The Orcus or Orc or Ogre

...The classic orcus (orc) that eats children

The Orcus

.... the big (human?) head with wide open eyes in a moment of loud screaming, not of terror but terrorising.

in the mouth of Orcus

Billy Bond write to us:

Instead of "Orc" for the face with the open mouth it should be "Ogre" since "orcs" were created by J.R.R. Tolkien; the word did not exist before The Lord of the Rings.

In July 2010 Philippa R. Francis write to us:

Dear Bomarzo gardens – what a wonderful site.

One day I hope to visit your gardens ... it looks wonderful.

Please note that Billy Bond is incorrect.

The word ‘orc’ for monster or ogre existed well before Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ (which Tolkien himself knew full well).

Orca for example is a name for the killer whale which derives from ‘orc’.

In October 2013 Varina Suellen Plonski write to us:

Actually, the word should be orcus, not orc, and certainly not ogre. Orcus was another of the names of the god of the underworld, like Hades and Dis, and was often used allegorically as the name for the gates of hell.


A face with the open mouth like this was often used in medieval times to represent the gates of hell as well.

The queue for photos in front of the Orcus

The queue for photos in front of the Orcus

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Visit the other monsters of Villa of Wonders

01 Sphinx and Gianus

10 The 'Ninfeo'

20 The Orcus

28 Jupiter

03 Proteus Glaucus

13 Venus

21 The Dragon

32 Echidna and Furia

05 The Mausoleum

14 The Theatre

22 The elephant

35 Proserpina (Persefone)

06 Herculus e Cacus

15 Hanging House

23 Ceres

36 The cerberes

07 The Turtle and Whale

18 Etruscan bench

25 Neptune

37 The temple

09 The Pegasus

19 The vase cantaro

27 The Nymph

38 The 'rotonda'

The numbering is the same as the guide offered along with the entry ticket

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visitatore dal 30/09/01