In Greek mythology, Eurydice was an oak nymph or a sweet maiden. She was the wife of Orpheus.

Orpheus loved her dearly; on their wedding day, Orpheus played songs filled with happiness as his bride danced through the meadow. One day, a satyr had seen her and pursued her. According to legend, Eurydice stepped on a snake and fell to the ground. The venomous snake had bitten her, leaving Eurydice dead. Distraught, Orpheus played and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept. In their saddened states, they told him to travel to the Underworld and retrieve her. Orpheus did so, and by his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, his singing so sweet that even the Erinyes wept. In another version, Orpheus played his lyre to put the guardian of Hades, Cerberus, to sleep. It was then granted that Eurydice be allowed to return with him to the world of the living. But the condition was attached that he should walk in front of her and not look back until he had reached the upper world. In his anxiety, he broke his promise, and Eurydice vanished again from his sight - this time forever. The story in this form belongs to the time of Virgil, who first introduces the name of Aristaeus in his work Georgics (29BC). Other ancient writers, however, speak of Orpheus' visit to the underworld; according to Plato, the infernal gods only "presented an apparition" of Eurydice to him.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful