Perhaps one of the most famous Greek myths, it has inspired many important painters, such as Peter Paul Rubens and Nicolas Poussin.
Etymology[ edit ] Several etymologies for the name Orpheus have been proposed. Fulgentiusa mythographer of the late 5th to early 6th century AD, gave the unlikely etymology meaning "best voice," "Oraia-phonos". He is not mentioned in Homer or Hesiod. Poets such as Simonides of Ceos said that Orpheus' music and singing could charm the birds, fish and wild beasts, coax the trees and rocks into dance,  and divert the course of rivers.
Orpheus was one of the handful of Greek heroes  to visit the Underworld and return; his music and song even had power over Hades. Some sources credit Orpheus with further gifts to mankind: Orpheus was an augur and seer; he practiced magical arts and astrologyfounded cults to Apollo and Dionysus  and prescribed the mystery rites preserved in Orphic texts.
Pindar and Apollonius of Rhodes  place Orpheus as the harpist and companion of Jason and the Argonauts. Orpheus had a brother named Linuswho went to Thebes and became a Theban.
Horace believed, however, that Orpheus had only introduced order and civilization to savages. His mother was the muse Calliope or a daughter of Pierus son of Makednos or lastly of Menippedaughter of Thamyris .
His birthplace and place of residence was in Pimpleia   close to the Olympus. Strabo mentions that he lived in Pimpleia. Apollo, as the god of music, gave Orpheus a golden lyre and taught him to play it. He is also said to have studied in Egypt. Argonautica The Argonautica Greek: Orpheus took part in this adventure and used his skills to aid his companions.
Chiron told Jason that without the aid of Orpheus, the Argonauts would never be able to pass the Sirens —the same Sirens encountered by Odysseus in Homer 's epic poem the Odyssey. The Sirens lived on three small, rocky islands called Sirenum scopuli and sang beautiful songs that enticed sailors to come to them, which resulted in the crashing of their ships into the islands.
When Orpheus heard their voices, he drew his lyre and played music that was louder and more beautiful, drowning out the Sirens' bewitching songs. According to 3rd century BC Hellenistic elegiac poet PhanoclesOrpheus loved the young Argonaut Calais"the son of Boreas, with all his heart, and went often in shaded groves still singing of his desire, nor was his heart at rest.
But always, sleepless cares wasted his spirits as he looked at fresh Calais. Orpheus and Eurydice The most famous story in which Orpheus figures is that of his wife Eurydice sometimes referred to as Euridice and also known as Argiope.
While walking among her people, the Cicones, in tall grass at her wedding, Eurydice was set upon by a satyr.
In her efforts to escape the satyr, Eurydice fell into a nest of vipers and suffered a fatal bite on her heel. Her body was discovered by Orpheus who, overcome with grief, played such sad and mournful songs that all the nymphs and gods wept.
On their advice, Orpheus travelled to the underworld.
His music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephonewho agreed to allow Eurydice to return with him to earth on one condition: He set off with Eurydice following, and, in his anxiety, as soon as he reached the upper world, he turned to look at her, forgetting that both needed to be in the upper world, and she vanished for the second time, but now forever.
The story in this form belongs to the time of Virgilwho first introduces the name of Aristaeus by the time of Virgil's Georgicsthe myth has Aristaeus chasing Eurydice when she was bitten by a serpent and the tragic outcome.
In fact, Plato's representation of Orpheus is that of a coward, as instead of choosing to die in order to be with the one he loved, he instead mocked the gods by trying to go to Hades to bring her back alive.
Since his love was not "true"—he did not want to die for love—he was actually punished by the gods, first by giving him only the apparition of his former wife in the underworld, and then by being killed by women.
In Ovid 's account, however, Eurydice's death by a snake bite is incurred while she was dancing with naiads on her wedding day. Virgil wrote in his poem that Dryads wept from Epirus and Hebrus up to the land of the Getae north east Danube valley and even describes him wandering into Hyperborea and Tanais ancient Greek city in the Don river delta  due to his grief.
The story of Eurydice may actually be a late addition to the Orpheus myths. In particular, the name Eurudike "she whose justice extends widely" recalls cult-titles attached to Persephone. According to the theories of poet Robert Gravesthe myth may have been derived from another Orpheus legend, in which he travels to Tartarus and charms the goddess Hecate.
More directly, the story of Orpheus is similar to the ancient Greek tales of Persephone captured by Hades and similar stories of Adonis captive in the underworld. However, the developed form of the Orpheus myth was entwined with the Orphic mystery cults and, later in Rome, with the development of Mithraism and the cult of Sol Invictus.
One early morning he went to the oracle of Dionysus at Mount Pangaion  to salute his god at dawn, but was ripped to shreds by Thracian Maenads for not honoring his previous patron Dionysus and buried in Pieria.
Yet, many felt a desire to be joined with the poet, and many grieved at rejection. Indeed, he was the first of the Thracian people to transfer his affection to young boys and enjoy their brief springtime, and early flowering this side of manhood.
Enraged, the women tore him to pieces during the frenzy of their Bacchic orgies. The Muses also gathered up the fragments of his body and buried them at Leibethra  below Mount Olympuswhere the nightingales sang over his grave.
After the river Sys flooded  Leibethra, the Macedonians took his bones to Dion.The Metamorphoses and Modern Poetry: A Comparison of Mythic Characters Have students read Bk X: 1–85 Orpheus and Eurydice of The Metamorphoses silently and then read it aloud in class.
Start a discussion about this passage using the following questions. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as told by Apollonius of Rhodes, Virgil and Ovid (and retold by Edith Hamilton in Mythology) Orpheus: "On his mother's side he was more than mortal. He was the son of one of the Muses and a Tracian prince.
His mother gave him the gift of . Comparing the Film Black Orpheus and the Original Greek Myth The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one that has been retold countless times over the years.
It started as a Greek myth, later being made into a movie titled Black Orpheus. Eurydice was bitten by a venomous snake and died, this left Orpheus sad, alone and desperate The basic concepts of the myth are that after Orpheus’s new wife Eurydice was bitten by a venomous snake she died and was taken to the Underworld.
Orpheus and Eurydice The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is the ultimate tragic love story. Perhaps one of the most famous Greek myths, it has inspired many important painters, such as Peter Paul Rubens and Nicolas Poussin.
Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld Museum Essay Camille Corot was a naturalistic painter and a printmaker etching. He was born in Paris, France and lived in the lower class.
He later on received a scholarship, but had difficulties on the scholastic process which .