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1. Greek Mythology Of or ascribed to Orpheus: the Orphic poems; Orphic mysteries.
2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the dogmas, mysteries, and philosophical principles set forth in the poems ascribed to Orpheus.
3. Capable of casting a charm or spell; entrancing.
4. often orphic Mystic or occult.

[Greek Orphikos, from Orpheus, Orpheus.]

Or′phi·cal·ly adv.


1. (Classical Myth & Legend) of or relating to Orpheus or Orphism
2. (sometimes not capital) mystical or occult
ˈOrphically adv


(ˈɔr fɪk)

1. of or pertaining to Orphism or to the body of literature, attributed to Orpheus.
2. (often l.c.) mystic; oracular.
3. (often l.c.) entrancing: Orphic music.
Or′phi•cal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.Orphic - ascribed to Orpheus or characteristic of ideas in works ascribed to Orpheus
2.orphic - having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding; "mysterious symbols"; "the mystical style of Blake"; "occult lore"; "the secret learning of the ancients"
esoteric - confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle; "a compilation of esoteric philosophical theories"
References in classic literature ?
Very different in character is the "Hymn to Ares", which is Orphic in character.
It found its way into Hellas probably through the medium of Orphic and Pythagorean rites and mysteries.
Wolf's phrase from his provocative study of Orphism in Heart Crane's poetry--are revealed in his use of the motif of the mythical journey "mentioned by the Orphics, alluded to by the Y symbol of the Pythagoreans, (.
For the Orphics, this two-beat process is undergone by "the summer Dionyssos, identifiable with Adonis, Apollo or any other solar deities or solar heroes" (Wolf 8).
Craft versus Sect: The Problem of Orphics and Pythagoreans.
In spite of my skepticism about the dualistic reading, I will suggest in the final section that there are in this treatise some essential traces of thoughts traditionally connected with the so called Orphics or Pythagoreans as well, including a specific notion of an immortal soul which can be reborn.
It is hard to know how many people (including Plato himself) ever believed this story, or the stories the so-called Orphics told about the afterlife.
Overall, Wright's discussion of Mediterranean cultures covers an enormous period of time and span of literature, from Homer to Aristotle, sixth-century BCE Orphics to fourth-century CE Latin authors, tenth-century Zoroastrian texts to late antique Mithraic art.
The aim of the Orphics was to lead a life of purity and purification, so that eventually the successively reincarnated soul, having purged itself of the Titanic (or earthly) element, would be pure spirit divinely born of Zeus through his son Dionysus and thus would be released from the cycle, eternally to wander the Elysian fields.
The notion, peculiar to the orphics, that human beings contained elements of both divinity and evil was explained by the fact that men were created from the ashes of the Titans, who, evil themselves, had nevertheless swallowed the divine Zagreus.