free hit counter
KALLÍMAKHOS HYMN TO ZEUS

Foto: Taken by the author of this essay, who places it in the Public Domain, of an alabaster statue of Zeus in his possession.

ΚΑΛΛΙΜΑΧΟΥ ΥΜΝΟΙ I. ΕΙΣ ΔΙΑ

HellenicGods.org


HOME               GLOSSARY              RESOURCE              ART             LOGOS             CONTACT

Here follows the hymn to Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) by the Alexandrian poet Kallímakhos (Callimachus; Gr. Καλλίμαχος. Born 310/305, died 240 BCE), who was originally from Kyríni (Cyrene; Gr. Κυρήνη), as translated by A.W. Mair and G.R. Mair. This is the 1921 translation by A.W. Mair and G.R. Mair as found in the book entitled Callimachus: Hymns and Epigrams, Lycophron, Aratus, Loeb Classical Library Vol. 129, William Heinemann (London, England UK). This translation is in the Public Domain. One alteration has been made to the text: every appearance of the word God and Gods has been capitalized.


If you would like to download the hymn in an appealing presentation, click here:

Download: Hymn to Zeus by Kallímakhos of Alexandria/Kyrene

  


KALLÍMAKHOS HYMN TO ZEFS - ΚΑΛΛΙΜΑΧΟΥ ΥΜΝΟΙ I. ΕΙΣ ΔΙΑ

by Kallímakhos of Kyríni /Alexandria

At libations to Zeus what else should rather be sung than the God himself, mighty for ever, king for evermore, router of the Pelagonians, dealer of justice to the sons of Heaven?

How shall we sing of him – as lord of Dicte or of Lycaeum? My soul is all in doubt, since debated is his birth. O Zeus, some say that thou wert born on the hills of Ida; others, O Zeus, say in Arcadia; did these or those, O Father lie? “Cretans are ever liars.” Yea, a tomb, O Lord, for thee the Cretans builded; but thou didst not die, for thou art for ever.

In Parrhasia it was that Rheia bare thee, where was a hill sheltered with thickest brush. Thence is the place holy, and no fourfooted thing that hath need of Eileithyia nor any woman approacheth thereto, but the Apidanians call it the primeval childbed of Rheia. There when thy mother had laid thee down from her mighty lap, straightway she sought a stream of water, wherewith she might purge her of the soilure of birth and wash thy body therein.But mighty Ladon flowed not yet, nor Erymanthus, clearest of rivers; waterless was all Arcadia; yet was it anon to be called well-watered. For at that time when Rhea loosed her girdle, full many a hollow oak did watery Iaon bear aloft, and many a wain did Melas carry and many a serpent above Carnion, wet though it now be, cast its lair; and a man would fare on foot over Crathis and many-pebbled Metope, athirst: while that abundant water lay beneath his feet.

And holden in distress the lady Rheia said, "Dear Earth, give birth thou also! Thy birthpangs are light." So spake the Goddess, and lifting her great arm aloft she smote the mountain with her staff; and it was greatly rent in twain for her and poured forth a mighty flood. Therein, O Lord, she cleansed they body; and swaddled thee, and gave thee to Neda to carry within the Cretan covert, that thou mightst be reared secretly: Neda, eldest of the nymphs who then were about her bed, earliest birth after Styx and Philyra. And no idle favour did the Goddess repay her, but named that stream Neda; which, I ween, in great flood by the very city of the Cauconians, which is called Lepreion, mingles its stream with Nereus, and its primeval water do the son’s sons of the Bear, Lycaon’s daughter, drink.

When the nymph, carrying thee, O Father Zeus, towards Cnosus, was leaving Thenae – for Thenae was nigh to Cnosus – even then, O God, thy navel fell away: hence that plain the Cydonians call the Plain of the Navel. But thee, O Zeus, the companions of the Cyrbantes took to their arms, even the Dictaean Meliae, and Adrasteia laid thee to rest in a cradle of gold, and thou didst suck the rich teat of the she-goat Amaltheia, and thereto eat the sweet honey-comb. For suddenly on the hills of Ida, which men call Panacra, appeared the works of the Panacrian bee. And lustily round thee danced the Curetes a war-dance, beating their armour, that Cronus might hear with his ears the din of the shield, but not thine infant noise.

