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Orpheus was a son of Oeagrus and Calliope, who was the muse of epic poetry.

History

Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus was a very gifted musician trained by the god of music, Apollo, himself. His music was so beautiful and sweet that it charmed many wild beasts, made trees sob, and even created an entrance to the Underworld itself. He fell in love with and married Eurydice, a daughter of Apollo.

Orpheus Underworld

Orpheus and Charon.

A few months later, she was bitten by venomous snakes and died. Distraught at her untimely death, Orpheus sang his way into the Underworld, bewitching Charon, Cerberus, the Furies and even Hades and Persephone themselves. Hades allowed him to take his wife back, on the condition that he would walk in front of her and not look behind him as he led her back to the upper world along the borderland between the living and the dead. However, he could not resist the temptation. The moment he crossed the border, he looked back just before his wife left the Underworld, losing her forever.

Orpheus was later ripped apart by the Maenads on Dionysus' orders for the depressing music. His head and harp floated in the sea for while before being found by Apollo. The god cast the harp into the stars and the head was made a oracle at a shrine at Antissa. When Orpheus was finally killed by Apollo, his soul was reunited with Eurydice in Elysium.[1]

The Argonautica

Orpheus also had a role aboard the Argo with Jason. He used his lyre to put the Colchian Dragon to sleep and later drowned out the song of the Sirens.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Lightning Thief

Apollo LQ

Apollo, father-in-law.

Grover Underwood mentions him while talking about the heroes who entered the Underworld, and have come out alive.

The Last Olympian

There is a Door of Orpheus located in Manhattan's Central Park that is named after him (as he was the one that created it). Nico di Angelo, a son of Hades, and Percy Jackson, ask Grover to open the door using his reed pipes, as it can be only opened by music. Considering Percy's comments on Grover's reed pipes music, either any music, good or bad, may be able to open the doors. That, or Grover's music has improved.

Trivia

  • He is one of the only people known to have been killed by the Maenads.[2]
  • There are many different versions of the myth of Orpheus.
    • One of them is that Orpheus is the son of Apollo.
    • Others say that he was the son of Oeagrus and Calliope, and was simply trained by Apollo, who later gave him his daughter Eurydice as a wife.
  • His wife Eurydice was said to have been a daughter of Apollo.

References

  1. As for Orpheus's spirit, I've heard rumors that was reunited with Eurydice in Elysium.
    P.348 of Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes
  2. The maenads obliged. They tore him to pieces.
    P.347 of Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes