Orpheus was the
son of Apollo and the Muse Calliope; he is identified as the supreme minstrel of Greek mythology. As a youth his
father presented him with a lyre
and taught him to play upon it, which he learned so proficiently it was said nothing inert or living could withstand the charms of
joined the Argo expedition and used his lyre to calm the unruly seas, lull
Draco into sleep and drown
out the Sirens’ song during the quest for the Golden Fleece.
the account of Orpheus as an Argonaut are recognized, perhaps his best known tale involves the attempt to retrieve his deceased
wife from the Underworld of
his return from the quest for the Golden Fleece, Orpheus fell in love and married the nymph Eurydice whom he loved with a great
passion. Shortly after they were
married, another of the sons of Apollo – Aristaeus, pursued her with amorous intent through a meadow. In her haste to escape his
clutches, she stepped on a poisonous
snake and died from the bite.
was absolutely crushed by her death. He decided to quit moping about and go to the Underworld to learn if he could do
anything about the situation.
his lyre, he mesmerized the boatman Charon enabling the crossing of the River Styx, then entranced the watchdog Cerberus so he
could pass the entrance.