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(Greek Mortal) ORPHEUS

King of the Cicones, born of Calliope the Muse of music and Oiagros.

Orpheus was given a Lyre by Apollo and with his pedigree had no problems upgrading it to a nine stringed version that he played splendidly. When he pulled out his plectrum trees would up-root themselves to hobble along to his tune, animals would stop eating each other to listen, and he even out-enchanted the enchanting Sirens, allowing the Argo to sail harmlessly by. Life was like a dance until his wedding day when it all went horribly wrong.

Eurydice was running away from the amarous Aristaeus and his horde of horny bees when she was bitten by a snake and found herself in Hades. Orpheus was distraught and packing nothing but his lyre he headed for the golden gates.

Arriving at Styx, Orpheus was refused a crossing by Charon until he sang a song about the oar-mans lost youth, a life on the ocean waves and sunny skies. With his heart warmed tempararily Chiron welcomed Orpheus aboard and rowed him over the river, but don't worry - there were no long-lasting side effects and he was back to his old miserable self in no time.

At the entrance of Hades Orpheus was confronted by a snarling Cerberus but plucked at his heart strings with a song of the good old days as a pup frollicking in the forest, and as the hell-hound became a sobbing wreck he crept past him and into Hades.

Upon entering the dark castle of King and Queen hell, Orpheus didn't so much plead his case as make a whole ballad out of it.

He played and sang for all he was worth, of Eurydice's beauty, their happiness, a horny persuing bee-god, the snake that took her away and the sorrow he felt at being left a widower after such a short marriage. His song was so enchanting that Tantalus forgot he was hungry, Ixion's wheel stood still, the Belides stopped sieving, Sisyphus sat sobbing on his rock and even the liver of Tityus had a break from pecking vultures. By the time he had finished Persephone was weeping her heart out, and although Hades didn't have one he did know that upsettting his wife further would be more than his death was worth.

On the condition that Orpheus didn't so much as peek at Eurydice until they had reached the surface, Hades sent them on their way. Unfortunately he had given them a map which took them back via the scenic root and passing through a forest thick with fallen pine needles the talented musicians ears lost track of his wives footsteps behind him. He turned around only to see her disappear in a puff of smoke and that was that. RIP... forever.

Some say that Orpheus was so distraught after losing his wife twice that he shunned all women and turned to men for flirtations and fleeting moments, and when he spurned the advances of Dionysus's sex-mad Manaeds they tore him to pieces.

Orpheus was also one of Jason's Argonauts.
Family Tree ...
Parents : Calliope and Oiagros
Spouse : Eurydice
Offspring : Don't know, sorry
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'ORPHEUS' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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