Who were Orpheus and Eurydice? Know Your Greek Myth

07/06/2021

     Orpheus was, in Greek Mythology, a Musician, Poet and Prophet. In Knights of the Zodiac he was associated as "Orpheus of the Lyre" (also a musician). It is very likely that Orpheus existed within history.


Orpheus in Greek Mythology:

     Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet and prophet in ancient Greek religion. "Aristotle believed that Orpheus never existed; but to all other ancient writers he was a real person, though he lived in remote antiquity. Most of them believed that he lived several generations before Homer."

     Some ancient Greek sources note such Thracian origins as Orpheus. The main stories about him center on his ability to enchant all living things and even stones with his music (the usual scene in the mosaics of Orpheus), his attempt to rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld, and his death at the hands of Dionysos' maenads , who grew tired of Orpheus' mourning for his deceased wife Eurydice. As an archetype of the inspired singer, Orpheus is one of the most important figures in the reception of Classical Greek Mythology in Western culture, portrayed or mentioned in units of art forms and popular culture, including poetry, film, opera, music and painting. Ovid already said:

"He abstained from loving women, either because things turned out badly for him or because he swore to do so. Even so, many felt the desire to join the poet and many suffered from rejection. In fact, he did. the first of the Thracian people to transfer their affection to young boys and enjoy their brief spring and early flowering on this side of manhood."

Mythology:

     According to Apollodorus and a fragment of Pindar, the father of Orpheus was Eagro, a Thracian king, or, according to another version of the story, the god Apollo. His mother was the muse Calliope, his sister Polymnia, a daughter of Piero. His birthplace and residence was Pimpleia near Olympus. According to the epic poem As Argonáuticas, Pimpleia was the site of the marriage of Eagro and Calliope. While living with his mother and eight beautiful sisters in Parnassus, he met Apollo, who was courting the laughing muse Talia.

     Apollo, as god of music, gave Orpheus a golden lyre and taught him to play it. Orpheus' mother taught him to write verses to sing. He would also have studied in Egypt. Orpheus is said to have sophisticated the worship of Hecate at Aegina. In Laconia Orpheus is said to have brought the worship of Demeter. Also in Taígeto, a wooden image of Orpheus would have been kept by the Pelasgians in the sanctuary of Demeter of Eleusis. According to Diodorus Siculus, she was the son of Morpheus.

Death of Eurydice:

     The most famous story in which Orpheus figures is that of his wife Eurydice (also known as Argiope). While walking among her people, the cycons, in the tall grass at her wedding, Eurydice was attacked by a satyr. In her efforts to escape the satyr, Eurydice fell into a nest of vipers and suffered a fatal heel bite. Her body was discovered by Orpheus who, overwhelmed by pain, played songs so sad and mournful that all the nymphs and gods wept. Following their advice, Orpheus traveled to the underworld.

     His music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, who agreed to allow Eurydice to return with him to earth on one condition: he must walk in front of her and not look back until they had both reached the overworld. He left with Eurydice following him and, in his anxiety, as soon as he reached the overworld, he turned to look at her, forgetting that they both needed to be in the overworld, and she disappeared a second time, but now forever.