Fairly didst thou wax, O heavenly Zeus, and fairly wert thou nurtured, and swiftly thou didst grow to manhood, and speedily came the down upon thy cheek. But, while yet a child, thou didst devise all the deeds of perfect stature. Wherefore thy kindred, though an earlier generation, grudged not that thou shouldst have heaven for thine appointed habitation. The ancient poets spake not altogether truly. For they said that the lot assigned to the sons of Cronus their three several abodes. But who would draw lots for Olympus and for Hades – save a very fool? for equal chances should one cast lots; but these are the wide world apart. When I speak fiction, be it such fiction as persuades the listener’s ear! Thou wert made sovereign of the Gods not by casting of lots but by the deeds of thy hands, thy might and that strength which thou hast set beside thy throne. And the most excellent of birds didst thou make the messenger of thy signs; favourable to my friends be the signs thou showest! And thou didst choose that which is most excellent among men – not thou the skilled in ships, nor the wielder of the shield, nor the minstrel: these didst thou straightway renounce to lesser Gods, other cares to others. But thou didst choose the rulers of cities themselves, beneath whose hand is the lord of the soil, the skilled in spearmanship, the oarsman, yea, all things that are: what is there that is not under the ruler’s sway? Thus, smiths, we say, belong to Hephaestus; to Ares, warriors; to Artemis of the Tunic, huntsmen; to Phoebus they that know well the strains of the lyre. But from Zeus come kings; for nothing is diviner than the kings of Zeus. Wherefore thou didst choose them for thine own lot, and gavest them cities to guard. And thou didst seat thyself in the high places of the cities, watching who rule their people with crooked judgements, and who rule otherwise. And thou hast bestowed upon them wealth and prosperity abundantly; unto all, but not in equal measure. One may well judge by our Ruler, for he hath clean outstripped all others. At evening he accomplisheth that whereon he thinketh in the morning; yea, at evening the greatest things, but the lesser soon as he thinketh on them. But the others accomplish some things in a year, and some things not in one; of others, again, thou thyself dost utterly frustrate the accomplishing and thwartest their desire.

Hail! greatly hail! most high Son of Cronus, giver of good things, giver of safety. Thy works who could sing? There hath not been, there shall not be, who shall sing the works of Zeus. Hail! Father, hail again! and grant us goodness and prosperity. Without goodness wealth cannot bless men, nor goodness without prosperity. Give us goodness and weal.


NOTES TO THE TEXT: The following incorporates all of the translator’s notes to the poem, as well as additional material gathered from various sourcesMair's comments are adjacent to quotes from the poem. Their content is identical to the original publication but for the benefit of the students our method of transliteration has been incorporated while still yet providing both the ancient Greek words as well as the more traditional Erasmian spellings. Where additional notes are provided the reader can be assured that this is additional material is not from the original Mair publication.

At libations to Zeus what else should rather be sung than the God himself - “This briefly suggests a dramatic scene. We are at a symposium, and libations to Zeus are being poured. The poet breaks into song." [1]

router of the Pelagonians - The Pelagonians refers to the Yígantæs (Gigantes or Giants; Gr. Γίγαντες), the sons of Yi (Ge or Earth; Gr. Γῆ). In grammatical context, Kallímakhos is using Πηλογόνων, which is a form of: πηλόγονος, ον, born from clay, = γηγενής, used of the giants in Call.Jov.3 (but Πηλαγόνες, Pelagonians, Hdn.Gr.1.24). (L&S p. 1400, right column, within the entries beginning with πηλοβάτης.)

dealer of justice to the sons of Heaven – i.e., the sons of Ouranós (Uranos; Gr. Οὐρανός).

lord of Dicte – Díkti (Dicte; Gr. Δίκτη) is a mountain in Kríti (Crete; Gr. Κρήτη), where there is a cave that is said to be the place of the birth of Zefs.

