Orpheus

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Orpheus is supposed to be the most beautiful, important and well-known singer of the the Greek Ancient times. It is said that he was the son of Apollo and the patroness of the epic poetry Calliope. He played and sang so beautiful, that when he started the bushes, the trees and also the mountains turned in his direction. His instrument was a lira that he got as a present from Apollo, who got it himself as a present from his half brother Hermes.

Orpheus was also one of the Argonauts who sailed around the world in the ship Argo, and thanks to his magic singing he could rescue some of his friends in different occasions. As he returned from his trip and his adventures, he met Eurydice and immediately fell in love with her. They were a really happy couple. But one day, while Orpheus was in the city, Eurydice went for a walk in the fields and got a lethal bitten from a snake.

When Orpheus came back and found her, he fall in an unimaginable depression. He did not eat, he did not sleep, and he sang just the most beautiful and saddest songs. One day he left to the end of the world and arrived to the south of the Peloponnesus, where stands the door to the Underworld. Given that he was there, he decided to get in. He sang and played so beautifully that they all laid at his feet: Charon, the ferryman that drives the souls over the Stynx, the river of the Underworld, with his boat and that is not supposed to drive anybody who is alive, could not resist his request. Also the dangerous hound of hell Zerberus, whose job was to be a second guard of the Underworld, could not resist his divine tones and let him in.

This way he penetrated into the Underworld and found Hades and Persephone, the royal couple. Also they were so bewitched by those melodies as beautiful as they had never heard in their land, that they decided that Orpheus deserved to take his beloved Eurydice with him... with the only condition that he should not turn around to look after him until he was outside.

So Orpheus went on the front and Eurydice followed him. However, as they saw the light Orpheus turned around without any reason and Eurydice vanished and got lost in the Underworld for ever. Since then Orpheus walked around the world avoiding women, afraid to fall in love again and again loose his lover. He funded then an order of men with whom he meet to tell stories and sing. People talked about great parties and many women surely desired him because of his beauty.

Apparently, the situation finally got to hard for the women. One day, they met together in the evening and attacked the men to end up cutting Orpheus into pieces. Then they threw the head to the river, which continued singing for a long while until Apollo quieted him. The head got picked up in the island of Lesvos, where they built a temple in his honor, and Zeus took his lira and made it immortal by turning it into a constellation.

Gods / Heroes / The Danaids / Europa / The Atriden / Trojan War / The Oracle

 
 

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