Orpheus

Detail from an Athenian red-figure clay vase, about 450 BC. Berlin, Staatliche Museen 3172.Detail from Athenian red-figure clay vase, about 475-425 BC. Munich. Antikensammlung 2330. Photo. Mus. WA 3484A mythical musician who lived in Thrace (north of Greece) and was said to be able to control men and beasts by his music. His powers incensed the women of Thrace who killed and dismembered him. Thereafter his severed head was said to have spoken oracles. He was married to Eurydike whose death and eventual dismissal to Hades he was unable to avert because he looked round as he fetched her back to the upper world. He is usually shown in oriental or Thracian dress, and with a lyre. Only in late classical art is his power over animals shown.

Above left: Detail from an Athenian red-figure clay vase, about 450 BC. Berlin, Staatliche Museen 3172. © Staatliche Museen, Berlin Licence Plate 11 UK 1007 177

Above right: Detail from Athenian red-figure clay vase, about 475-425 BC. Munich. Antikensammlung 2330. Photo. Mus. WA 3484 © Antikensammlung. Munich.