A Thracian poet and musician whose music had the power to move even inanimate objects and who almost succeeded in rescuing his wife Eurydice from Hades.
A poet-musician with magic musical powers who descends to the underworld and tries to lead his wife, Eurydice, back from the dead but fails because he breaks the injunction not to look back at her until they reach the upper world.
Origin of orpheus
Latin Orpheusfrom Greek orbh- in Indo-European roots
The name of Orpheus is equally important in the religious history of Greece.
During his residence in Thrace he joined the expedition of the Argonauts, whose leader Jason had been informed by Chiron that only by the aid of Orpheus would they be able to pass by the Sirens unscathed.
It is possible, but very improbable, that Orpheus was an historical personage; even in ancient times his existence was denied.
Without going so far as to assert that Orpheus is a hypostasis of Dionysus, there is no doubt that a close connexion existed between them from very early times.
Orpheus, in the manner of his death, was considered to personate the god Dionysus, and was thus the representative of the god torn to pieces every year, a ceremony enacted by the Bacchae in the earliest times with a human victim, afterwards with a bull to represent the bull-formed god.