ORPHIC FRAGMENT 117 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment includes a discussion of certain sea-Gods, and it also establishes that Krónos (Κρόνος) is higher in rank than Okæanós (Ὠκεανός), as similarly, Rǽa (Ῥέα) is above Tîthýs (Τηθύς).

117. (104) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 40 e (III 186, 7 Diehl):

οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι Τιτᾶνες εἰς διάκρισιν ἐπείγονται καὶ πρόοδον, ἡγεῖται δὲ αὐτῶν ὁ μέγιστος Κρόνος, ὥς φησιν ὁ θεολόγος (cf. fr. 135) καίτοι γε ὅτι ὁ Κρόνος ὑπέρτερός ἐστι τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ, δεδήλωκεν ὁ θεολόγος πάλιν λέγων τὸν μὲν Κρόνον αὐτὸν καταλαμβάνειν τὸν οὐράνιον Ὄλυμπον κἀκεῖ θρονισθέντα βασιλεύειν των Τιτάνων, τὸν δὲ Ὠκεανὸν τὴν λῆξιν ἅπασαν τὴν μέσην· ναίειν γὰρ αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς θεσπεσίοις ῥείθροις τοῖς μετὰ τὸν Ὄλυμπον καὶ τὸν ἐκεῖ περιέπειν Οὐρανόν, ἀλλ' οὐ τὸν ἀκρότατον, ὡς δέ φησιν ὁ μῦθος, τὸν ἐκπεσόντα τοῦ Ὀλύμπου καὶ ἐκεῖ τεταγμένον.

τούτων δ' οὖν οὕτως ἐχόντων ὁ Ὠκεανὸς καὶ ἡ Τηθὺς καθ' ὅσον μένουσι καὶ ἥνωνται πρὸς τὸν Οὐρανὸν συμπαράγουσιν αὐτῶι τὴν τῶν προϊόντων βασιλείαν, Κρόνου τε καὶ Ῥέας, καὶ καθ' ὅσον <ἐν>ίδρυνται τῆι μονίμωι δυνάμει τῆς μητρός, κατὰ τοσοῦτον τὸν Φόρκυν μετ' αὐτῆς· αὕτη (sc. Tethys) γὰρ αὐτὸν παράγει Πόντου φιλότητι μιγεῖσα μετὰ Νηρέως καὶ Θαύμαντος· οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ὁ Φόρκυς <ὁ> Οὐρανίδης, ἀλλὰ ὁ Φόρκυς <ὁ Πόντιος>, ὡς ἔστι δῆλον ἐκ τῆς Θεογονίας (Hesiod. 233. 237). <καὶ> καθ' ὅσον ἡ Τηθὺς τῆς Γῆς ἐστι πλήρης, κατὰ τοσοῦτον οἷον Γῆ τις οὖσα λέγοιτ' ἂν τὸν Φόρκυν τοῦτον παράγειν μετὰ τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ, καθ' ὅσον καὶ οὗτος ἐν ἑαυτῶι τὸν νοητὸν περιείληφεν· ὥσθ' ἣ μὲν καθ' ὅσον ἐστὶ Γῆ κατὰ μέθεξιν, ὃ δὲ καθ' ὅσον ἐστὶ Πόντος κατ' αἰτίαν ὑφιστᾶσι μετὰ Κρόνου καὶ Ῥέας τόνδε τὸν θεόν.

But the other Titans are induced to separation and progression. And the leader of these is the mighty Saturn (Κρόνος), as the theologist says; though he evinces that Saturn is superior to Ocean (Ὠκεανός) by saying, that Saturn himself received the celestial Olympus, and that there being throned he reigns over the Titans; but that Ocean obtained all the middle allotment. For he says, that he dwells in the divine streams which are posterior to Olympus, and that he environs the Heaven which is there, and not the highest Heaven, but as the fable says, that which fell from Olympus, and was there arranged.

Ocean and Tethys (Τηθύς) therefore, so far as they abide, and are united to Heaven (Οὐρανός), produce in conjunction with him the kingdom of Saturn and Rhea (Ῥέα); and so far as they are established in the first power of their mother, so far they produce Phorkys (Φόρκυς) in conjunction with her. For she produces him together with Nereus (Νηρεύς) and Thaumas (Θαύμας), from being mingled through love with the sea. For Phorkys is not celestial but Ocean, as is evident from the Theogony.  And so far as Tethys is full of Earth, so far being as it were a certain Earth, she may be said to produce this Phorkys in conjunction with Ocean; so far as Ocean also comprehends the intelligible in himself. Hence Tethys, so far as she is Earth according to participation, and Ocean so far as he is causally the sea, give subsistence in conjunction with Saturn and Rhea to this God. If however, any arguments should demonstrate that in the intellectual order Saturn is above Ocean, or Rhea above Tethys, it must be said that this arrangement is indeed there; for in that order the causes of intellection are superior to those of motion; but that here on the contrary, all things are in mutation and a flowing condition; so that here Ocean is very properly prior to Saturn, since it is the fountain of motion, and Tethys is prior to Rhea.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816)


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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