ORPHIC FRAGMENT 178 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment consists of three quotations, primarily about Athîná (Ἀθηνᾶ) and her weaving. 

178. (135) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 389 b. c (21, 13 Pasqu.): 

εἰ δέ τις αὐτὰς τὰς ποιητικὰς, καὶ γονίμους δυνάμεις τῶν θεῶν, ἃς εἰς τὸ πᾶν προάγουσι, τέχνας προσαγορεύοι δημιουργικὰς καὶ νοερὰς καὶ γεννητικὰς καὶ τελεσιουργούς, οὐκ ἂν οὐδ᾽ ἡμεῖς ἀποδοκιμάσαιμεν τὴν τοιαύτην προσηγορίαν, ἐπεὶ καὶ τοὺς θεολόγους εὑρίσκομεν διὰ τούτων τὰς θείας ποιήσεις ἐνδεικνυμένους, καὶ τοὺς μὲν Κύκλωπας ἁπάσης τεχνικῆς ποιήσεως αἰτίους λέγοντας, οἳ καὶ τὸν Δία καὶ τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν καὶ τὸν ῞Ηφαιστον ἐδίδαξαν (fr. 179 vs. 3), τὴν δ᾽ Ἀθηνᾶν τῶν τ᾽ ἄλλων τεχνῶν καὶ διαφερόντως τῆς ὑφαντικῆς προστατεῖν, τὸν δ᾽ ῞Ηφαιστον ἄλλης ἰδίως ἔφορον τέχνης, αὐτὴν δὲ τὴν ὑφαντικὴν ἀρχομένην μὲν ἀπὸ τῆς δεσποίνης Ἀθηνᾶς --- 

ἥδε γὰρ ἀθανάτων προφερεστάτη ἐστὶν ἁπασέων
ἱστὸν ἐποίχεσθαι ταλασήιά τ᾽ ἔργα πινύσσειν ---

| 22 Pasqu. φησὶν Ὀρφεύς, προϊοῦσαν δ᾽ εἰς τὴν ζωιογόνον τῆς Κόρης σειρὰν --- καὶ γὰρ αὕτη καὶ πᾶς αὐτῆς ὁ χορὸς ἄνω μενούσης ὑφαίνειν λέγονται  τὸν διάκοσμον τῆς ζωιῆς (v. fr. 192) ---, μετεχομένην δὲ ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐν κόσμωι θεῶν --- καὶ γὰρ ὁ εἷς δημιουργὸς τοῖς νέοις δημιουργοῖς προσυφαίνειν τῶι ἀθανάτωι παρακελεύεται (Τίμαιος Πλάτωνος 41 d) τὸ θνητὸν εἶδος τῆς ζωῆς ---, περατουμένην δ᾽ εἰς τοὺς τῆς γενέσεως προστάτας θεούς, ὧν ἐστιν καὶ ἡ παρ᾽ Ὁμήρωι Κίρκη πᾶσαν ὑφαίνουσα τὴν ἐν τῶι τετραστοίχωι ζωὴν καὶ ἅμα ταῖς ὠιδαῖς ἐναρμόνιον ποιοῦσα τὸν ὑπὸ σελήνην τόπον. ἐν ταύταις οὖν ταῖς ὑφαντικαῖς καὶ ἡ Κίρκη ὑπὸ τῶν θεολόγων παραλαμβάνεται, χρυσῆ μέντοι, καθάπερ φασίν, ἐνδεικνύμενοι τὴν νοερὰν αὐτῆς καὶ ἄχραντον οὐσίαν καὶ ἄυλον καὶ ἀμιγῆ πρὸς τὴν γένεσιν, καὶ τὸ ἔργον αὐτῆς διακρίνειν τὰ ἑστῶτα τῶν κινουμένων καὶ χωρίζειν κατὰ τὴν ἑτερότητα τὴν θείαν. 

“But one should address the same creative and productive abilities of the Gods, abilities by which they advance into everything, as the skills dîmiourgic, intellectual, generative, and perfective. Yet we need not reject such appellation, since we find the theologians also pointing out the divine fabrications. Indeed, they call the Kýklôpæs (Κύκλωπες) the cause of all skillful fabrication, and not only have they (ὀ Κύκλωπες) taught Zefs (Ζεύς), but also Athîná (Ἀθηνᾶ) and Íphaistos (Ἥφαιστος). For (it is) Athîná who is the steward of all the different skills, and especially weaving, and (we acknowledge) Íphaistos, the steward of another skill of his own. But being first at weaving (is known to come), of course, from queen Athîná, 

‘For she is the most excellent of all the deathless ones
at the loom, teaching to ply the works of weaving’ 

“so says Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς). But as for the generative series, this advances from Kórî (Κόρη), for, they say, not only she, but also all her entourage, while yet remaining aloft, weave the kozmic order of life. But this is partaken of by all the Gods in the Kózmos, for the one Dîmiourgós exhorts the young Dîmiourgós to interweave the immortal with the mortal form of life, but (this action) attains its consummation in the Gods (who are) the chief authors of generation. Of these also, in Ómiros (Ὅμηρος), (we have) Kírkî (Κίρκη) weaving all life in the four ranks, and at the same time, making the region under the moon musical with songs. Therefore, in respect to these (deities who are) skilled in weaving, and Kírkî, just as the theologians say, (she is) certainly like gold, and takes all this upon herself, pointing out her intellectual and undefiled nature, immaterial and pure in reference to generation. And her task is to separate those standing idle from those in motion and divide them according to divine difference.” (trans. by the author)

 

Cf. eundem in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Παρμενίδου Πλάτωνος 130 c p. 829, 9 Cous.: 

θαυμαστὸν δὲ οὐδὲν καὶ τὸ εἶναί τινας ἐν δαίμοσιν αἰτίας, οἳ καὶ ἔφοροι λέγονται τῶν τεχνῶν οἱ μὲν ἄλλων οἱ δὲ ἄλλων ὑπάρχειν, καὶ ἀνθρώποις δεδωρῆσθαι ταύτας, καὶ ἐν θεοῖς συμβολικῶς εἶναι, οἷον χαλκείας εἶναι μέν τις δαίμων Ἥφαιστος λεγέσθω προστάτης καὶ τὸ εἶδος ἔχων, αυτὸς δὲ μέγας Ἥφαιστος συμβολικῶς ἂν λέγοιτο χαλκεύειν τὸν οὐρανόν (fr. 180)· καὶ ὑφαντικῆς ὡσαύτως Ἀθηναϊκή τις δαιμονὶς ἔφορος, αὐτῆς τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς ἄλλως καὶ δημιουργικῶς ὑφαίνειν τὸν διάκοσμον τῶν νοερῶν εἰδῶν ὑμνουμένης 

“But it is not at all extraordinary that the causes [of the arts] are (found) in the daimonæs (δαίμονες), those who the guardians (ἔφοροι) speak of concerning the arts, those who take initiative...some of one, and some of another...and to give these to mankind, and amongst the Gods symbolically. As, for instance indeed, the daimôn Íphaistos (Ἥφαιστος) is said to be the guardian of bronze-work and delivering its form, but great Íphaistos himself could be said to symbolically make the sky of bronze. And in like manner, the Athenian daimonís (δαιμονίς) guardian of weaving, of Athîná (Ἀθηνᾶ) herself, (she is) lauded, (by using) other and dîmiourgic (means), as weaving the kozmic order of intellectual forms.” (trans. by the author)

  

v. etiam in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 24 d (I 168, 30 Diehl): 

Ἐργάνη δὲ ὡς τῶν δημιουργι- | 169 Diehl κῶν ἔργων προστάτις. 

“But thus (Ἀθηνᾶ is) the Worker (Ἐργάνη), the leader of dîmiourgic work.” (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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