ORPHIC FRAGMENT 104 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment states that while the theogony of Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) begins with Phánîs (Φάνης) and Night (Νύξ), Plátôn (Πλάτων) begins with Ouranós (Οὐρανός) and Yî (Γῦ). 

104. (72) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος E prooem. III 169, 15 Diehl: 

ἔνιοι μὲν οὖν φασιν, ὅτι τοὺς μὲν ἀνὰ λόγον τοῖς δύο βασιλεῦσιν ἐν οὐρανῶι καταλέλοιπε ζητεῖν, Φάνητι λέγω καὶ Νυκτί· δεῖ γὰρ τοὺς ἐν ὑπερτέραι τάξει ποιεῖν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐγκοσμίοις, διότι δὴ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ κόσμου τῶν νοερῶν ἡγοῦνται θεῶν, ἐν τῶι ἀδύτωι διαιωνίως ἱδρυμένοι, καθά φησιν Ὀρφεύς, αὐτοῦ τοῦ Φάνητος, τὴν κρύφιον αὐτῶν τάξιν καὶ ἀνέκφαντον ἐκεῖνος ἄδυτον ἀποκαλῶν. εἴτε οὖν τὴν ταὐτοῦ περιφορὰν καὶ τὴν θατέρου τάττειν <ἐθέλοι τις> εἰς τὴν τούτων ἀναλογίαν ὡς ἄρρεν καὶ θῆλυ καὶ πατρικὸν καὶ γεννητικόν, οὐκ ἂν ἁμαρτάνοι τῆς ἀληθείας, εἴτε ἥλιον καὶ σελήνην ὡς ἐν τοῖς πλανωμένοις ἀντιθέτους ὁ μὲν ἥλιος τὴν ὁμοιότητα <τὴν> πρὸς τὸν Φάνητα δια<σώσει, ἡ δὲ> σελήνη τὴν πρὸς τὴν Νύκτα. <εἰ δὲ τοῦτο> ἀληθές, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ, <τὸν ἕν>α τῶν ὅλων δημιουργὸν <ἀνὰ λό|170 Diehlγ>ον ἱδρύσας τῶι πατρὶ <τῶι> Φάνητι νοερὸν . . . καὶ αὐτόν --- καὶ γὰρ . . . ταύτης ἐστὶ τῶν κόσμων . . . ποιεῖν ὁ θεολόγος, ὥσπερ οὗτος τοῦ τε Οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς Γῆς---· τὸν δὲ κρατῆρα τὸν ζωιογόνον τῆι Νυκτὶ τῆι πᾶσαν ἐκ τῶν ἀφανῶν παραγούσηι ζωὴν μετὰ τοῦ Φάνητος, ὡς καὶ ὁ κρατὴρ πᾶσαν λοχεύει τοῖς ἐν τῶι κόσμωι ψυχήν· βέλτιον γὰρ ἄμφω πρὸ τοῦ κόσμου νοεῖν καὶ τὸν μὲν δημιουργὸν αὐτὸν ἀνὰ λόγον τῶι Φάνητι τάττειν, ἐπειδὴ καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀφομοιοῦσθαι λέγεται κατὰ τὴν ποίησιν τῶν ὅλων, τὴν δὲ συνεζευγμένην αὐτῶι καὶ γεννητικὴν τῶν ὅλων δύναμιν τῆι Νυκτὶ ἀφανῶς τὰ πάντα ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς προαγούσηι, μετὰ δὲ τούτους τὰς λοιπὰς παραδιδόναι βασιλείας διακεκοσμημένας ἀνὰ λόγον ταῖς νοεραῖς. καὶ εἰ καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο ζητοίημεν, διὰ τί μὴ καὶ τὰς δύο διαρρήδην βασιλείας ἔλαβεν ἀνὰ λόγον, προσεχέστερόν ἐστι λέγειν, ὅτι καὶ ἐκείνους μὲν ἡ Ὀρφέως εἶχε παράδοσις . . .  δί οὗ τὴν Οὐρανοῦ πρώτην καὶ Γῆς ἐξυμνεῖ βασιλείαν, συνηθεστέρα τοῖς Ἕλλησιν οὖσα, καθάπερ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐν τῶι Κρατύλωι λέγει . . . . . . .

“Some therefore say that Plato omits to investigate the Gods who are analogous to the two kings in the heavens, I mean Phanes and Night. For it is necessary to place them in a superior order, and not among the mundane Gods; because prior to the world, they are the leaders of the intellectual Gods, being eternally established in the adytum, as Orpheus says of Phanes, who by the word adytum signifies their occult and immanifest order. Whether therefore we refer the circulation of same and different [mentioned by Plato in this dialogue] to the analogy of these, as male and female, or paternal and generative, we shall not wander from the truth. Or whether we refer the sun and the moon, as opposed to each other among the planets, to the same analogy, we shall not err. [For the sun indeed through his light preserves a similitude to Phanes, but the moon to Night. Jupiter (Ζεύς), or the Demiurge, in the intellectual, is analogous to Phanes in the intelligible order. And the vivific crater Juno (Ἥρᾱ) is analogous to Night, who produces all life in conjunction with Phanes from unapparent causes; just as Juno is parturient with, and omits into light, all the soul contained in the world.] For it is better to conceive both these as prior to the world, and to arrange the Demiurge himself as analogous to Phanes; since he is said to be assimilated to him according to the production of wholes; but to arrange the power conjoined with Jupiter (i.e. Juno) and which is generative of wholes, analogous to Night, who produces all things invisibly from the father Phanes. After these however, we must consider the remaining as analogous to the intellectual kingdoms. If likewise, it should be asked why Plato does not mention the kingdoms of Phanes and Night, to whom we have said Jupiter and Juno are analogous? It may be readily answered, that the tradition of Orpheus contains these; on which account Plato celebrates the kingdom of Heaven (Οὐρανός) and Earth (Γῦ) as the first, the Greeks being more accustomed to this than to the Orphic traditions; as he himself says in the Cratylus.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

  

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Παρμενίδου Πλάτωνος 134 c p. 965, 10 Cous.: 

ἐπὶ δὲ τούτων νοητῶν εἰδῶν ἀληθὲς καὶ τὸ μὴ ‘πρὸς ἡμᾶς αὐτὰ τὴν δύναμιν ἔχειν, μηδὲ ἡμᾶς πρὸς ἐκεῖνα’· καὶ γὰρ ἡμῖν ἄγνωστά ἐστι καὶ ὑπὲρ τὴν ἡμετέραν ἵδρυται νόησιν, ἐν τῶι ἀδύτωι κεκρυμμένα τοῦ πατρός, καὶ ὥς φησιν ὁ θεολόγος, μόνηι γνώριμα τῆι προσεχῶς μετὰ ταῦτα τάξει τῶν θεῶν. 

“But concerning these intelligible forms (it is) true also that not ‘toward ourselves do they exert influence, and not from ourselves to them;’ for to us this is unknowable and above our ability to secure understanding of them, hidden (as they are) in the inner sanctum (ἄδυτον) of the father. And, as the theologian (Ὀρφεύς) says, they are known only among the next order of Gods.” (trans. by the author)


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.

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