ORPHIC FRAGMENT 23 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment consists of several quotations related to Justice (Δίκη). 

23. Pseudo-Demosthenes (Against Aristogeiton) 25.11: 

τὴν τὰ δίκαι᾽ ἀγαπῶσαν Εὐνομίαν περὶ πλείστου ποιησαμένους, ἣ πάσας καὶ πόλεις καὶ χώρας σώιζει· καὶ τὴν ἀπαραίτητον καὶ σεμνὴν Δίκην, ἣν ὁ τὰς ἁγιωτάτας ἡμῖν τελετὰς καταδείξας Ὀρφεὺς παρὰ τὸν τοῦ Διὸς θρόνον φησὶ καθημένην πάντα τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐφορᾶν, εἰς αὑτὸν ἕκαστον νομίσαντα βλέπειν οὕτω δεῖ ψηφίζεσθαι, φυλαττόμενον καὶ προορώμενον μὴ καταισχῦναι ταύτην. 

“As is the custom, we should warmly greet Evnomía (Εὐνομία), for producing the greatest (good); she preserves all, not only the cities but also the lands. And (we should greet) implacable and holy Justice, seated beside the throne of Zefs (Ζεύς) overseeing all men, as Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) says, who made known the sacred rites. For each one must consider, to be wary and judge in this manner, keeping watch and foreseeing not to dishonor this deity.”
(trans. by the author) 
 
Ad eundem Orphicorum locum spectat ὕμνος Ὀρφέως 62 Δίκης 1-3:
Ὄμμα Δίκης μέλπω πανδερκέος, ἀγλαομόρφου,
ἣ καὶ Ζηνὸς ἄνακτος ἐπὶ θρόνον ἱερὸν ἵζει,
οὐρανόθεν καθορῶσα βίον θνητῶν πολυφύλων.


I sing of the all-seeing eye of Díkî (Δίκη), of beauteous form,
sitting near the hallowed throne of lord Zefs (Ζεύς)
from the heavens, looking down on the lives of the many tribes of mortals.”
(trans. by the author)

Cf. praeter Lobeck 1. 1. imprimis Dieterich. 1. 1., qui Pseudo Demosthenes or. 25 (Against Aristogeiton) auctorem scholae Orphicae asseclam fuisse haud improbavit (v. etiam § 52: 

μεθ᾽ ὧν δ᾽ οἱ ζωγράφοι τοὺς ἀσεβεῖς ἐν Ἅιδου γράφουσιν, μετὰ τούτων, μετ᾽ Ἀρᾶς καὶ Βλασφημίας καὶ Φθόνου καὶ Στάσεως καὶ Νείκους, περιέρχεται. εἶθ᾽ ὃν οὐδὲ τῶν ἐν Ἅιδου θεῶν εἰκός ἐστιν τυχεῖν ἵλεων, ἀλλ᾽ εἰς τοὺς ἀσεβεῖς ὠσθῆναι διὰ τὴν πονηρίαν τοῦ βίου 

“And he mingles with those (qualities) which the painters represent as profane souls in the House of Aidîs (Ἅιδης); along with these: Curses, Blasphemy, Ill-will, Sedition, and Strife. And so he is not likely to meet with hospitality from the Gods of Aidîs, (but, rather) to be thrust utterly into this ungodly company because of the wickedness of his life.”
(trans. by the author)

[Schläfke 1. 1. 94] et § 37: 

καὶ Ἀδράστειαν (fr. 20) μὲν ἄνθρωπος ὢν προσκυνῶ, καὶ ἔχω τοῖς θεοῖς καὶ πᾶσιν ὑμῖν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τοῖς σώσασί με πολλὴν χάριν [Susemihl Ind. XVI n. 108])

“Indeed, I, a man, make obeisance to Adrásteia, and have charge by the Gods and all of you, oh men of Athens, to preserve many blessings.”
(trans. by the author)
 

Δίκη πὰρ Διὶ πατρὶ καθεζομένη Κρονίωνι 

“Justice seated next to father Zefs (Ζεύς) the son of Krónos.”
(trans. by the author)

iam ap. Hesiod. Op. 259, quem ut Orphicus poeta multi alii secuti sunt, quos enumerat Lobeck 1 396.

Ante omnes autem Anaximander ex Simplicii testimonio (Diels I3 15 n. 9) afferendus est:

ἐξ ὡν δὲ ἡ γένεσίς ἐστι τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ταῦτα γίνεσθαι κατὰ τὸ χρεών· διδόναι γὰρ αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀδικίας κατὰ τὴν τοῦ χρόνου τάξιν. 

“But out of these, the origin is by means of existing things, and its destruction into these as in conformity with what is inevitable; for they give to one another justice, and retribution for injustice, down through the rule of time.”
(trans. by the author) 

Cf. Diels Der antike Pessimismus 11 n. 1.


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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