ORPHIC FRAGMENT 192 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: Kórî (Κόρη) is represented by Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) as weaving type of web, and while weaving was a Nymph (virginal). 

192. (211) Περὶ του εν Ὀδυσσεία τῶν νυμφῶν ἄντρου Πορφυρίου 14 p. 66, 13 Nauck:

καὶ χιτών γε τὸ σῶμα τῆι ψυχῆι ὃ ἠμφίεσται, θαῦμα τῶι ὄντι ἰδέσθαι, εἴτε πρὸς τὴν σύστασιν ἀποβλέποις εἴτε πρὸς τὴν πρὸς τοῦτο σύνδεσιν τῆς ψυχῆς. οὕτω καὶ παρὰ τῶι Ὀρφεῖ ἡ Κόρη, ἥπερ ἐστὶ παντὸς τοῦ σπειρομένου ἔφορος, ἱστουργοῦσα παραδίδοται, τῶν παλαιῶν καὶ τὸν οὐρανὸν πέπλον εἰρηκότων οἷον θεῶν οὐρανίων περίβλημα. 

“Add, too, that the body is a garment with which the soul is invested, a thing wonderful to the sight, whether this refers to the composition of the soul, or contributes to the colligation of the soul [to the whole of a visible essence]. Thus, also, Proserpine (Κόρη), who is the inspective guardian of everything produced from seed, is represented by Orpheus as weaving a web, and the heavens are called by the ancients a veil, in consequence of being, as it were, the vestment of the celestial Gods.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1823) 

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 41 b. c (III 223, 3 Diehl): 

καὶ διὰ ταῦτα ἄρα Ὀρφεύς τὴν τῶν μεριστῶν ζωιοποιὸν αἰτίαν ἄνω μένουσαν καὶ ὑφαίνουσαν τὸν διάκοσμον τῶν οὐρανίων νύμφην τε εἶναί φησιν ὡς ἄχραντον καὶ ταῦτα τῶι Διὶ συναφθεῖσαν καὶ μένειν ἐν οἰκείοις ἤθεσι, προελθοῦσαν δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ἑαυτῆς οἴκων ἀτελεῖς (v. fr. 193) τε καταλείπειν τοὺς ἱστοὺς καὶ ἁρπάζεσθαι καὶ ἀναρπασθεῖσαν γαμεῖσθαι καὶ γαμηθεῖσαν γεννᾶν (frr, 195. 196), ἵνα ψυχώσηι καὶ τὰ ἐπείσακτον ἔχοντα ζωήν· τὸ γὰρ ἀτελές, οἶμαι, τῶν ἱστῶν ἐνδείκνυται κἀκεῖνο τὸ μέχρι τῶν ἀϊδίων ζώιων ἀτελὲς εἶναι τὸ πᾶν. διὸ καὶ ὁ Πλάτων ραρακελεύεσθαι φησι  (41 d) τὸν ἕνα δημιουργὸν τοῖς πολλοῖς ‘προσυφαίνειν τὰ θνητὰ τοῖς ἀθανάτοις’ ἀναμιμνήσκων πως ἡμᾶς, ὅτι τῆς τοῦ παντὸς ὑφαντικῆς ζωῆς τελείωσίς ἐστιν ἡ προσθήκη τῶν θνητῶν, καὶ τῆς Ὀρφικῆς θεομυθίας καὶ τῶν ἀτελῶν ἱστῶν ἐξηγητικὰς ἐννοίας παρεχόμενος. ὁ μὲν οὖν θεῖος ἀριθμὸς ὅρον οἰκεῖον ἔσχε καὶ πέρας καὶ ἔστι τέλος. 

“Hence Orpheus says that the vivific cause of partible natures (Κόρη), while she remained on high, weaving the order of celestials, was a nymph, as being undefiled; and in consequence of this connected with Jupiter (Ζεύς), and abiding in her appropriate manners; but that proceeding from her proper habitation, she left her webs unfinished, was ravished (by Πλούτων), having been ravished was married, and being married generated, in order that she might animate things which have an adventitious life. For the unfinished state of her webs indicates I think, that the universe is imperfect or unfinished as far as to perpetual animals. Hence Plato says, that the one Demiurgus calls on the many Demiurgi to weave together the mortal and immortal natures, after a manner reminding us that the addition of the mortal genera is the perfection of the textorial life of the universe, and also exciting our recollection of the divine Orphic fable, and affording us interpretative causes of the unfinished webs [of Proserpine].” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820) 

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 23 d (I 134, 26 Diehl):

μᾶλλον δὲ ἔσχατον μὲν πέπλος, τὸ τῆς ὑφαντικῆς ἔργον, εἴδωλον φέρων τοῦ κοσμικοῦ πολέμου καὶ τῆς δημιουργικῆς ἀπὸ τῆς θεοῦ τάξεως τῆς εἰς τὸ πᾶν προϊούσης, ὃν θεὸς ὑφαίνει μετὰ τοῦ πατρός.

“Or rather, the veil is the last work of the weaving art, containing in itself an image of the mundane war, and of the demiurgic order proceeding from the Goddess (Ἀθηνᾶ) into the universe; which veil she wove in conjunction with her father.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820) 

Vide etiam in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 387 c, 22, 2 Pasqu. (fr. 178): 

καὶ γὰρ αὕτη (sc. Κόρη) καὶ πᾶς αὐτῆς ὁ χορὸς ἄνω μενούσης ὑφαίνειν λέγονται τὸν διάκοσμον τῆς ζωῆς

“And for this (Goddess, Κόρη), and all her entourage abiding on high, it is said that she weaves the catalogue of life.” (trans. by the author)

et Syrian. in Aristot. Metaph. B 2 (26, 25 Kr.) fr. 180. 

Ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν εἰς τὸν Πλάτωνος Παρμενίδην Δαμασκίου 339 (II 200, 14 Rue.; Add. 387):

πρὸς μὲν τοίνον τὸ πρῶτον ἐροῦμεν ὅτι τῶν θεολόγον οἱ μὲν ἀπὸ τῆς θείας ὁρμώμενοι παραδόσεως ‘ἀρχικὴν’ καλοῦσι ταύτην τὴν διακόσμησιν, ὁ δὲ μέγας Ἰάμβλιχος ‘ἡγεμονικὴν’ αὐτὴν ἀνευφημεῖ…ἤδη δὲ οἱ νεώτεροι (sc. θεολόγοι) καὶ ‘ἀφομοιωτικὴν’ αὐτὴν (sc. τὴν διακόσμησιν) κεκλήκασιν, ἴσως μὲν ἀπὸ τῆς παῥ Ὀρφεῖ Κορικῆς ὑπερκοσμίου πεπλοποιΐας ὁρμηθέντες --- ἐν ἧι τὰ μιμήματα τῶν νοερῶν εἰδῶν ἐνυφαίνεται ---, σαφῶς δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν λογίων v. etiam fr. 196.

Pherecyd. Syr. fr. 2 (Diels II3 202, 23): 

κἀπειδὴ τρίτη ἡμέρη γίγνεται τῶι γάμωι, τότε Ζὰς ποιεῖ φᾶρος μέγα τε καὶ καλὸν καὶ ἐν αὐτῶι ποικίλλει Γῆν καὶ Ὠγηνὸν καὶ τὰ Ὠγηνοῦ δώματα ... ἡ δέ μι<ν ἀμείβε>ται δεξαμ<ένη εὑ τὸ φᾶ>ρος . . .  Cf. Bacchi-Solis πέπλον φοινίκεον πυρὶ εἴκελον infra s. ΒΑΚΧΙΚΑ.


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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