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Bill Thayer

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Lacus Orphei

 p313  Article on pp313‑314 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Lacus Orphei: a fountain, named doubtless from a statue of Orpheus, on the Esquiline in Region V (Not. Cur.), probably just outside the porta Esquilina (Mart. X.19.6‑7). The inhabitants of this district seem to have been called Orfienses (CIL VI.31893 d.12: tabernarii Orfienses) in the fourth century (cf. LPD I.171, 178 n13: domum in regione orfea intra urbem); and the name continued in use during the Middle Ages (cf. S. Biagio,1 S. Lucia and S. Martino in Orfea, Arm. 201, 214, 218; HCh 306, 382). See Jord. II.127, 495; HJ 345; Gruppe in Rosch. s.v. Orpheus iii.1194; Eisler, Orpheus the Fisher, 278, who (following  p314 Richter 308) makes it 'an artificial lake of circular shape surrounded by steps, so that the whole building resembled a theatre.'2 The position of the churches makes it impossible to identify it with the 'Trofei di Mario' (see Nymphaeum Alexandri).

The Authors' Notes:

1 This church never existed; see HCh 507, No. 17*.

2 See also Eisler, Orphisch-Dionysisch Mysteriengedanke in der Christlichen Antike (1925), 22 f., 188, 292.

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