|The most famous was a woman - or a nymph - who was the wife of Orpheus.
While fleeing from Aristaeus, she was bitten by a serpent and died. Distraught,
Orpheus played such sad songs and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs
and gods wept and gave him advice. Orpheus accomplished something no other
person ever has: he traveled to the underworld and by his music softened
the hearts of Hades and Persephone, and even made the Furies weep. It was
then granted that Eurydice be allowed to return with him to the world of
the living. But the condition was attached that he should walk in front
of her and not look back until he had reached the upper world. In his anxiety,
he broke his promise, and Eurydice vanished again from his sight. The story
in this form belongs to the time of Virgil, who first introduces the name
of Aristaeus. Other ancient writers, however, speak of Orpheus' visit to
the underworld; according to Plato, the infernal gods only "presented an
apparition" of Eurydice to him.
This story and the characters of Orpheus, Eurydice, and Aristaeus were
published in Special Issue 1 of the acclaimed The Sandman comic book series
by Author Neil Gaiman, under the title The Song of Orpheus. Released by
DC Comics in 1993, the penciller was Bryan Talbot, the inker was Mark Buckingham,
the colorist was Daniel Vozzo, and the letterer was Todd Klien.