Orpheus was the greatest singer, poet and musician of ancient times. His father was the river god Eager, the ruler of Hemus (the Balkan mountain), and his mother and teacher was the muse of epic poetry – Calliope. Orpheus was better even than the leader of the muses – Apollo. His magical songs and lyre enchanted birds and animals, the trees lowered their branches, rocks and mountains moved and mountainous snowdrifts melted. Orpheus took part in the expedition of the Argonauts for the golden fleece and with his songs measured the pace of the rowers and, near the coasts of the sea sirens, silenced their treacherous songs. Short and tragic was the love of this Thracian singer.
After the wedding day, a snake bit his young wife’s leg - dryad Eurydice – and poured its poison into her tender body. In order to bring her back, Orpheus entered Hades’ underworld, going through the Devil’s throat cave.
None could resist his tender lyre and his heart-breaking song. Not even the gods of the bodiless shadows – Hades and Persephone. Touched by his endless love, they allowed the singer to lead his beloved from the land of the dead under one condition – that he does not turn towards her before her reached the light.
Orpheus could not resist the temptation and, while walking down the steep and dark path, turned around with desire to glance at his beloved Eurydice. At that moment she flew forever back to the underworld. Orpheus died torn to pieces by the Menadas, near the banks of the river Hebros – Maritsa. The parts of his body were taken by the river waves and tossed on the island of Lesbos, where they were buried.