ORPHIC FRAGMENT 33 - OTTO KERN

HellenicGods.org

HOME          GLOSSARY           RESOURCE           ART          LOGOS          CONTACT

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

SUMMARY: Fragment 33 discusses the use of symbolism in Orphic texts.

 

33. (253) Λόγος Στρώματα Κλήμεντος του Ἀλεξανδρέως V 8, 49, 3 (II 360, 10 Staeh.)

Τί δ'; οὐχὶ καὶ Ἐπιγένης ἐν τῷ περὶ τῆς Ὀρφέως ποιήσεως τὰ ἰδιάζοντα παῥ Ὀρφεῖ ἐκτιθέμενός φησι "κερκίσι καμπυλόχρωσι" τοῖς ἀρότροις μηνύεσθαι, "στήμοσι" δὲ τοῖς αὔλαξι· "μίτον" δὲ τὸ σπέρμα ἀλληγορεῖσθαι, καὶ "δάκρυα Διὸς" τὸν ὄμβρον δηλοῦν, "Μοίρας" τε αὖ τὰ μέρη τῆς σελήνης, τριακάδα καὶ πεντεκαιδεκάτην καὶ νουμηνίαν· διὸ καὶ "λευκοστόλους" αὐτὰς καλεῖν τὸν Ὀρφέα φωτὸς οὔσας μέρη. πάλιν "ἄνθιον" μὲν τὸ ἔαρ διὰ τὴν φύσιν, "ἀργίδα" δὲ τὴν νύκτα διὰ τὴν ἀνάπαυσιν, καὶ "Γοργόνιον" τὴν σελήνην διὰ τὸ ἐν αὐτῇ πρόσωπον, "Ἀφροδίτην" τε τὸν καιρὸν καθ' ὃν δεῖ σπείρειν, λέγεσθαι παρὰ τῷ θεολόγῳ.

Τοιαῦτα καὶ οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι ᾐνίσσοντο, Φερσεφόνης μὲν κύνας τοὺς πλανήτας, Κρόνου δὲ δάκρυον τὴν θάλασσαν ἀλληγοροῦντες. καὶ μυρία ἐπὶ μυρίοις εὕροιμεν ἂν ὑπό τε φιλοσόφων ὑπό τε ποιητῶν αἰνιγματωδῶς εἰρημένα, ὅπου γε καὶ ὅλα βιβλία ἐπικεκρυμμένην τὴν τοῦ συγγραφέως βούλησιν ἐπιδείκνυται, ὡς καὶ τὸ Ἡρακλείτου περὶ φύσεως, ὃς καὶ δί αὐτὸ τοῦτο Σκοτεινὸς προσηγόρευται. ὁμοία τούτῳ τῷ βιβλίῳ καὶ ἡ Φερεκύδους θεολογία τοῦ Συρίου.

“Does not Epigenes, in his book on the Poetry of Orpheus, in exhibiting the peculiarities found in Orpheus, say that by ‘the curved rods’ (κεραίσι) is meant ‘ploughs;’ and by the warp (στήμοσι), the furrows; and the woof (μίτος) is a figurative expression for the seed; and that the tears of Zeus signify a shower; and that the ‘parts’ (μοῖραι) are, again, the phases of the moon, the thirtieth day, and the fifteenth, and the new moon, and that Orpheus accordingly calls them ‘white-robed,’ as being parts of the light? Again, that the Spring is called ‘flowery,’ from its nature; and Night ‘still,’ on account of rest; and the Moon ‘Gorgonian,’ on account of the face in it; and that the time in which it is necessary to sow is called Aphrodite by the ‘Theologian.’

“In the same way, too, the Pythagoreans figuratively called the planets the ‘dogs of Persephone;’ and to the sea they applied the metaphorical appellation of the ‘tears of Kronus.’ Myriads on myriads of enigmatical utterances by both poets and philosophers are to be found; and there are also whole books which present the mind of the writer veiled, as that of Heraclitus On Nature, who on this very account is called ‘Obscure.’ Similar to this book is the Theology of Pherecydes of Syrus.” (trans. by William Wilson, 1885)



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.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek           

 

Transliteration of Ancient Greek           

 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of HellenicGods.org by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

© 2010 by HellenicGods.org.  All Rights Reserved.

free hit counterHOME             GLOSSARY            RESOURCE           ART          LOGOS           CONTACT
Web Analytics