ORPHIC FRAGMENT 1 - OTTO KERN

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For links to many more fragments: The Orphic Fragments of Otto Kern.

SUMMARY: This fragment consists of a tiny kosmogonía in which Night laid an egg from which Ǽrôs (Ἔρως) sprang forth. He mated with Kháos (Χάος). Then, from their union, Ouranós (Οὐρανὸς), Okæanós (Ὠκεανός), Yi (Γῆ), and all the race of Gods was born.

1. Ὄρνιθες Ἀριστοφάνους 690-702: 

ἵν᾽ ἀκούσαντες πάντα παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ὀρθῶς περὶ τῶν μετεώρων.   690
φύσιν οἰωνῶν γένεσίν τε θεῶν ποταμῶν τ᾽ Ἐρέβους τε Χάους τε
εἰδότες ὀρθῶς, Προδίκωι παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ κλάειν εἴπητε τὸ λοιπόν.
Χάος ἦν καὶ Νὺξ Ἔρεβός τε μέλαν πρῶτον καὶ Τάρταρος εὐρύς,
γῆ δ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἀὴρ οὐδ᾽ οὐρανὸς ἦν· Ἐρέβους δ᾽ ἐν ἀπείροσι κόλποις
τίκτει πρώτιστον ὑπηνέμιον Νὺξ ἡ μελανόπτερος ὠιόν,
   695
ἐξ οὖ περιτελλομέναις ὥραις ἔβλαστεν Ἔρως ὁ ποθεινός,
στίλβων νῶτον πτερύγοιν χρυσαῖν, εἰκὼς ἀνεμώκεσι δίναις.
οὗτος δὲ Χάει πτερόεντι μιγεὶς νυχίωι κατὰ Τάρταρον εὐρὺν
ἐνεόττευσεν γένος ἡμέτερον, καὶ πρῶτον ἀνήγαγεν ἐς φῶς.
πρότερον δ᾽ οὐκ ἦν γένος ἀθανάτων, πρὶν Ἔρως ξυνέμειξεν ἅπαντα.  700
ξυμμιγνυμένων δ᾽ ἑτέρων ἑτέροις γένετ᾽ Οὐρανὸς Ὠκεανός τε
καὶ Γῆ πάντων τε θεῶν μακάρων γένος ἄφθιτον.

“You shall know thoroughly what is the nature of the birds, what the origin of    690
the Gods, of the rivers, of Erebus, and Chaos; thanks to us, even
Prodicus will envy you your knowledge.
At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night, dark Erebus, and
deep Tartarus. Earth, the air and heaven had no existence.
Firstly, black-winged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite     695
deeps of Erebus, and from this, after the revolution of long ages,
sprang the graceful Eros with his glittering golden wings, swift as the
whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in deep Tartarus with dark Chaos,
winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the
first to see the light.
That of the Immortals did not exist until Eros    700
had brought together all the ingredients of the world, and from their
marriage Heaven, Ocean, Earth and the imperishable race of blessed Gods
sprang into being.”
 

(trans. anonymous)

Errat Schol. 693: 

ταῦτα οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον ἀπευθύνειν πρὸς τὰ Ἡσιόδου ἢ πρός τινα ἄλλου τινὸς γενεαλόγου. 

“It is not necessary to adjust this to be agreeable with (the Θεογονία) of Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος) or to be agreeable to any other genealogy.” (trans. by the author) 

Immo Theogoniae Orphicae primum vestigium (a. 414); quo in libro narrata sit, ignoramus. Mysteria Orphica in Aristophanis Nubibus 250 ss. irrisa esse, Dieterich. Rhein. Mus. XLVIII 1893, 275 = Kl. Schr. 117 luculenter demonstravit v. test. nr. 205. Memoratu dignum est, etiam mythum Aristophaneum in Platonis Symposio 189 d doctrinam Orphicam sapere, ut Cour. Ziegler N. Jahrb. XXXI 1913, 529 recte quidem observavit, Wilamowitzius autem Platon I1370 et Deubner Arch. F. Religionsw. XX 1920, 167 iniuria negavisse videntur; Kern Orph. 48.

Ad ὀρθῶς 690. 692 confert Dieterich Nubes 250 βούλει τὰ θεῖα πράγματεἰδέναι σαφῶς. ἅττἔστιν ὀρθῶς; subaudiens vocem Orphicam.


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

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: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek             

 

Transliteration of Ancient Greek             

 

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