Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In Roman mythology, Orcus was a god of the underworld, punisher of broken oaths, more equivalent to Pluto than to the Greek Hades. The origins of Orcus may have lain in Etruscan religion. Orcus was a name used by Roman writers to identify a Gaulish god of the underworld. The Etruscan so-called "Tomb of the Orcus" at Tarquinia is a misnomer, when the first discoverers took as Orcus a figure of a Cyclops.
Generalized connotations of "Orcus" have made it a popular name for providing an instant "demonic" atmosphere. In Dungeons & Dragons, Orcus is a demon prince, and lord of the undead. Orcus also appears in the game NetHack.
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