...or of Lycaeum – This refers to Mount Lýkaion (Lycaeum; Gr. Λύκαιον) in Arkadía (Arcadia; Gr. Αρκαδία).

born on the hills of Ida – Mount Ída (Ida; Gr. Ἴδη or Ἴδᾳ) is a mountain in Kríti. 

"Cretans are ever liars" - This proverbial saying, attributed to Æpimænídis (Epimenides; Gr. Ἐπιμενίδης), is quoted by St. Paul, Epistle to Titus Chapter 1 at 12,

"One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said,

'The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies' "

…and seems to be alluded to by Áratos (Aratus; Gr. Ἄρᾱτος), Φαινόμενα 30. The explanation given by Athinódohros (Athenodorus; Gr. Ἀθηνόδωρος) of Ærǽtria (Eretria; Gr. Ερέτρια) ap. (i.e. “quoted in”) Ptolem. Hephaest. in Photii Bibl. p. 150 Bekk. is that Thǽtis (Thetis; Gr. Θέτις) and Mídeia (Medea; Gr. Μήδεια), having a dispute as to which of them was the fairer, entrusted the decision to Idomænéfs (Idomeneus; Gr. Ἰδομενεύς) of Kríti. He decided in favour of Thǽtis, whereon Mídeia said,

“Cretans are always liars”

and cursed them that they should never speak the truth. The schol. on the present passage says that Idomænéfs divided the spoils of Troy unfairly.  

Yea, a tomb... - The Cretan legend was that Zefs was a prince who was slain by a wild boar and buried in Kríti.  His tomb was variously localized and the tradition of “the tomb of Zefs” attaches to several places even in modern times, especially to Mount Yioukhtas (Juktas or Iuktas; Gr. Γιούχτας).  See A. B. Cook, Zeus, vol. i. p. 157 ff.  

Mount Iuktas - Mount Yioukhtas is a mountain in north-central Kríti, near the Minoan palaces of Knohssós (Knossos; Gr. Κνωσσός) and Phourní (Fourni; Gr. Φουρνί).  At its peak is located an important sanctuary, Psilí Korphí (Psili Korfi; Gr. Ψιλή Κορφή), said to be "the tomb of Zefs".  In reality, it is not certain what deities were honored there. There is also evidence that it was thought to be the birthplace of Zefs.

In Parrhasia it was that Rhea bare thee - Parrasía (Gr. Παρρασία) was one of the six sub-divisions of Arkadía (Gr. Αρκαδία), in southern Arkadía.  It was named after Parrásios (Parrhasius; Gr. Παρράσιος; not the late 5th century BCE painter), a son of Lykáohn (Lycaon; Gr. Λυκάων).  When used in its form as an adjective, Parrhasian, the ancient poets often meant generically Arcadian.

...and no four-footed thing... -  Cf. Ἀπολλώνιος Ῥόδιος. iv. 1240.

...and no four-footed thing that hath need of Eileithyia – Eileithia (Eileithyia; Gr. Εἰλείθυια) is the Goddess of childbirth and labor pains, so Kallímakhos is referring to a pregnant animal.  ...nor any woman approacheth thereto... "Sexual intercourse, giving birth, and dying were thought to entail pollution and so were banned from sacred enclosures." [2]

but the Apidanians call it the primeval childbed of Rheia - The Apidanians are the ancient Arcadians (schol., ed. Ἀρκάδες Ἀπιδανῆες)  But why the Arcadians? According to Dionýsios Pæriïyitís (Dionysius Periegetes; Gr. Διονύσιος ὁ Περιηγητής) (415): 'Apidaneans...Arcadians...because it (sc. Arcadia) has no (α-) springs (πίδακες)...'  [3]

There when thy mother had laid thee down from her mighty lap, straightway she sought a stream of water, wherewith she might purge her of the soilure of birth and wash thy body therein. "The spot is isolated, and it can therefore hide the birth from Krónos (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος). But an effect of the isolation is that there is no running water to wash the baby." [4]

But mighty Ladon flowed not yet – Ládohn (Ladon; Gr. Λάδων) is a river in Arkadía

nor Erymanthus clearest of rivers – Ærýmanthos (Erymanthus; Gr. Ερύμανθος) is a river in Arkadía

full many a hollow oak did watery Iaon bear aloft – Iáohn (Iaon; Gr. Ἰάων, named after Ἴων [Ion], the son of Ἀπόλλων [Apollo] and Κρέουσα [Creusa]) is a river in Arkadía

and many a wain did Melas carry - Mǽlas (Melas; Gr. Μέλας):

Διονύσιος ὁ Περιηγητής (Dionýsios the Voyager) Οικουμένης περιήγησης (Survey of the World) 415 ff. 

Ἀρκάδες Ἀπιδανῆες ὑπὸ σκοπιὴν Ἐρυμάνθου, ἔνθα Μέλας, ὅθι Κρᾶθις, ἵνα ῥέει ὑγρὸς  Ἰάων, ἧχι καὶ ὠγύγιος μηκύνεται ὕδασι Λάδων.

Iródotos (Herodotus; Gr. Ἡρόδοτος) Istoríai (Histories; Gr. Ἱστορίαι) 145 has: 

Ὤλενος ἐν τῷ Πεῖρος ποταμὸς μέγας ἐστί.

Stávohn (Strabo; Gr. Στράβων) Yæohgraphiká (Geography, Gr. Γεωγραφικά) 386 has: 

Ὤλενος, παρʹ ὃν ποταμὸς μέγας Μέλας where it has been proposed to read παρʹ ὃν <Πεῖροσ> and to omit Μέλας.

M. T. Smiley, in Classical Quarterly v. (1911) p. 89 f., suggests that the Styx (Gr. Στύξ) is meant, which supplies the waterfall near Nóhnakris (Nonacris; Gr. Νώνακρις) in North Arkadía and later becomes a tributary of the Kráthis (Crathis; Gr. Κράθις) (Paus. viii. 18. 4). When Leake discovered the waterfall in 1806 the natives did not know the name Styx for it but called it the Black Water (Mavro nero; Gr. Μαύρο νερό) or the Dragon Water. The name Πεῖρος in any case suggests a connexion with the underworld.

and many a serpent above Carnion, - Carnion, or Carion (ed. Καρνίωνος in the text), is a river in Arkadía, Paus. viii. 34.  

and a man would fare on foot over Crathis  - Kráthis (Crathis; Gr. Κράθις)  is a river in Arkadía (and Achaea), Paus. vii. 25. 11, viii. 15. 5, viii. 18. 4.  

and many-pebbled Metope – Mætóhpi (Metope; Gr. Μετώπη) is a river in Arkadía. 

and gave thee to Neda to carry within the Cretan covert -  Cf. Paus. iv. 33. 1, “The Messenians say that Zeus was reared among them and that his nurses were Ithome (Ιθώμη) and Neda (Νέδα), after whom the river got its name.” Cf. viii. 38 ff

earliest birth after Styx - Styx, daughter of Okæanós (Oceanus; Gr. Ὠκεανός) and Tithýs (Tethys; Gr. Τηθύς), Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 361.

earliest birth after Styx and Philyra – Philýra (Gr. Φιλύρα), daughter of Oceanus, mother of Keirohn (Chiron; Gr. Χείρων) by Krónos (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος).

but named that stream Neda -  Paus. iv. 20. 2. The river Nǽda (Neda; Gr. Νέδα) rises in Mount Lýkaios (Lycaeon; Gr. Λύκαιος), flows into Mæssinía (Messenia; Gr. Μεσσηνία) and forms the boundary between Mæssinía and Ílis (Elis; Gr. Ἦλις). Cf. Στράβων Γεωγραφικά 348 who says it rises in Lýkaios from a spring which Rǽa (Rhea or Rheia; Gr. Ῥέα) caused to flow in order to wash the infant Zefs.

which, I ween, in great flood by the very city of the Cauconians – The Káfkohnæs (Cauconians; Gr. Καύκωνες) were a people of Triphylía (Gr. Τριφυλία), Ὅμηρος Ὀδύσσεια iii. 366.

