Orpheus’ situation is very interesting because nobody can deny his Thracian origin. Although he is our ancestor and the first fiddler in history, our “experts” in Greek Mythology and History ignored him almost completely.
The question that every Romanian wills to ask is: If Orpheus was our ancestor, then why is he presented as being part of the Greek Culture?
The answer is simple: He is kept this way because “experts” consider that is better to respect the “rules” rather than the truth. Who knows what could happen to them if they don’t follow the “rules”?
Also our “experts” take good care so that Romanians can’t know their own history and the fact that their ancestors had a great role in History (for example: inventing the lyre). They are continuously told that they are a weak nation and their ancestors were a bunch of mindless savages. This is what manipulation is all about. But the truth is somewhere out there and it will burst out, sooner or later. It’s obvious that our ancestors had great artistic sensibility. We, as their offsprings and carrying the same blood as Orpheus, share the same sensibility.
Now, let’s talk about Orpheus. Legend says that he was the son of the Thracian king Oeagrus and Calliope the nymph. Pindar (552 – 443 B.C.) states that Apollo was the real father of Orpheus and that he transformed into Oeagrus to seduce the beautiful nymph.
|Orpheus playing at his lyre|
Orpheus’ music was capable of fascinating every living being. He was conscripted by the Argonauts because of the power of his chants. His music could contract the mermaids and their power of seduction. After leaving the Argonauts of Jason, the musician fell in love with Euridice, the beautiful nymph. Their love story was pretty short. The story of the nymph’s death has 2 versions. In both of them, she was bitten by a poisonous snake.
|Euridice - modern representation|
One of the 2 tales is exposed by Vergilius. He states that Aristaeus was in love with the nymph. One day, while chasing her, Euridice, in her rush, stepped on a snake. Ovid tells us another version. He narrates that the nymph’s death happened while she was gathering flowers with her naiads. Orpheus cried a lot and decided to follow her into hell so that he can bring her back.
|Orpheus, trying to get Euridice out of the Inferno|
His music managed to persuade the entire Tartarus, the Underworld in Greek Mythology. Even Hades felt for his chants. The god promised Orpheus that he could bring Euridice back to human world, escorted by the soul adviser, Hermes. But he mentioned one condition: Orpheus wasn’t allowed to look at his spouse all the way to the surface. He couldn’t respect the engagement and before his last step to surface, he glanced at her. And so, he lost his beloved again, this time forever. Despite his tears and prayers at the river Styx, Hades never released Euridice again.
Being very discouraged because of his loss, the hero wasn’t capable of loving anymore. Refusing every woman that tried to seduce him, he ended up getting killed by maenads (Thracian priestesses of Dionysus, a detail that explains the Thracian origin of this god and Apollo, too) because he rejected their love. The impressive end of this Thracian god can be called “bloody amorous”. Legend says that, after his death, his lyre and head were thrown into the river Hebrus and taken to Aegean Sea, to the shores of Lesbos isle. His head was almost eaten by a dragon. The beast was eventually petrified by Apollo because the hero’s head continued to sing. An oracle was built and so the island became the cradle of poetry. The Lyre was lifted by the gods up to the sky, which now form the constellation with the same name.