Sketch based on the famous sculpture of the God from antiquity. Created by the author who releases it to the Public Domain.

Prohtogónos, Who Gives Light 

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Phánis - (Fanis or Phanes; Gr. Φάνης, ΦΑΝΗΣ. Pronounced: FAH-nees.) 

Phánis is "a divinity in the Orphic System, representing the first principle of life
[1]," He is called Firstborn, Prohtogónos (Protogonus, Πρωτογόνος), Mítis (Metis, Μῆτις), and the son of Aithír (Ether, Αἰθήρ) [2]. He is the primeval God of procreation in the Orphic Theogony. Phánis is an impersonal deity, a great force of Aithír which both conceals and reveals all the forms that exist in nature, which includes every thing. As such, Phánis is one of the most important deities of all Ællinismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion.


The etymology of the name derives from the verb ϕαίνω which is defined:

bring to light, cause to appear, in physical sense, b. make known, reveal, disclose. c. show. B. come to light, appear [3].

Hence, Phánis is he who reveals,
 the enlightening Aithír.

Kozmology and the First-Born

The primordial state of the Kózmos (Cosmos, Κόσμος) is called Unutterable or Ineffable, consisting of unexpressed material: Earth and Water
[4]. From this primeval situation, Khrónos (Chronus = Unageing Time, Χρόνος) united with Anángi (Ananke = Necessity, Ἀνάγκη) [5]. Khrónos then gave birth to unbounded Kháos (Chaos, Χάος), moist Aithír, and misty Ǽrævos (Erebos = Darkness, Ἔρεβος) [6]. In the Aithír, Khrónos wrought a silvery egg [7] from which Phánis leapt forth, and at the birth of Phánis, the First-born (Πρωτόγονος) of the Gods, the chasm and the aithír were torn apart [8].

Phánis has many names; he is also called Mítis (Metis, Μῆτις), Irikæpaios (Ericapaeus, Ἠρικεπαῖος), Prohtógonos (First-Born, Πρωτόγονος), Ǽrohs (Eros, Ἔρως), Diónysos (Διόνυσος). [9], Zefs (Ζεύς), and Pan (Πᾶν) [10]. Phánis made the imperishable house of the Immortals [11]. He revealed the sun, the earth, and the moon [12]. He gave his scepter, the Kirýkeion (Caduceus, Κηρύκειον) which unites the three worlds and emanates prophecy, to Nyx (Night, Νύξ) [13], who gave birth to Yaia (Gaia, Γαῖα) and Ouranós (Uranus, Οὐρανός) [14]

"The Triple God born from the Egg was called Phanis, and also Metis and Ericapæus, the three being aspects of one Power." [15]

"Of the three aspects, Phanis is said to be the 'father', Ericapæus the 'power', and Metis the 'intellect', in Platonic terms (see Δαμάσκιος Quæst. p. 380)." [16]

The Orphic hymn to Phánis calls him Prohtógonos. The hymn remarks that it is Phánis "from whom the race of Gods and mortals spring 
[17]." He is called Antavyís (Antauges, Ἀνταυγής) in the poem, "he who reflects the Light."


In iconography, Phánis is depicted as marvelously beautiful, emitting great light.

"With four eyes gazing hither and thither. [18]. With golden wings fluttering this way and that [19]. Roaring like a bull and a fierce lion." [20]

He is also described marvelously in the Orphic hymn dedicated to the God:

Prohtogónos [21]
O Mighty first-begotten, hear my pray'r,
Two-fold, egg-born, and wand'ring thro' the air,
Bull-roarer, glorying in thy golden wings,
From whom the race of Gods and mortals springs.
Ericapæus, celebrated pow'r,
Ineffable, occult, all shining flow'r.
From eyes obscure thou wip'st the gloom of night,
All-spreading splendour, pure and holy light;
Hence Phanes call'd, the glory of the sky,
On waving pinions thro' the world you fly.
Priapus, dark-ey'd splendour, thee I sing,
Genial, all-prudent, ever-blessed king,
With joyful aspect on our rights divine
And holy sacrifice (τελετή) propitious shine.

Thomas Taylor comments on the hymn [22]:

"Phanes, or Protogonus, who subsists at the extremity of the intelligible triad, and is therefore νοῦς νοητός, or intelligible intellect, and the exemplar of the universe, is denominated by Plato in the Timæus (Τίμαιος) τό αὐτοζῷον, animal itself, as being the primordial cause of all animal life, and was symbolically represented by Orpheus as adorned with the heads of a ram, a bull, a serpent, and a lion. But Jupiter (Ζεὺς), or the Demiurgus (Δημιουργός) of the universe, is in the intellectual what Phanes is in the intelligible order of Gods; and hence he is said by Orpheus to have absorbed Phanes prior to his fabrication of the world; the Theologist (Orpheus) indicating by this his participation of all the primary paradigmatic causes of things which subsist in Phanes. As Porphyry, therefore, in his treatise De Antro Nympharum, informs us, 'that the Persian deity Mithra, as well as the bull, is the Demiurgus and lord of generation,' the reason is obvious why Protogonus is called in this hymn bull-roarer, the roaring signifying the procession of ideas to the formation of the world. And this is conformable to what is asserted respecting ideas in the Chaldæan Oracles, viz.

Νοῦς πατρός ἐρροίζησε νοήσας ἀκμάδι βουλή Παμμορϕοῦς ἰδέας

"The intellect of the father made a crashing noise, understanding with unwearied counsel omniform ideas." 

...for the crashing noise indicates the same thing as the roaring of Protogonus."

Phánis is the first Vasiléfs

Phánis is the first constituent of the evolutionary progression of Aithír known as the dynasty of the Six Vasileis (Basileis = Kings, Βασιλεῖς [Βασιλεύς is singular]): Phánis, Nyx, Ouranós, Krónos, Zefs, and Diónysos. From Phánis comes Nyx, then Ouranós, Krónos, and Zefs. Zefs enters the Cave (Ántron, Ἄντρον) of Nyx, "swallows" (utilizes, controls) Phánis
[23], and creates the universe anew:

And then Zefs went to the Sacred Cave and asked, “Good mother, highest of the Gods, immortal Nyx, show me this, how am I to set up my stout-hearted rule among the Deathless Ones [24]How can I have all things one yet each one apart?” And blessed (μάκαιρα) Nyx, gleaming with the blue of dawn (κυαναυγής), answered him saying,

Take hold round about all things with the unutterable Aithír, and in its midst place the vault of heaven, the immense earth, the sea, and all the constellations crowning heaven… and bind them all with a golden aithirial chain.” [25]

Thus then taking hold of the power of first-born Irikæpaios (Ἠρικεπαῖος)
he carried the form of all things in the hollow of his own belly, 
he mingled his own limbs with the power and strength of the God,
for that reason with him all things within Zefs were made new. [26]

Phánis and the Generations of Man

Phánis rules over the first generation: the Golden Age. [27]

Please visit this page for the mythology of the Six Kings: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony. This is the most important page on the entire website.

The Orphic Hymn to Prohtógonos (Phánis) suggests an offering of myrrh to the God


[1] Greek-English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, 1843.

[2] Orphic frag. 73. (57) Lactantius, Institutiones Divinae I, 5, 4-6 p. 13, 13 Brandt.

πρωτόγονος Φαέθων περιμήϰεος Αἰθέρος υἱός
"First-born Phaethon, son of towering Aithír." (trans. by the author)

Orphic frag. 85. (61) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 31a (I 451, 6 Diehl):

δαίμονα σεμνόν, Μῆτιν φέροντα θεών κλυτόν, ὅν τε Φάνητα πρωτόγονον μάκαρες κάλεον κατά μακρόν Ὄλυμπον

"Revered Goddess, Mítis (Μῆτις) bearer of the glorious Gods, whom was called Phánis the Firstborn (Πρωτογόνος) by the Happy Ones (Μάκαρες) above in the High Heaven (Ὄλυμπος)." 
(trans. by the author)

[3] Greek-English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, 1843.

[4] Orphic frag. 54. (36) ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν Δαμασκίου (First Princ.) 123 bis (I 317, 15 Rue.):

ὕδωρ ἦν, φησίν, ἐξ ἀρχῆς καὶ ὕλη, ἐξ ἧς ἐπάγη ἡ γῆ,
δύο ταύτας ἀρχὰς ὑποτιθέμενος πρῶτον, ὕδωρ καὶ γῆν, ταύτην
μὲν ὡς φύσει σκεδαστήν, ἐκεῖνο δὲ ὡς ταύτης κολλητικόν τε καὶ συνεκτικόν, 

"Water exists, so he (Orpheus) says, and mud from the beginning, from which the earth became solid: these two of origination he holds as first principles, water and earth, the latter indeed producing dissolution, the former glutinous and holding together."  (trans. by the author)

[5] Δαμάσκιος Orph. Fr. 54 continued from note 4 above.

τὴν δὲ τρίτην ἀρχὴν μετὰ τὰς δύο γεννηθῆναι μὲν
ἐκ τούτων, ὕδατός φημι καὶ γῆς, δράκοντα δὲ εἶναι κεφαλὰς ἔχοντα
προσπεφυκυίας ταύρου καὶ λέοντος, ἐν μέσῳ δὲ θεοῦ πρόσωπον, ἔχειν δὲ καὶ
ἐπὶ τῶν ὤμων πτερά, ὠνομάσθαι δὲ Χρόνον ἀγήραον καὶ Ἡραλῆα τὸν αὐτόν·
συνεῖναι δὲ αὐτῷ τὴν Ἀνάγκην, φύσιν οὖσαν τὴν αὐτὴν καὶ Ἀδράστειαν,
δισώματον διωργυιωμένην ἐν παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ, τῶν περάτων αὐτοῦ ἐφαπτομένην.

"But the third principle posterior to these two, water and earth, and which is generated from them, is a dragon, naturally endued with the heads of a bull and a lion, but in the middle having the countenance of the God himself. They add likewise that he has wings on his shoulder, and that he is called undecaying Time (Χρόνος), and Hercules (Ἡρακλῆς); that Necessity (Ἀνάγκηresides (is united, συνεῖναι) with him, which is the same as Nature, and incorporeal Adrastia, which is extended throughout the universe, whose limits she binds in amicable conjunction." (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1824.)

[6] Δαμάσκιος Orph. Fr. 54 continued from note 5 above.

Χρόνος ἀγήραος καὶ Αἰθέρος καὶ Χάους πατήρ· ἀμέλει καὶ κατὰ
ταύτην ὁ Χρόνος οὗτος ὁ δράκων γεννᾶται τριπλῆν γονήν, Αἰθέρα φησὶ
νοτερὸν καὶ Χάος ἄπειρον, καὶ τρίτον ἐπὶ τούτοις Ἔρεβος ὀμιχλῶδες. τὴν
δευτέραν ταύτην τριάδα ἀνάλογον τῇ πρώτῃ παραδίδωσι, δυναμικὴν οὖσαν,
ὡς ἐκείνην πατρικήν· διὸ καὶ τὸ τρίτον αὐτῆς Ἔρεβος ἐστιν ὀμιχλῶδες, καὶ τὸ
πατρικόν τε καὶ ἄκρον Αἰθήρ, οὐχ ἁπλῶς, ἀλλὰ νοτερός, τὸ δὲ μέσν αὐτόθεν
Χάος ἄπειρον. ἀλλὰ μὴν ἐν τούτοις, ὡς λέγει, ὁ Χρόνος ᾠὸν ἐγέννησεν, τοῦ
Χρόνου ποιοῦσα γέννημα καὶ αὕτη ἡ παράδοσις, καὶ ἐν τούτοις τικτόμενον, ὅτι
καὶ ἀπὸ τούτων ἡ τρίτη πρόεισι νοητὴ τριάς. τίς οὖν αὕτη ἐστί ; τὸ ᾠόν· ἡ δυὰς
τῶν ἐν αὐτῷ φύσεων, ἄρρενος καὶ θηλείας, καὶ τῶν ἐν μέσῳ παντοίων
σπερμάτων τὸ πλῆθος· καὶ τρίτον ἐπὶ τούτοις θεὸν δισώματον, πτέρυγας ἐπὶ
τῶν ὤμων ἔχοντα χρυσᾶς, ὃς ἐν μὲν ταῖς λαγόσι προσπεφυκυίας εἶχε ταύρων
κεφαλάς, ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς κεφαλῆς δράκοντα πελώριον παντοδαπαῖς μορφαῖς
θηρίων ἰνδαλλόμενον. τοῦτον μὲν οὖν ὡς νοῦν τῆς τριάδος ὑποληπτέον, τὰ δὲ
μέσα γένη τά τε πολλὰ καὶ τὰ δύο τὴν δύναμιν, αὐτὸ δὲ τὸ ᾠὸν ἀρχὴν πατρικὴν
τῆς τρίτης τριάδος. ταύτης δὲ τῆς τρίτης τριάδος τὸν τρίτον θεὸν καὶ ἥδε ἡ
θεολογία πρωτόγονον ἀνυμνεῖ καὶ Δία καλεῖ πάντων διατάκτορα καὶ ὅλου τοῦ
κόσμου, διὸ καὶ Πᾶνα καλεῖσθαι.

"...undecaying Time, the father of æther and chaos, was the principle: but in this Time is neglected, and the principle becomes a dragon. It likewise calls triple æther, moist; and chaos, infinite; and Erebus, cloudy and dark; delivering this second triad analogous to the first: this being potential, as that was paternal. Hence the third procession of this triad is dark Erebus: its paternal and summit æther, not according to a simple but intellectual subsistence: but its middle infinite chaos, considered as a progeny or procession, and among these parturient, because from these the third intelligible triad proceeds. What then is the third intelligible triad? I answer, the egg; the duad of the natures of male and female which it contains, and the multitude of all-various seeds, residing in the middle of this triad: and the third among these is an incorporeal God, bearing golden wings on his shoulders; but in his inward parts naturally possessing the heads of bulls, upon which heads a mighty dragon appears, invested with the all-various forms of wild beasts. This last then must be considered as the intellect of the triad; but the middle progeny, which are many as well as two, correspond to power, and the egg itself is the paternal principle of the third triad: the the third God of this third triad, this theology celebrates as Protogonus, and calls him Jupiter (Ζεὺς), the disposer of all things and of the whole world; and on this account denominates him Pan.
(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1824.)

Orphic frag. 66 (52) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος (Commentary on The Republic) II 138:

Αἰθέρα μὲν Χρόνος οὗτος ἀγήραος, ἀφθιτόμητις γείνατο καὶ μέγα χάσμα πελώριον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα καὶ μικρὸν ὕστερον fr. 72

"Of indeed Time (Χρόνος), the undecaying one, of immortal counsel, begot Aithír and a vast prodigious open chasm on this side and on that, and little (one) after." (trans. by the author.)  

[7] Orphic frag. 70. (53) ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν Δαμασκίου, First Principles 55 (I 111, 17 Rue):

ἔπειτα δ' ἔτευξε μέγας Χρόνος Αἰθέρι δίωι ὠεὸν ἀργύφεον.

“Thereupon mighty Khrónos wrought in the heavenly Aithír a silvery egg.” (trans. the author)

[8] Orphic frag. 72. σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 138, 18 Kr. v. fr. 66:

κάσμα δ' ὑπ' ἠέριον καὶ νήνεμος ἐρράγη αἰθὴρ ὀρνυμένοιο Φάνητος. 

“The misty chasm below and the windless Aithír were torn apart at the arising of Phánis.” (trans. by the author)

[9] Orphic frag. 60. (48) ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν Δαμασκίου, First Principles 123 (I 316, 18 Rue):

In this excerpt, Damáskios talks about Orphic theology in Neoplatonic terms. He says that Phánis leaps out of the egg as intellect, but that his abilities have three names: Mítis (intellect), Irikæpaios (power), and Phánis (father). These three names are also assigned to the God in other places, such as Orphic frag. 65, 81, 83, and others.

The name First-Born (
πρωτόγονος) for Phánis  is universal; it can be found in Orphic frag. 86 and here:

Orphic frag. 73. (57) Lactantius, Institutiones Divinae I, 5, 4-6 p. 13, 13 Brandt.

πρωτόγονος Φαέθων περιμήϰεος Αἰθέρος υἱός

“First-born (πρωτόγονος) Phaǽthohn (Φαέθων), son of towering Aithír.” (trans. JVK)

Phánis is called Ǽrohs (Eros, Ἔρως) in Orphic fragments 74 and 83.

As is well known, Phánis is Prohtógonos. In Orphic hymn 6 Πρωτογόνου, the God is addressed as Irikæpaios (Ericapaeus, Ἠρικεπαῖος) at line 4, as Phánis at line 8, and as Príapos (Πρίαπος) and Antavyís (Antauges, Ἀνταυγής) at line 9:

line 4: σπέρμα πολύμνηστον, πολυόργιον, Ἠρικεπαῖον

"much-remembering seed, much-desired (or from ὄργια, "many-rites")Irikæpaios" (trans. by the author)

line 8: ... ἀφ’ οὗ σε Φάνητα κικλήσκω,
line 9: ἠδὲ Πρίηπον ἄνακτα, καὶ Ἀνταύγην ἑλίκωπον.

"...and so I call you Phánis,
and king Príapos, and quick-glancing Antavyís." (trans. by the author)

Diónysos is called both Irikæpaios (Ericapaeus, Ἠρικεπαῖος) and Prohtógonos (First-Born, Πρωτόγονος) and the father and son of the Gods in Orphic hymn 52 Τριετηρικοῦ line 6:

πρωτόγον’, ἠρικεπαῖε, θεῶν πάτερ ἠδὲ καὶ υἱέ·

Prohtógonos, Irikæpaios, of Gods the father and son (trans. by the author)

In Orphic frag. 170, Phánis is called Vrómios (Bromius, Βρόμιος), which is to say Diónysos: Orphic frag. 170. (71) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 29 a. b (I 336, 6 Diehl):

πάλαι γὰρ ὁ θεολόγος ἔν τε τῷ Φάνητι τὴν δημιουργικὴν αἰτίαν ἀνύμνησεν· ἐκεῖ γὰρ ἦν τε καὶ προῆν, ὥσπερ ἔφη καὶ αὐτός·

Βρόμιος τε μέγας καὶ Ζεὺς ὁ πανόπτης,

ἵνα δὴ τῆς διττῆς δημιουργίας ἔχῃ τὰς οἱονεὶ πηγάς· καὶ ἐν τῷ Διὶ τὴν παραδειγματικήν· Μῆτις γὰρ αὖ καὶ οὗτός ἐστιν, ὥς φησι· καὶ Μῆτις πρῶτος γενέτωρ καὶ Ἔρως πολυτερπής (fr. 168 vs. 9), αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Διόνυσος καὶ Φάνης καὶ Ἠρικεπαῖος συνεχῶς ὀνομάζεται.

“For the theologist [Orpheus] long before us, celebrates the demiurgic cause in Phanes. For there, as he says,

the great Bromios, and all­seeing Jupiter (Ζεὺς), was, and antecedently existed;

in order that he might have as it were the fountains of the twofold fabrication of things. He also celebrates the paradigmatic cause [i.e. Phanes] in Jupiter. For again, he likewise is, as he says, Metis the first generator, and much ­pleasing Love (Ἔρως). He is also continually denominated by him, Dionysos, and Phanes, and Ericapæus.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1824)

[10] Δαμάσκιος Orph. Fr. 54 (partial quotation, more in above notes):

"the third God of this third triad, this theology celebrates as Protogonus, and calls him Jupiter (Ζεὺς), the disposer of all things and of the whole world; and on this account denominates him Pan." (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1824.)

In Ὀρφέως Ἀργοναυτικά 12-15 it is told a little differently:

αρχαίου μέν πρώτα χάους αμέγαρτον ανάγκην
καί Κρόνον ός ελόχευσεν απειρεσίοισιν υφ' ολκοίς
Αιθέρα καί διφυή περιωπέα κυδρόν Ερωτα
Νυκτός αειγνήτης πατέρα κλυτόν: όν ρα Φάνητα
Ὁπλότεροι καλέουσι βροτοί· πρῶτος γάρ ἐφάνθη.

(Orphéfs speaking: To mortals and mystics I disclosed:)
"First dreadful Necessity of ancient kháos (χάος),
and Time (Χρόνος), who begot within his boundless furrows
Aither and two-natured, wide-eyed, glorious Ǽrohs (Ἔρως),
immortal renowned father of Nyx, who is Phánis.
as men of later generations invoke, for he was the first to appear."
(Ὀρφέως Ἀργοναυτικά 12-15, trans. by the author.)

[11] Orphic frag. 89. Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones I: 

ἔκτισεν ἀθανάτις δόμον ἄφθιτον.

"He founded for the Immortals an everlasting house." (trans. by the author.)

[12] Orphic frag. 91. (81) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 32b (II 48, 15 Diehl): 

μήσατο τʹ ἄλλην γαίαν ἀπείριτον, ἥν τε σελήνην ἀθάνατοι κλήιζουσιν, ἐπιχθόνιοι δέ τε μήνην, ἣ πόλλ' οὔρεʹ ἔχει, πόλλ' ἄστεα, πολλὰ μέλεθρα.

"he contrived another immense world, which the Deathless Ones celebrate as Sælǽni (Σελήνη) and the earthly ones (call) Míni (Μήνη), with many boundaries, many cities, many houses." (trans. by the author) 

Orphic frag. 94. (77) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 22e (I 123, 2 Diehl):

διώρισε δ' ἀνθρώποισι χωρὶς ἀπ' ἀθανάτων ναίειν ἕδος.

"He divided out for mortals a dwelling place to settle apart from the Deathless Ones." (trans. by the author)

Orphic frag. 95. (83) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 21d (I 94, 13 Diehl):

καὶ φύσεως κλυτὰ ἔργα μένει καὶ ἀπείριτος αἰών.

"...and the glorious works of nature are retained and (of) boundless generation." (trans. by the author)

Orphic frag. 96. (79) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 41c (III 227, 31 Diehl):

τοῦτον (sc. Ἥλιον) γάρ ἐπέστησε τοῖς ὅλοις ὁ δημιουγός (sc. Φάνις) καὶ φύλακ' αὐτὸν ἔτευξε κέλευσέ τε πᾶσιν ἀνάσσειν

"And the Dimiourgós (Φάνις) established him (the Sun) guardian and gave him have command and master over all." (trans. by the author)

Orphic frag. 97. (84) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος (I 312, 5 Diehl)  

ταῦτα ρατὴρ ποίησε κατὰ σπέος (cave) ἠεροειδές.

"These the Father produced down in the murky cave." (trans. by the author)

[13] Orphic frag. 101. (86) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 396b (54, 21 Pasqu.):

σκῆπτρον δ' ἀριδείκετον εἷο χέρεσσιν θῆκε θεᾶς Νυκτὸς ἑκούσης ὑποδέχεται τὴν ἐπικράτειαν τῶν ὅλων.

"He laid his glorious staff in the hands of the Goddess Nyx, that she undertake the entire dominion." (trans. by the author) 

Orphic frag. 102. (87) σχόλιον Ἀριστοτέλους του Ἀφροδισιέως επί τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικά Ἀριστοτέλους N 4 p. 1091 b 4 (821, 19 Hayd.):

(of Nyx): σκῆπτρον ἔχουσ' ἐν χερσὶν ἀριπρεπὲς Ἠρικεπαίου.

