Open main menu

Eurydice

Eurydice is the name of several characters in Greek mythology. The most famous was a woman—or a nymph—who was the wife of Orpheus. While fleeing from Aristaeus, she was bitten by a serpent and died. Distraught, Orpheus played such sad songs and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept and gave him advice. Orpheus accomplished something no other person ever has: he traveled to the underworld and by his music softened the heart of Hades and Persephone and was -in fact- so sweet that it made the Furies weep. 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. The story in this form belongs to the time of Virgil, who first introduces the name of Aristaeus. 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.

Eurydice was also the wife of Creon, King of Thebes. She committed suicide after her son, Haemon, killed himself over Antigone's death.

Eurydice was also the wife of King Nestor of Pylos who fought in the Trojan War.

Eurydice was also the mother of Danae, a paramour of Zeus and mother of Perseus.