Question by : Did Orpheus from Greek mythology have a hero cult?
Heroes in ancient Greece were often given hero cults after their death. I know Orpheus was regarded as the founder of a mystery cult, but did he have a traditional hero cult as well as the mysteries?
Answer by lilly
There are many different religious groups in Greece and Rome, that doesn’t correspond to the usual official religions of the various gods and goddesses. Their rites and sometimes their teachings are kept secret, and that are only understood by the cult initiated. For these reasons, these groups were known as the “mystery religions”.
Strange as this may seem, Orpheus was said to be founder of the new religion, and the central god of the cult was Dionysus (Διόνυσος). Not only that. According to the Orphics, Orpheus was said to be Dionysus’ chief priest. So why would the maenads, the followers of Dionysus, murder Dionysus’ own priest?
There are other Dionysiac cults, where the followers are involved in drunken revelry and sex orgies. The Orphic Mysteries was, however, different to the usual wild Dionysiac cults.
Central to the Orphic belief is the Creation myth (Theogony), where the cosmology began with first god being born from the Cosmic Egg.
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