed in battle. Like angels riding winged horses above the battle, the Valkyries would choose brave warriors and transport their souls to Valhalla, the hall of Odin. The souls then would fight in the apocalyptic battle of Ragnarok.

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