Eurydice (wide justice) In Greek mythology, a dryad, wife of Orpheus, who died of a snakebite as she fled from Aristaeus. Orpheus went to the underworld in search of her. He was given permission to return Eurydice to life if he would not look back before he reached the upper earth. Orpheus did and lost Eurydice forever. The myth is told in Vergil’s Georgics IV, Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 10), Milton’s “L’Allegro,” and Landor’s Orpheus and Eurydice. The many operas on the subject include Monteverdi’s La Favola d’Orfeo (1607), Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Offenbach’s comic opera Orphee aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld) (1858).
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante