Greek myth in the Speeches remains an insufficiently studied aspect of Cicero’s literary output. Similarly, the mythological exemplum as a part of rhetorical theory has never been carefully examined. The scholarly controversy concerning the connotations carried by the myth of Orpheus in the Pro Archia poeta might be an opportunity to contribute briefly to both subjects in question. The author of the latest edition of the speech has rejected the hypothesis of C.E.W. Steel, who holds that in the text the allusion to the poet’s death can be found. The following study aims above all at supporting the view, according to which the exemplum serves as a reminder of what fate Orpheus met at the hands of the Thracian maenads.