ORPHIC FRAGMENT 105 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This consists of two fragments stating that beautiful Ídî (Ἴδη) is the sister of Adrásteia, and that Adrásteia holds in her hands a tambourine. 

105. (109. 110) σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επὶ Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 248c p. 161, 15 Couvr.: 

ἡ δὲ Ἀδράστεια μία ἐστὶ καὶ αὕτη θεὸς τῶν μενουσῶν ἐν τῆι Νυκτί, γενομένη ἐκ Μελίσσου καὶ Ἀμαλθείας. ὁ μὲν οὖν Μέλισσος κατὰ τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν τῶν δευτέρων καὶ πρόνοιαν εἴληπται· ἡ δὲ Ἀμάλθεια κατὰ τὸ ἀκλινὲς καὶ μὴ μαλθάσσεσθαι. ἐκ τῆς οὖν προνοίας τῆς ἀκλινοῦς γέγονεν ἡ Ἀδράστεια, ἥτις ἀδελφή ἐστι τῆς Ἴδης· 

Ἴδη τ’ εὐειδὴς καὶ ὁμόσπορος Ἀδρήστεια, 

ἡ πάντων ὁμοῦ τῶν νόμων τῶν τε ἐγκοσμίων καὶ ὑπερκοσμίων, τῶν τε εἱμαρμένων καὶ διΐων (likely Διΐων, as found in other versions of this text) --- ἑἰσὶ γὰρ καὶ δΐιοι (Διΐων?) νόμοι καὶ κρόνιοι (Κρόνιοι?), θεῖοί τε καὶ ὑπερκόσμιοι καὶ ἐγκόσμιοι ---, ἡ πάντων οὖν τούτων τὰ μέτρα ἑνιαίως ἐν ἑαυτῆι συλλαβοῦσα καὶ συνέχουσα. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ θεὸς Ἀδράστεια διὰ | 162 Couvr. τοῦτο κεκλημένη διὰ τὸ τὰ ὑπ’ αὐτῆς τεθέντα καὶ νομοθετηθέντα ἀναπόδραστα εἶναι· διὸ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ ἄντρου τῆς Νυκτὸς ἠχεῖν λέγεται· 

                    παλάμηισι δὲ χάλκεα ῥόπτρα
δῶκεν Ἀδρηστείαι.

ἐν τοῖς προθύροις γὰρ τοῦ ἄντρου τῆς Νυκτὸς ἠχεῖν λέγεται τοῖς κυμβάλοις, ἵνα πάντα αὐτῆς τῶν νόμων κατήκοα γένηται. ἔνδον μὲν γὰρ ἐν τῶι ἀδύτωι τῆς Νυκτὸς κάθηται ὁ Φάνης· ἐν μέσωι δὲ ἡ Νὺξ μαντεύουσα (v. fr. 103) τοῖς θεοῖς· ἡ δὲ Ἀδράστεια ἐν τοῖς προθύροις πᾶσι νομοθετοῦσα τοὺς θείους θεσμούς. διαφέρει δὲ τῆς ἐκεῖ Δίκης ὡς νομοθετικὴ δικαστικῆς· καὶ ἡ μὲν ἐκεῖ Δίκη θυγάτηρ λέγεται τοῦ Νόμου τοῦ ἐκεῖ καὶ Εὐσεβείας, αὕτη δὲ ἡ Ἀδράστεια ἐκ Μελίσσου καὶ Ἀμαλθείας οὖσα περιεκτική ἐστι καὶ τοῦ Νόμου. αὗται δὴ καί λέγονται τρέφειν τὸν Δία ἐν τῶι ἄντρωι τῆς Νυκτὸς, ἄντικρυς τοῦ θεολόγου τοῦτο λέγοντος ὃ καὶ Πλάτων περὶ αὐτοῦ φησι· καὶ γὰρ δημιουργοῦντα καὶ αὐτὸν ποιεῖ καὶ διαθεσμοθετοῦντα. θεσμὸς δὲ ἐνδίδοται μὲν παρὰ τῆς Ἀδραστείας καὶ εἰς τοὺς θεούς --- ἡ γὰρ ἐν αὐτοῖς τάξις ὑπὸ ταύτης ἐστὶ τῆς θεοῦ ---, ἐνδίδοται δὲ καὶ εἰς τοὺς ὁπαδοὺς τῶν θεῶν καὶ κοινῆι πᾶσι καὶ ἰδίαι ἑκάστωι.

“But Adrásteia is one and the same deity of those remaining with Nyx, born from Mǽlissos (Μέλισσος) and Amáltheia (Ἀμάλθεια). Indeed, Mǽlissos seized charge and foresight over the younger ones. For (the name) Amáltheia (is derived) from (the word for) “foresight,” and not from (the word for) “soft.” Adrásteia was born from unswerving foresight, and she is the sister of Ídî (Ἴδη):

“Ídî, both beautiful, and sister to Adrásteia.” 

“Of all the laws together, both of the mundane as well as supermundane things, and of both having received one’s fate and that (fate coming) from Zefs (Ζεύς) as well --- for they are both laws from Zefs as well as the Krónidai (Κρόνιδαι?), both divine as well as mundane and supermundane --- or certainly of all those, measures which have been gathered and held together solely in itself. This is the (activity of) the Goddess Adrásteia, for by means of this, she has been summoned through that name itself, and having put in place and framed laws which are inevitable. Wherefore, also, to play before the cave of Nyx: 

‘He gave to Adrásteia a brazen tambourine in the palms of her hands.’ 

“For in these portals of the cave of Nyx, while playing on her cymbals, as they say, in that place itself, she had given all of the laws birth, to those listening. For indeed, within the cave of Nyx, Phánîs (Φάνης) is seated; but at its center, Nyx is prophesying to the Gods, while Adrásteia, in all the portals, is framing divine laws. But the legislative justice carries over from one to another in that place from Díkî (Δίκη). And indeed, from there the daughter Díkî speaks of Law (Νόμος) and of Piety (Εὐσέβεια). But Adrásteia, (born) from Mǽlissos and Amáltheia, being (of an) all-encompassing (nature), is also (speaking) of Law. These (deities) also, they say, rear Zefs in the cave of Nyx; this is said directly by the theologians, and Plátôn (Πλάτων) himself says it, for not only (does Zefs carry out) the dîmiourgic work, but he also produces it from himself, and (he) legislates. But indeed, the law is delivered from Adrásteia and into (the hands of) the Gods --- for in themselves, the class (of deities) under this is of the Goddesses --- but (this class) hands over also (duties) to the attendants of the Gods, not only for their common possession, but also each for their own.” 

(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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