which is called Lepreion - Ἡρόδοτος Ἱστορίαι iv. 148 says that Lǽpreion (Lepreion; Gr. Λέπρειον = Λέπρεον) in Triphylía was founded by the Minýai (Minyae; Gr. Μινύαι) after driving out the Káfkohnæs.

mingles its stream with Nereus -  Niréfs (Nereus; Gr. Νηρεύς) = the Sea.

sons sons of the Bear – Arkás (Arcas; Gr. Ἀρκάς), the ancestor of the Arcadians, was the son of Zefs and Kallistóh (Callisto; Gr. Καλλιστώ), daughter of Lykáohn (Lycaon; Gr. Λυκάων), who was changed into a bear.

Cnosus - Knohsós (Cnosus; Gr. Κνωσός, Κνωσσός, Γνωσός, and Γνωσσός [per Smith’s Geography]) was the royal city of Kríti (Crete; Gr. Κρήτη). It was originally called Kairatos (Caeratus; Gr. Καίρατος) after a river that flowed beneath its walls.  Knohsós was the home of Mínohs (Minos; Gr. Μίνως) and the Minóhtavros (Minotaur; Gr. Μῑνώταυρος).

hence that plain the Cydonians call the Plain of the Navel - Kydohnía (Cydonia; Gr. Κῠδωνία) was a town in Kríti.

the Plain of the Navel – Scholia (marginal note) of Νίκανδρος ὁ Κολοφώνιος Αλεξιφάρμακα

Ὀμφαλὸς γὰρ τόπος ἐν Κρήτῃ, ὡς καὶ Καλλίμαχος· πέσε . . . Κύδωνες

Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική v. 70 tells the story (he says that Zefs was carried by the Κούρητες) and gives the name of the place as Omphalós and of the plain around as Ompháleion (Omphaleion; Gr. Ὀμφάλειον).

the companions of the Cyrbantes – The Kýrvantæs (Cyrbantes; Gr. Κύρβαντες) are also called Korývantæs (Corybantes; Gr. Κορύβαντες), Kouritæs (Curetes; Gr. Κούρητες), and belong to a class of mystical beings having other names as well. 

Stávohn (Strabo; Gr. Στράβων) (64 BCE - 24 CE), the Greek historian, geographer, and philosopher, states that the Kýrvantæs are thought to be the same as the Kouritæs. [5] 

even the Dictaean Meliae - The ash-tree nymphs, cf. Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 187.

and Adrasteia laid thee to rest in a cradle of gold -  Cf. Ἀπολλώνιος Ῥόδιος Ἀργοναυτικά iii. 132 ff. 

Διὸς περικαλλὲς ἄθυρμα | κεῖνο, τό οἱ ποίησε φίλη τροφὸς Ἀδρήστεια | ἄντρῳ ἐν Ἰδαίῳ ἔτι νήπια κουρίζοντι | σπαῖραν ἐυτρόχαλον

i.q. Nǽmæsis (Nemesis; Gr. Νέμεσις), sister of the Kouritæs (schol.).

and thou didst suck the rich teat of the she-goat Amaltheia -  Amáltheia (Gr. Ἀμάλθεια) is the nymph or she-goat who suckled Zefs; Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική v. 70, Ἀπολλόδωρος Βιβλιοθήκη 1. 5, schol. Ἄρᾱτος 161. Ovidius Fasti i. 115 ff.

and thereto eat the sweet honey-comb.  For suddenly on the hills of Ida, which men call Panacra, appeared the works of the Panacrian bee - Mountains in Kríti (Steph. Byz. s.v. Panakra). Zefs rewarded the bees by making them of a golden bronze colour and rendering them insensible to the rigours of the mountain climate (Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης Βιβλιοθήκη v. 70).

