Convergence and Divergence in the interpretation of the myth of Orpheus: From Clement of Alexandria to Eusebius of Caesareia
The myth of Orpheus charming animals by virtue of his singing and lyreplaying aroused great interest among Christian authors in ancient times. Somes of these were struck by parallels between the myth and the power of the Word on the world and on men. Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesareia for instance believed they could draw on the myth of Orpheus, the poet, singer and musician to explain to the Greeks the workings of the divine Word. The former, true to the spirit of his times, insisted above all on oppositions between the song of Orpheus and the new song of the Logos ; the latter, living in an era when the Peace of the Church was emerging more clearly, sought rather to exploit the apologetical potential of an irenic comparison between the Thracian melodist and the Word of God.