Chapter 16-orpheus and orphism: mystery religions in roman times. Orpheus was the son of calliope, oldest and most beautiful of the nine muses. Before he could walk, opheus could play the lyre and had a voice that was so enchanting that even the mightiest river would stop to listen. He fell in love with a nymph named eurydice, and before long the two were married. They lived happily for a while, but their happiness was not to last. Eurydice was walking near a river she accidentally stepped on a snake that was sunning itself on the bank. Not wanting to live without his beloved eurydice, orpheus decided to go down into the underworld to bring her back. With his songs he entranced all of the monsters and guardians of the underworld, and was soon in the presence of hades and persephone. At first they would not consider orpheus" pleas to allow.