"Holding the bright staff of Irikæpaios (Ἠρικαπαῖος) in her hands." (trans. by the author)

Orphic frag. 103. (88) σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επί Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 247c (p. 147, 20 Couvr.):

μαντοσύνην δ' οἱ δῶκεν ἔχειν ἀψευδέα πάντηι. καὶ αὕτη λέγεται μαντεύειν τοῖς θεοῖς.

"He granted that she (Nyx) have the gift of prophecy true in every way. And this recounted by oracle to the Gods." (trans. by the author)

[14] Orphic frag. 109. (89) σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επί Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 247d (154, 23 Couvr.):

ἣ δὲ πάλιν Γαῖάν τε καὶ Οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔτικτε·
δεῖξέν τ' ἐξ ἀφανῶν φανεροὺς οἵ τ' εἰσὶ γενέθλην.

"In turn, she (Nyx) gave birth to Yaia (Γαῖα) and vast Ouranos;
making manifest both the unseen and the visible that come from that generation." (trans. by the author)

[15] Orpheus by G.R.S. Mead, 1895-6.

[16] Ibid. Mead, p.109. 

[17] Orphic Hymn 6 Πρωτογόνου, line 4; trans. Thomas Taylor 1792.

[18] Orphic frag. 76. (64) σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επί Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 246e (138, 11 Couvr.):

τετράσιν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ὁρώμενος ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα.

"with four eyes gazing hither and thither." (trans. by the author)

[19] Orphic frag. 78. (65) σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επί Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 246e (142, 13 Couvr.):

χρυσείαις πτερύγεσσι φορεύμενος ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα.

“with golden wings fluttering this way and that.”
(trans. by the author)

[20] Orphic frag. 79. (63) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 30c-d (I 427, 20 Diehl): 

βρίμας ταυρείους ἀφιεὶ(ς) χαροποῦ τε λέοντος

“roaring like a bull and a fierce lion.”
(trans. by the author)

[21] Orphic Hymn 6 Πρωτογόνου, trans. Thomas Taylor 1792.

[22] Taylor's commentary in The Mystical Hymns of Orpheus, 1792, pp. 36-37.

[23] One of the names of Phánis is Mítis (Metis, Μῆτις); in Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 886-891, Zefs swallows Mítis before she was about to give birth to Goddess Athiná (Athena, Ἀθηνᾶ). In the fragments, after Zefs swallows Phánis (frag. 167), and following the mighty Rhapsodic hymn to Zefs (frag. 168), the fragments then talk of Athiná (beginning at frag. 174 and continuing through 178), described as the one who accomplishes her father's will (frag. 177), that is, of course, if you accept this chronology of the fragments.

[24] Orphic frag. 164. (117) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος B prooem (I 206, 26 Diehl): 

μαῖα, θεῶν ὑπάτη, Νὺξ ἄμβροτε, πῶς, τάδε φράζε, πῶς χρή μ' ἀθανάτων ἀρχὴν κρατερόφρονα θέσθαι; καὶ ἀκούει παρ' αὐτῆς

“(Zeus speaks to Nyx) Good mother, highest of the Gods, immortal Nyx, show me this, how am I to set up my stout-hearted rule among the Deathless Ones? and she hears him” (trans. by the author)

[25] Orphic frag. 165. (122) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος I 28c (I 313, 31 Diehl):

τὰ τοίνυν ὅλα περιέχων ὁ Ζεὺς καὶ πάντα μοναδικῶς καὶ | νοερῶς κατὰ τούτους τους χρησμοὺς τῆς Νυκτὸς ὑφίστησι πάντα τὰ ἐγκόσμια, θεούς τε καὶ τὰς μοίρας τοῦ παντός. λέγει γοῦν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ Νὺξ ἐρωτήσαντα·

πῶς δέ μοι ἕν τε τὰ πάντ' ἔσται καὶ χωρίς ἕκαστον; αἰθέρι πάντα πέριξ ἀφάτωι λάβε, τῶι δ' ἐνὶ μέσσωι οὐρανόν, ἐν δέ τε γαῖαν ἀπείριτον, ἐν δὲ θάλασσαν, ἐν δὲ τὰ τείρεα πάντα τά τ' οὐρανὸς ἐστεφάνωται.

