In Greek mythology, there were two women named Eurydice.

One woman named Eurydice was the wife of Creon and mother of Haemon. When Oedipus stepped down as King of Thebes, he gave the kingdom to his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, who both agreed to alternate the throne every year. However, they showed no concern for their father, who cursed them for their negligence. After the first year, Eteocles refused to step down and Polynices attacked Thebes with his supporters (the Seven Against Thebes). Both brothers died in the battle. King Creon, who ascended o the throne of Thebes decreed that Polynices is not to be buried. Antigone, his sister, defied the order, but was caught. Creon decreed that she was to be buried alive in spite of her betrothal to his son, Haemon.

The gods, through the blind prophet Tiresias, expressed their disapproval of Creon's decision, which convinced him to rescind his order, and he went to bury Polynices. However, Antigone had already hanged herself rather than be buried alive. When Creon arrived at the tomb where she was to be interred, his son, Haemon, attacked him and then killed himself. When Creon's wife, Eurydice, was informed of their death she, too, takes her own life.

See also Epigonoi

In Greek mythology another woman named Eurydice 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 went down to the lower world and by his music softened the heart of Hades and Persephone (the only person to ever do so), who allowed Eurydice to return with him to earth. 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.

copyright 2004