ORPHIC FRAGMENT 181 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: The Kháritæs (Χάριτες, the Charities or Graces): Íphaistos (Ἥφαιστος) is joined with Aglaïa (Ἀγλαΐα); Tháleia (Θάλεια) causes the lives of the stars to flourish; Efphrosýnî (Εὐφροσύνη) grants to all of them energy. The Órai (Ὧραι, the Seasons), Evnomía (Εὐνομία) preserves the stars in their proper order; Díkî (Δίκη) has governance over the planetary region; Eirínî (Εἰρήνη) has dominion over the sublunary region.

181. σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 40 a (III 118, 30 Diehl):

διὰ γὰρ τοῦτο καῖ οἱ θεολόγοι τὴν Εὐνομίαν ἐπέστησαν τῆι ἀπλανεῖ, τὸ ἐν αὐτῆι πλῆθος διακρίνουσαν καὶ ἕκαστον ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκείας διατη | 119 Diehl ροῦσαν ἀεὶ τάξεως. διὰ τοῦτο δὲ ἄρα καὶ τὸν Ἥφαιστον ὑμνοῦντες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ποιητὴν συνάπτουσιν αὐτῶι τὴν Ἀγλαΐαν ὡς ἀγλαΐζοντι πάντα τὸν οὐρανὸν διὰ τῆς τῶν ἄστρων ποικιλίας. και πάλιν τῶι μὲν πλανωμένωι τὴν <μὲν> Δίκην εφιστάσι των Ωρών ώς ὀφείλουσαν τὴν ἀνωμαλίαν κατὰ λόγον εἰς ὁμαλότητα περιάγειν, τὴν δὲ Θάλειαν τῶν Χαρίτων ως τὰς ζωὰς αὐτῶν ἀειθαλεῖς ἀποτελοῦσαν, τῶι δὲ ὑπὸ σελήνην τὴν μὲν Εἰρήνην ὡς τὸν πόλεμον τῶν στοιχείων ἐξιωμένην, τὴν δὲ Έὐφροσύνην (v. fr. 200) τῶν Χαρίτων ὡς ἑκάστοις ἐνδιδοῦσαν ῥαιστώνην τῆς κατὰ φύσιν ἐνεργείας.   

“On this account likewise, theologists establish Eunomia in the inerratic sphere, who separates the multitude in it, and always preserves each of the stars in its proper order. Hence too, celebrating Vulcan (Ἥφαιστος) as the maker of the heavens, they conjoin him with Aglaïa, as adorning and giving splendor and hilarity to all heaven, through the variety of the stars. And again, of the Seasons, they place Dice (Δίκη) over the planetary region, because it is just that irregularity should be reduced to regularity according to reason; but of the Graces, Thalia, as always causing their lives to be consummately flourishing. They also give the superintendence of the sublunary region to Irene, as pacifying the war of the elements; but to Euphrosyne of the Graces, as imparting to each of them facility of energy according to nature.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820) 

Cf. Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 901-909: 

δεύτερον ἠγάγετο λιπαρὴν Θέμιν, ἣ τέκεν Ὥρας,
Εὐνουμίην τε Δίκην τε καὶ Εἰρήνην τεθαλυῖαν,
αἳ ἔργ᾽ ὠρεύουσι καταθνητοῖσι βροτοῖσι,
Μοίρας θ᾽, ᾗ πλείστην τιμὴν πόρε μητίετα Ζεύς,
Κλωθώ τε Λάχεσίν τε καὶ Ἄτροπον, αἵτε διδοῦσι
θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποισιν ἔχειν ἀγαθόν τε κακόν τε.
τρεῖς δέ οἱ Εὐρυνομη Χάριτας τέκε καλλιπαρῄους,
Ὠκεανοῦ κούρη, πολυήρατον εἶδος ἔχουσα,
Ἀγλαΐην τε καὶ Εὐφροσύνην Θαλίην τ᾽ ἐρατεινήν

“Next he (Ζεύς) married bright Themis who bore the Horae (Hours), and Eunomia (Order), Dikë (Justice), and blooming Eirene (Peace), who mind the works of mortal men, and the Moerae (Fates) to whom wise Zeus gave the greatest honor, Clotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos who give mortal men evil and good to have. And Eurynome, the daughter of Ocean, beautiful in form, bore him three fair-cheeked Charites (Graces), Aglaea, and Euphrosyne, and lovely Thaleia...” (trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

Orphic Hymn XLIII (vs. 2) daughters of Zefs (Ζεύς) and Themis (Θέμις):

Εὐνομίη τε Δίκη τε, καὶ Εἰρήνη πολύολβε

Orphic Hymn LX (vs. 2. 3) daughters of Zefs (Ζεύς) and Evrynómî (Εὐρυνόμη): 

θυγατέρες Ζηνός τε καὶ Εὐρυνόμης βαθυκόλπου,
Ἀγλαΐη, Θαλίη τε, καὶ Εὐφροσύνη πολύολβε


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; Gr. 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; Gr. κιθάρα), the the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. 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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