(Zeus speaks to Night):
"How can I have all things one yet each one apart? (Nyx answers:) 'Take hold round about all things with the unutterable Aithír, and in its midst place the vault of heaven, the immense earth, the sea, and all the constellations crowning heaven.' ” (trans. by the author)

[26] Orphic frag. 167. (120. 121) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος I 29a (I 324, 14 Diehl):

ὣς τότε πρωτογόνειο χαδὼν μένος Ἠρικεπαίου 
τῶν πάντων δέμας εἶχεν ἑῆι ἐνὶ γαστέρι κοίλῃ, 
μεῖξε δ' ἑοῖς μελέεσσι θεοῦ δύναμίν τε καὶ ἀλκήν, 
τοὔνεκα σὺν τῶι πάντα Διὸς πάλιν ἐντὸς ἐτύχθη.

“Thus then taking hold of the power of first-born Irikæpaios (Ἠρικεπαῖος)
he carried the form of all things in the hollow of his own belly, 
he mingled his own limbs with the power and strength of the God,
for that reason with him all things within Zefs were made new." (trans. by the author) 

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 28c (I 312, 26 Diehl):

αἰθέρος εὐρείης ἠδ' οὐρανοῦ άγλαὸν ὕψος,
πόντου τ' ἀτρυγέτου γαίης τ' ἐρικυδέος ἕδρη,
Ὠκεανός τε μέγας καὶ νείατα Τάρταρα γαίης
καὶ ποταμοὶ καὶ πόντος ἀπείριτος ἄλλα τε πάντα
πάντες τ' ἀθάνατοι μάκαρες θεοί ἠδὲ θέαιναι,
ὅσσα τ' ἔην γεγαῶτα καὶ ὕστερον ὁππός' ἔμελλεν,
                                                                    (v. fr. 169)
ἐνγένετο, Ζηνὸς δ' ἐνὶ γαστέρι σύρρα πεφύκει.

"the luminous summit of immense aithír and heaven, 
the seat of the barren sea and illustrious earth, 
great Ocean and deep Tártaros (Τάρταρος) beneath the earth, 
and rivers and the limitless sea and all other, 
all the deathless happy Gods and Goddesses, 
all that existed and all that will to come to be, 
all come about and bestrewn in the belly of Zefs (Ζεὺς).” (trans. by the author)

[27] Orphic frag. 140. σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 74, 26 Kr.

ὁ μὲν θεολόγος Ὀ. τρία γένη παραδέδωκεν ἀνθρώπων· πρώτιστον τὸ χρυσούν, ὅπερ ὑποστῆσαι τὸν Φάνητά φησιν· δεύτερον τὸ ἀργυροῦν, οὗ φησιν ἄρχαι τὸν μέγιστον Κρόνον· τρίτον τὸ Τιτανικόν, ὅ φησιν ἐκ τῶν Τιτανικών μελῶν τὸν Δία συστήσασθαι

"Whereas the Theologian Orphéfs conveys that there are three generations of men: the very first a Golden age said to be of Phánis; the second Silver brought forth by mighty Krónos (Κρόνος); the third is the Titanic age formed of the Titanic limbs of Zefs." (trans. by the author)

Unlike this Orphic idea, Plátohn (Plato, Πλάτων) and others describe the ages of man differently. Plátohn calls the reign of Krónos and Rǽa a golden age as can be found in Πολιτικός Πλάτωνος 268e-272c. Cf. Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι Ἡσιόδου 109-201.

The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.

"When a human is born, Phánis cries; when a God is born, Phánis laughs"

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

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