Orpheus and Orphism
The image of Orpheus as a semidivine mythological being and perhaps an actual person has inspired countless works of art for well over two and half millennia. Within the domains of myth and art, he is primarily associated with his renowned abilities as poet and musician. Many versions of his story describe the captivating power his music exerted over anyone or thing near him while he played his cithara. Equally compelling is the story of the death of his newlywed bride, Eurydice, and his journey to the underworld to attempt her retrieval. He also plays a crucial role aboard the Argos accompanying Jason and fellow Argonauts on the quest for the Golden Fleece. Perhaps most intriguing, from the perspective of religious studies, is his purported role as the founder of a non-Hellenic renunciation cult called Orphism that condemned animal sacrifice and produced a large body of works describing a cosmogony and eschatology that stand in sharp contrast to those described in Homer and Hesiod.
- Burkert, W. (1977). Orphism and bacchic mysteries: New evidence and old problems of interpretation. In W. Wuellner (Ed.), Protocol of the 28th Colloquy of the Center for Hermeneutical Studies (pp. 1–4). Berkeley: Center for Hermeneutical Studies.Google Scholar
- Burkert, W. (1985). Greek religion (trans: Raffan, J.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Gantz, T. (1993). Orpheus early Greek myth (Vol. 2). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Greene, M. (1999). Re-imagining as a method for the elucidation of myth: The case of orpheus and eurydice (Doctoral dissertation). Carpinteria: Pacifica Graduate Institute.Google Scholar
- Guthrie, W. K. C. (1993). Orpheus and Greek religion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Irwin, L. (1991). The orphic mystery: Harmony and mediation. In Alexandria (pp. 37–55). Grand Rapids: Phanes Press.Google Scholar