"The infant Zeus was then concealed in a cave on Mount Dicte, which was full of sacred bees, who fed him on honey, and the goat Amaltheia gave him her milk.” [6] 

This cave where Zefs was hidden was forbidden entry by God or man, but four men donned armor and somehow entered the cave, intending to steal the honey, but at the sight of the cradle and swaddling clothing of the God, the armor fell off and the bees and Zefs himself attacked them. But Thǽmis (Themis; Gr. Θέμις) and the Mírai (Moirae or Fates; Gr. Μοῖραι) prevented blood from being spilled and defiling the cave; Zeus, instead, turned the men into birds. The bees, in later mythology, were said to be nymphs or priestesses, but they retained the name Mǽlissai (Melissae; Gr. Μέλισσαι), the bee-maidens. (condensed from [6])

And lustily round thee danced the Curetes - Ἀπολλόδωρος Βιβλιοθήκη i. 4:

“The Curetes in full armour, guarding the infant in the cave, beat their shields with their spears that Cronus might not hear the child’s voice.”

a war dance, beating their armor - πρύλις, the Cyprian name for the πυρρίχη (Ἀριστοτέλης fragment 476, schol. Πίνδαρος P. ii. 127) or dance in armour (Ἰούλιος Πολυδεύκης [Pollux] iv. 96 and 99).

Wherefore thy kindred, though an earlier generation, grudged not that thou shouldst have heaven for thine appointed habitation - This has been supposed to refer to the fact that Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος was the youngest of the sons of Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ (ed. Hellenic Pharaohs of Egypt).

For they said that the lot assigned to the sons of Cronus their three several abodes - Ὅμηρος Ἰλιάς xv. 187 ff.; cf. Ἀπολλόδωρος Βιβλιοθήκη i. 7, Πίνδαρος O. vii. 54 ff.

Thou wert made sovereign of the Gods not by casting of lots by the deeds of thy hands, thy might and that strength – Vía (Bia; Gr. Βία) and Krátos (Cratos; Gr. Κράτος) appear as personifications of the might and majesty of Zefs in Aiskhýlos (Aeschylus; Gr. Αἰσχύλος), P.V., Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 385, etc.

And the most excellent of birds didst thou make the messenger of thy signs – The most excellent of birds refers to the eagle.

to Artemis of the Tunic – Ártæmis (Artemis; Gr. Ἄρτεμις) Khitóhni (Chitone; Gr. Χιτώνη) (Χιτωνία, Athen. 629 c), so called from the tunic (χιτών) in which as huntress she was represented; not, as the schol. says, from the Attic deme Chitone.

One may well judge by our Ruler - Πτολεμαῖος 2 Φιλάδελφος, ruler of Egypt 285-247 B.C.

Hail! greatly hail! most high Son of Cronus, giver of good things, giver of safety. Thy works who could sing? There hath not been, there shall not be, who shall sing the works of Zeus.  Hail!  Father, hail again! and grant us goodness and prosperity. Without goodness wealth cannot bless men, nor goodness without prosperity. Give us goodness and weal. Frank Nisetich translates this impressive stanza thus:

"Farewell, Son of Kronos, high above all, Giver of good, Giver of security. Who could sing of your achievements? He hasn't been born, he won't be: sing of Zeus' achievements. Farewell, Father, again farewell. Give us virtue and wealth. Prosperity knows not how to lift men high without virtue, nor virtue without wealth: give us virtue and prosperity together!" [7]

NOTES:

[1] CALLIMACHUS: Hymns, Epigrams, Select Fragments by Stanley Lombardo and Diane Rayor, 1988. The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press (Baltimore MD USA and London), p. 93

[2] The Poems of Callimachus by Frank Nisetich, 2001. Oxford Univ. Press (UK, USA, worldwide), p. 201.

[3] Nisetich, p. 201.

[4] Greek Literature Vol. 7: Greek Literature in the Hellenistic Period by Gregory Nagy, 2001, Routledge (New York and London), p. 125 

[5] Στράβων (Strabo) Γεωγραφικά III, 3. 

[6] THE SACRED BEE in Ancient Times and Folklore by Hilda M. Ransome, Dover 2004 (originally 1937), p. 91-92

[7] Nisetich, p. 23


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.


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; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase 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; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς). 



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

 

, 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: HellenicGods.org 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 HellenicGods.org 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 HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ.

© 2010 by HellenicGods.org.  All Rights Reserved.