Orpheus (page 722)

Chapter 18: Other Myths

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Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis 1211-14

If I had the eloquence of Orpheus, my father, to move the rocks by chanted spells to follow me, or to charm by speaking anyone I wished, I would have resorted to it.  Greek Text

Aischylos, Edonoi – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, pp. 178-85, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Aischylos, Bassarides – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, pp. 138040, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Aischylos Neaniskoi – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, pp. 259-61, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Aischylos, Lykourgos – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, pp. 234-36, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Homer, Iliad 6 – See Ch. 2, p. 113

Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Katasterismoi 24 – Mythographi Graeci, vol. 3.1, pp. 28-30, ed. A. Olivieri. Leipzig 1897. 

Greek Text

Hyginus, De Astronomia 2.7.1

LYRE: The Lyre was put among the constellations for the following reason, as Eratosthenes says. Made at first by Mercury from a tortoise shell, it was given to Orpheus, son of Calliope and Oiagrus, who was passionately devoted to music. It is thought that by his skill he could charm even wild beasts to listen. When, grieving for his wife Eurydice, he descended to the Lower World, he praised the children of the gods in his song, all except Father Liber; him he overlooked and forgot, as Oineus did Diana in sacrifice. Afterwards, then, when Orpheus was taking delight in song, seated, as many say, on Mt. Olympus, which separates Macedonia from Thrace, or on Pangaion, as Eratosthenes says, Liber is said to have roused the Bacchanals against him. They slew him and dismembered his body. But others say that this happened because he had looked on the rites of Liber. The Muses gathered the scattered limbs and gave them burial, and as the greatest favour they could confer, they put as a memorial his lyre, pictured with stars, among the constellations. Apollo and Jove consented, for Orpheus had praised Apollo highly, and Jupiter granted this favour to his daughter.  Latin Text

Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2022

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