Orphism took up the beliefs of paganism, and adapted them to its own ends.
But Orphism was also connected with Crete, and Cretan civilization had oriental affinities.
Orphism and the Mysteries had attempted the same thing in the Grecian world without achieving a lasting success.
Orphism is especially important because it taught men to expect in the future life not only rewards but also punishments.
But Orphism, though liable to degradation, purified and elevated the old Bacchic rites.
Orphism though of foreign origin became a genuine Greek religion, and was the last.
Epimenides must be reckoned with Melampus and Onomacritus as one of the founders of Orphism.
Orphism may very possibly represent an ancient Cretan religion in clash or fusion with one from Thrace.