Orphic Mysteries  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Orphism (more rarely Orphicism) is the name given to a set of religious beliefs and practices in the ancient Greek and Thracian world, associated with literature ascribed to the mythical poet Orpheus, who descended into Hades and returned. Orphics also revered Persephone (who descended into Hades each winter and returned each spring) and Dionysus or Bacchus (who also descended into Hades and returned). Orpheus was said to have invented the Mysteries of Dionysus. Poetry containing distinctly Orphic beliefs has been traced back to the 6th or at least 5th century BC, and graffiti of the 5th century BC apparently refers to "Orphics".

Classical sources refer to "Orpheus-initiators" (Orpheotelestai), and associated rites, although how far "Orphic" literature in general related to these rites is not certain. As in the Eleusinian mysteries, initiation into Orphic mysteries promised advantages in the afterlife.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Orphic Mysteries" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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