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Orcus on a wall painting in the Etruscan underground.
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Orcus was a Roman demon of death and a god of the underworld. Identified with Thanatos, Pluto, Dis Pater and, to a lesser extent, Hades. This name relates to the punishing aspect of the deity, in particular, the death penalty and tormenting after death sinners who break a given word, liars, traitors. The underworld was also named after him.

Orkus was depicted in paintings in the Etruscan vaults as a hairy, bearded giant.

No broader accounts of this deity have survived, and his name and origin were unclear in antiquity. The name is possibly a transliteration of the name of the Greek demon Horkos, son of Eris, a personification of the oath. The Temple of Orcus may have existed on the Palatine.

  • Kempiński Andrzej, Encyklopedia mitologii ludów indoeuropejskich, Warszawa 2001
  • Schmidt Joël, Słownik mitologii greckiej i rzymskiej, Katowice 1996

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