Early Italian opera with its diverse roots, streching into the history of music, Classical and Renaissance literature, and the culture of the late Cinquecento, continues to attract historians of culture and musicologists. If one only glances over the work done in this area during the last twenty-five or so years one cannot fail to be impressed by the important writings on early opera by Nino Pirrotta, on the Florentine Camerata by Claude Palisca, on the Classical literary tradition in the early librettos by F. W. Sternfeld and on early Mantuan opera by Iain Fenlon. We also owe a detailed account of the first performance of Peri's and Caccini's Euridice to Claude Palisca, and a study of Peri's Euridice to Tim Carter. In the latter two studies the stress was on the final result of the collaboration between Ottavio Rinuccini, Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini. It seems, however, that a detailed look at one of the components, Rinuccini's dramatic poem Euridice, may offer some valuable insights into the very foundation of Peri's and Caccini's completed artistic effort and also throw new light on some aspects of Striggio's Orfeo.