DSC00355 - Orfeo (epoca romana) - Foto G. Dall'Orto.jpg
Roman Orpheus mosaic, a very common subject. He wears a Phrygian cap and is surrounded by the animals charmed by lyre-playing
AbodePimpleia, Pieria
Personal information
BornPimpleia, Pieria
DiedPangaion Hills, Macedonia, Greece
ParentsOeagrus or Apollo and Calliope
SiblingsThe Graces, Linus of Thrace

Orpheus (s/; Greek: Ὀρφεύς, classical pronunciation: /or.pʰeú̯s/) is a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. Some ancient Greek sources note Orpheus' Thracian origins.[1] According to Tzeztes, his home was the Odrysian city of Bisaltia.[2] The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music, his attempt to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld, and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music. As an archetype of the inspired singer, Orpheus is one of the most significant figures in the reception of classical mythology in Western culture, portrayed or alluded to in countless forms of art and popular culture including poetry, film, opera, music, and painting.[3]

For the Greeks, Orpheus was a founder and prophet of the so-called "Orphic" mysteries.[4] He was credited with the composition of the Orphic Hymns and the Orphic Argonautica. Shrines containing purported relics of Orpheus were regarded as oracles.


Several etymologies for the name Orpheus have been proposed. A probable suggestion is that it is derived from a hypothetical PIE root *h₃órbʰos "orphan, servant, slave" and ultimately the verb root *h₃erbʰ- "to change allegiance, status, ownership".[5] Cognates could include Greek ὄρφνη (órphnē) "darkness",[6] and surely Greek ὀρφανός (orphanós) "fatherless, orphan"[7], from which comes English "orphan" by way of Latin.

Fulgentius, a mythographer of the late 5th to early 6th century AD, gave the unlikely etymology meaning "best voice," "Oraia-phonos".[8]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Orpheus
العربية: أورفيوس
বাংলা: ওর্ফেউস
беларуская: Арфей
български: Орфей
bosanski: Orfej
brezhoneg: Orfeüs
català: Orfeu
čeština: Orfeus
dansk: Orfeus
Deutsch: Orpheus
eesti: Orpheus
Ελληνικά: Ορφέας
español: Orfeo
Esperanto: Orfeo
euskara: Orfeo
فارسی: اورفئوس
français: Orphée
Gaeilge: Oirféas
galego: Orfeo
한국어: 오르페우스
հայերեն: Օրփեոս
hrvatski: Orfej
Bahasa Indonesia: Orfeus
italiano: Orfeo
עברית: אורפאוס
ქართული: ორფეოსი
Latina: Orpheus
latviešu: Orfejs
Lëtzebuergesch: Orpheus
lietuvių: Orfėjas
magyar: Orpheusz
македонски: Орфеј
مصرى: اورفيوس
日本語: オルペウス
norsk: Orfeus
norsk nynorsk: Orfevs
occitan: Orfèu
polski: Orfeusz
português: Orfeu
română: Orfeu
русский: Орфей
Scots: Orpheus
shqip: Orfeu
Simple English: Orpheus
slovenčina: Orfeus (mytológia)
српски / srpski: Орфеј
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Orfej
suomi: Orfeus
svenska: Orfeus
Tagalog: Orfeo
татарча/tatarça: Orfey
Türkçe: Orfe
українська: Орфей
Tiếng Việt: Orpheus
中文: 俄耳甫斯