ORPHIC FRAGMENT 145 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: When Rǽa (Ῥέα) gave birth to Zefs (Ζεὺς), she became Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ).

145. (106. 128) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 403 e (90, 28 Pasqu.):

ὅτι τὴν Δήμητρα Ὀρφεὺς μέν, τὴν αὐτὴν λέγων τῆι Ῥέαι εἶναι, λέγει ὅτι ἄνω μὲν μετὰ Κρόνου οὖσα ἀν | 91 Pasqu. εκφοίτητος Ῥέα ἐστίν, προβάλλουσα δὲ καὶ ἀπογεννῶσα τὸν Δία Δημήτηρ. λέγει γάρ·

Ῥείη τὸ πρὶν ἐοῦσα, ἐπεὶ Διὸς ἔπλετο μήτηρ, Δημήτηρ γέγονε. 

“That while Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ), as Orphéfs says, is the same as Rǽa (Ῥέα), he means that when aloft with Krónos (Κρόνος) and proceeding she is Rǽa, but when coming forth and producing Zefs (Ζεὺς), she is Dîmítîr. For he says: 

“ ‘Formerly she was Rǽa, but when she came to be the mother of Zefs, she became Dîmítîr.’ ” (trans. by the author)


Idem in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 401 c p. 80, 10 Pasqu.:

ὁ δ' Ὀρφεὺς τρόπον μέν τινα τὴν αὐτὴν εἶναι τὴν Δήμητρα τῆι ὅληι ζωιογονίαι, τρόπον δ' ἄλλον οὐ τὴν αὐτήν· ἄνω μὲν γὰρ οὖσα Ῥέα ἐστί, κάτω δὲ μετὰ τοῦ Διὸς Δημήτηρ· καὶ γὰρ τὰ παραγόμενα ὅμοιά εἰσιν τοῖς παράγουσιν καὶ σχεδὸν τὰ αὐτά.

“For while Orphéfs says that in one manner, Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) is the same as the whole generation of living beings, but in another manner, she is not the same; for when on high she is Rǽa, but in the world below with Zefs, she is Dîmítîr, for even as these productions are similar and nearly the same.” (trans. by the author)


Περὶ τῆς κατὰ Πλάτωνα θεολογίας Πρόκλου V 11 p. 267, 38:

καὶ δὴ καὶ (sc. Plato) ἐν Νόμοις τὰς Θεσμοφόρους θεὰς ἀνυμνῶν εἰς τὴν ἕνωσιν τῆς τε Δήμητρος καὶ τῆς Κόρης ἀναπέμπει πᾶσαν τὴν ἔνθεσμον ζωήν. ἐπεὶ κατ' Ὀρφέα τῶι μὲν Κρόνωι συνοῦσα κατὰ τὴν ἀκρότητα τὴν ἑαυτῆς μέση θεὸς Ῥέα καλεῖται, τὸν δὲ Δία παράγουσα καὶ μετὰ Διὸς ἐκφαίνουσα τούς τε ὅλους καὶ τοὺς μερικοὺς διακόσμους τῶν θεῶν Δημήτηρ. καὶ ἔστιν σύμπας τῆς μέσης ζωῆς διάκοσμος περιληπτικὸς τῶν τε ἄλλων Τιτανίδων, καὶ δὴ καὶ τῆς Δήμητρος. ταύτην γὰρ προεστήσατο μονάδα συναγωγὸν μέσην τῶν ἐν αὐτῆι πασῶν τάξεων, τῶν τε κρυφίων καὶ τῶν μεριζομένων περὶ τὰς γεννητικὰς τῆς θεοῦ δυνάμεις. τριτταὶ δέ εἰσιν ἑκάτεραι. καὶ τὴν μὲν ἄνω τριάδα συνάπτει τῷ Κρόνωι, τὴν δὲ κάτω συνυφαίνει τῆι δημιουργικῆι τάξει. | 268 μέσην δὲ οὖσαν τὴν Δημητριακὴν μονάδα συντεταγμένην, ἅμα καὶ ἐξηιρημένην ἀποφαίνει τοῦ δημιουργοῦ τῶν ὅλων. καὶ γὰρ ὑφίστησι Δία μετὰ τῆς ὅλης καὶ συναπογεννᾶι τῆν Κόρην μετὰ τοῦ Διός. ἡ μὲν οὖν μέση τῶν πατέρων πρόγονος θεὸς διὰ τούτων άνυμνείσθω τών λόγων.

“In the Laws likewise celebrating the legislative Goddesses, he refers the whole of a legitimate life to the union of Ceres (Δημήτηρ) and Proserpine (Περσεφόνη); since according to Orpheus this middle Goddess being conjoined with Saturn (Κρόνος) by her summit, is called Rhea (Ῥέα); but producing Jupiter (Ζεύς), and together with Jupiter unfolding the whole and partial orders of the Gods, she is called Ceres. And all the order of middle life is comprehensive of the other Titanidae, and likewise of Ceres. For it pre-established this monad as a middle collective of all the orders in it, both those that are occult, and those that are divided about the generative powers of the Goddess. Each of these powers, however, are triple. And this monad indeed conjoins the superior triad to Saturn, but weaves the inferior, together with the demiurgic order. It also evinces that the Cerealian monad being the middle, is co-arranged with, and is at the same time exempt from the demiurgus of wholes. For in conjunction with the whole order it constitutes, and together with Jupiter generates Proserpine. And thus we have celebrated the primogenial Goddess who is the middle of the fathers.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816) 

Cf. Φερεκύδης τμῆμα 1 (Diels II3 202, 3; Βίοι καὶ γνῶμαι τῶν ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ εὐδοκιμησάντων Διογένους Λαερτίου: Φερεκύδης 6):

Ζὰς μὲν καὶ Χρόνος ἦσαν ἀεὶ καὶ Χθονίη· Χθονίηι δὲ ὄνομα ἐγένετο Γῆ, ἐπειδὴ αὐτῆι Ζὰς γῆν γέρας διδοῖ.

“Indeed, both Zas and Time were ever Earthy; Khtoníi came to be called Earth when Zas gave her earth as a present.” (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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