He was the mythic founder of a religious school or sect, with a code of rules of life, a mystic eclectic theology, a system of purificatory and expiatory rites, and peculiar mysteries.
Both inculcated a peculiar kind of ascetic life; both had a mystical speculative theory of religion, with purificatory rites, abstinence from beans, &c.; but Orphism was more especially religious, while Pythagoreanism, at least originally, inclined more to be a political and philosophical creed.
In less developed creeds the difference tends to remain in the background; but where sacrifices are found, solemn annual rites, communal, purificatory or expiatory, are celebrated, and these are held to be in like manner obligatory.
With the increase of the city the operation grew in importance, and was followed by an official lustruni, or purificatory sacrifice, offered on behalf of the people by the censors or functionaries in charge of the classification.
Indulgences are not recognized; an intermediate and purificatory state of the dead is held but not systematized into a doctrine of purgatory.