Orpheus

Greek - Son of Oeagrus or Apollo by Calliope or Menippe. Husband of Eurydice. He was given a lyre by Apollo and was taught by the Muses, becoming the most famous musician of the age. He sailed with the Argonauts and saved the crew from the Sirens by drowning their songs with the music of his lyre. Some say that he lulled to sleep the serpent guarding the Golden Fleece. When his wife, Eurydice, running from an attempted rape by Aristaeus, was killed by snake-bite, he descended to Tartarus and charmed Hades into releasing her. He looked back, contrary to instructions, to ensure that she was following behind, and Eurydice was reclaimed by Hades and condemned to remain in Tartarus for ever. Some say that he was killed by a thunderbolt flung by Zeus for teaching mortals the secrets of the gods, while others say that he was torn to pieces by the Maenads when he failed to acknowledge Dionysus. His head floated down the river Hebrus to Lesbos and continued to prophesy until silenced by Apollo. His lyre was installed in the heavens as the constellation Lyra. In some accounts, it is suggested that he was an incarnation of Dionysus. Also called Orpheus, English Orpheo, English Orpheo, Orfeo, Scottish Orfeo, Scottish Orfeo or Orpheo.

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