Hylen, De Tantalo (Upsala, 1896), who considers the story of the thirst of Tantalus in the underworld to be due to the Orphic interpolator in the Nhcvta of the Odyssey, and the Pandareus story to be an innovation of the Alexandrine poets.
The bestknown name in connexion with them is that of Onomacritus, who, in the time of the Peisistratidae, made a collection (including forgeries of his own) of Orphic songs and legends.
This Orphic fast from meat was only broken by an annual sacramental banquet, originally, perhaps, of human, but later of raw bovine flesh.
It also included a collection of Orphic hymns, liturgic songs, practical treatises, and poems on various subjects.
While, on one hand, he combines much that had been suggested by Parmenides, Pythagoras and the Ionic schools, he has germs of truth that Plato and Aristotle afterwards developed; he is at once a firm believer in Orphic mysteries, and a scientific thinker, precursor of the physical scientists.
This cosmic Eros, who in Orphic cosmogony sprang from the world-egg which Chronos, or Time, laid in the bosom of Chaos, and which is the origin of all created beings, degenerated in later mythology into the capricious god of sexual passion, the son of Aphrodite and Zeus, Ares or Hermes.
The myth of Zagreus, the chief object of worship, who was identified with most of the numerous gods of the Orphic pantheon); the rape of Persephone; and the descent into Hades.
In later times Orphic theology engaged the attention of Greek philosophersEudemus the Peripatetic, Chrysippus the Stoic, and Proclus the Neoplatonist, but it was an especially favourite study of the grammarians of Alexandria, where it became so intermixed with Egyptian elements that Orpheus came to be looked upon as the founder of mysticism.
The books of Plato, along with certain divine oracles, the Orphic poems, and much more which they assigned to a remote antiquity,.
Thus the Orphic hymns are careful to specify, in connexion with the several deities celebrated, a great variety of substances appropriate to the service of each; in the case of many of these the selection seems to have been determined not at all by their fragrance but by some occult considerations which it is now difficult to divine.