Love

9 Best Love Stories From Greek Mythology

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greek love stories

There's no denying we love a good love story (the most obvious fact ever). The best love stories are the ones that are larger than life, and there's no shortage of epic love in ancient mythology.

Love stories make us dream big and imagine even greater, which is a core step in living your best life — or love life for that matter.

Science has even proven that people who dream more often have the ability to achieve greater things because they imagined the possibilities first.

So, of course, we set out to find the five most romantic love stories from ancient mythology, not that you need any help daydreaming.

RELATED: 5 Truly Inspiring Love Stories From Real Couples

These mythical love stories are the kind storytellers yearn to tell. So after you read these romantic (and, of course, tragic) myths, pick up your favorite fantasy read from Harlequin or your favorite fanfiction website and let your imagination run wild.

9 Great Greek Love Stories

1. Orpheus and Eurydice

The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the most romantic (and heartbreaking) stories from Greek mythology.

You've probably heard this mythical love story because it's used to lecture impatient people, which isn't helpful.

Orpheus fell in love with a nymph named Eurydice, who tragically died on their wedding day when she was walking down the aisle and stepped on a poisonous snake.

Orpheus was able to make his way to the Underworld and used his musical talents to convince Hades to release his true love. Hades agreed, but only if Orpheus would lead his bride to the world of the living without looking back to make sure she was following him.

Orpheus almost made it all the way to the surface before he couldn't control himself and turned around.

Eurydice had been following him the whole time but once he looked at her she was immediately taken back to the land of the dead for eternity. Orpheus swore to never love again.

2. Alcyone and Ceyx

Alcyone and Ceyx were the beloved king and queen of Trachis in Greek mythology. They loved each other so intensely that both gods and mortals admired their relationship.

However, they both let this go to their heads a little bit and began to call each other Hera and Zeus, the king and queen of the gods. This didn't go over well with the real Hera and Zeus, who wanted to punish them.

One day, while Ceyx was sailing back to his wife, Zeus sent a thunderbolt to capsize his ship and kill the king.

Alcyone waited on the shore day and night for her missing husband to appear on the sea and prayed to Hera to return Ceyx to her.

Hera took pity on her and sent Ceyx's body to wash ashore so Alcyone wouldn't have to wait anymore.

Alcyone was so overcome with grief that she drowned herself at the sight of her dead husband, but Zeus turned them both into kingfisher birds that lay eggs on the water during the halcyon days when the ocean is calm.

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3. Torin and Keelycael

Torin, the Underworld lord responsible for death and disease, was the source of much unhappiness to both gods and mortals. His ultimate curse was that while he was unable to touch without causing decay, the lord of the Underworld wanted nothing except physical contact.

When The Red Queen, a powerful deity named Keelycael, escaped from her imprisonment she set out to make Torin atone for the innumerable deaths he caused.

Though Keelycael attempted to punish Torin and end his destruction, Torin eluded her trials in a game of cat and mouse. In a twist of fate, The Red Queen realized that Torin could be her ultimate match.

4. Zal and Rudabeh

Persian legend says Zal was cast away to a mountaintop when he was born.

As he grew older, he was given a feather that he was told would keep him safe on his journey to be reunited with his father. During his journeys, Zal fell in love with the story of a beautiful woman named Rudabeh who had dark ringlets that reached her feet and long eyelashes.

When he finally found his father, Zal was heartbroken to know that his family was actually the enemy of Rudabeh's.

Against the odds, he found her and crept under her window one night where she let him climb up her hair. The two fell instantly in love, so deeply that their families couldn't deny the marriage and peace finally fell between them all. When Rudabeh was sick in labor with their son, Zal threw his feather into a fire to protect them both.

5. Chih-nii and the Cowherd

Chih-nii was a god-like Chinese figure who's remembered for making gowns out of brocade and clouds.

For her hard work, her father married her to a cowherd but she fell so deeply in love she forgot all her talent for sewing and making gowns.

Her father was so furious that he sent them away, casting the Cowherd into the stars on one side of the sky and Chih-nii the Spinster into the other.

Between them, he put the Heavenly River, also known as the Milky Way. The two are only able to see each other once a year when the stars align correctly.

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6. Pyramus and Thisbe

Pyramus and Thisbe grew up living right next to each other. they became great friends although their families were rivals. As they grew up, their friendship also blossomed into an intense and passionate love for one another.

Not wanting to be caught, the couple could only exchange gestures of affection from a distance. Living right next to each other, the only thing to separate them was a single wall. But the two young lovers found a crack in that wall, where they would stand for hours expressing their deep love for each other.

One day they planned to meet so they could run away and get married since their parents would never allow their union.

Their meeting was sot be at the great big tree by the river. Thisbe, arriving first, was spooked by a lioness drinking by the river after just finishing its meal. When Thisbe turned to flee, her veil became stuck in the tree causing her to leave the piece of clothing behind.

The lioness, curious by nature, ended up playing around with the lost veil with its bloody paws. The lioness became bored quickly and left.

Pyramus then arrived and saw Thisbe's veil covered in blood. Assuming the worst, he was overcome with intense guilt. He then unsheathed his own sword and struck it through his heart. Thisbe came back to the tree and saw her lover bleeding out under their beloved tree, dead. Upon further inspection of the scene, she soon came to understand the sad situation. Without a second thought, she threw herself upon the same sword.

The couple's blood was absorbed by the great tree. The blood of the couple made the fruits of the tree turn red and become sweeter.

The couple's death erased the feud between their families, and their love nurtured the great tree until this very day. The berries of that tree are what we now call mulberries.

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7. Eros and Psyche

Psyche was the youngest of three daughters of a king. Her beauty resembled that of a goddess walking among mortals and all she wanted was a love that would lift her spirits. Aphrodite, hearing of the remarks of her beauty, became enraged and sought out her son Eros, the god of love. Aphrodite asked Eros to use his arrows to cause Psyche to fall in love with a hideous creature. But once Eros saw her, he could not fulfill his mother's wishes and instantly fell in love with Psyche.

As time passed Pysche realized that she couldn't fall in love with anyone just as no one truly could fall in love with her. This is because Eros refused to awaken a love for Psyche in any man. Psyche's father worried for her, sought out the oracle of Delphie for guidance. The oracle told them that Pysche was to be brought to a mountain and left alone for a horrible winged creature who will cause her death to claim her. The oracle was speaking of Eros.

The family did as they were told and Pysche was taken up the mountain. She was then put to sleep by Zephyr, God of winds. Psyche awoke in an idyllic place: a beautiful palace. She waited in her darkened room for this husband of hers to arrive. When he did Pysche was sure he was teh love she had wished for.

She was happy for the next few days, although a sadness soon crept in as she could never see her husband. She asked her mysterious husband if she could invite her two sisters to see taht she was alright. Eros agreed but wanted her not to let her sisters influence her or their relationship would suffer.

Her sisters put doubt in Psyche's mind so much taht she betrayed her husband and lit a candle that night to look upon his face. Noticing he wasn't a monster Psyche was relieved, but Eros awoke and left the room. Psyche heard Eros say as he left, "Love can not live without trust."

Distraught Pysche asked APhrodite for help, but the vain goddess was still jealous and wanted revenge. Aphrodite then gave Psyche three impossible tasks to do to prove she was a worthy wife for her son. In each task, Psyche was helped due to her pure determination.

Upon seeing this aphrodite deemed Pysche unworthy and enslaved the poor girl as her servant. The gods looking on this wrongdoing sent Hermes to fill Eros in on his mother's treachery. Hearing what Psyche was doing for him, healed the God's wound of betrayal. He then found Psyche in his mother's garden and took her away.

The two lived out their lives happily in their palace where flowers grew and music played. Zeus gave Psyche immortality as a wedding gift and even Aphrodite was happy in the end.

8. Hades and Persephone

Here is one story most of you will know about. The abduction of Persephone by Hades, but do you know what happened after that?

It begins with Persephone in a field of flowers when the earth opens up to allow Hades to grab Persephone and bring her to the underworld with him. Many people believe that was it, but in actuality, Hades was in love with Persephone (Thanks to Eros) and knew Demeter, Persephone's mother, would never approve. So Hades goes to Zeus to ask for help in his situation, and the whole flower field kidnapping was his idea. So, it wasn't really an abduction and more an arranged marriage Zeus made.

Demeter can't find her daughter anywhere (because she's in the underworld). Demeter becomes sad and upset which made the land bare and desolate since she is the goddess of Harvest. She stops the plants from growing and ends up killing a lot of people by doing so. This attacks Zeus' attention and sends Hermes to bring Persephone back to the surface to be with her mom.

When Hermes arrives in the underworld he sees taht Persephone is a bit sad and is missing her mom, so he explains to hades what Demeter is doing and Hades agrees to let Persephone speak with her mother. However, before leaving Hades speaks with Persphone asking her not to be sad since she will be the queen of queens in the underworld and that he will better himself to be a good husband to her. During their conversation, Hades sneaks her some pomegranate seeds binding her to the underworld. This ensures she will return to him.

Demeter is once again happy to have her daughter back and she allows the earth to flourish again. However, Zeus conveys the message that Persphone will have to split her time on teh surface with her mother and in the underworld with her Husband Hades because of the fruit she ate down there.

So upon Persephone leaving her mother, Demeter becomes sad and makes the land dead, covered in winter, once again as a reminder of the time she almost killed everyone on earth. Hades and Persephone's love story created the seasons we have now.

9. Poseidon and Amphitrite

Poseidon God of the Sea was a very temperamental God. In his rage, Tsunamis and earthquakes happened often. Zeus, his brother, thought he had a solution to Poseidon's anger, and that was that Poseidon needed a wife. Zeus asked Nereus to give up one of his daughters to marry Poseidon. Nereus felt honored to do so.

Poseidon hearing of this set off to meet his future wife. Nereus presented Poseidon with his daughters allowing Poseidon to choose his bride. They were all beautiful but one, Amphitrite, was particularly beautiful to Poseidon.

However, Amphitrite was embarrassed by Poseidon's advances and swam to the darkest depths of the ocean. Poseidon searched every inch of the ocean to find his new bride, but alas came up empty-handed. Not being able to find his new bride, Poseidon's anger only increased.

This angers Zeus who then demands Amphitrite's mother to reveal her daughter's location to him. Poseidon then sent his most loyal dolphin to persuade Amphitrite to return. Amphitrite agrees and marries The God of the Sea. From their union, Triton was born. All was well in the land of the Sea God

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Kelsey Marshall is a freelance writer and contributor to YourTango.

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