ORPHIC FRAGMENT 4 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment from Plátôn (Πλάτων) states that the just are rewarded and the unjust are punished, this according to Mousaios. 

4. (227. 267) Πολιτεία Πλάτωνος Book II 363 c. d: 

Μουσαῖος δὲ τούτων (sc. Hesiodi et Homeri) νεανικώτερα τἀγαθὰ καὶ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ παρὰ θεῶν διδόασιν τοῖς δικαίοις· εἰς Ἅιδου γὰρ ἀγαγόντες τῶι λόγωι καὶ κατακλίναντες καὶ συμπόσιον τῶν ὁσίων κατασκευάσαντες ἐστεφανωμένους ποιοῦσιν τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον ἤδη διάγειν μεθύοντας, ἡγησάμενοι κάλλιστον ἀρετῆς μισθὸν μέθην αἰώνιον. οἱ δ᾽ ἔτι τούτων μακροτέρους ἀποτείνουσιν μισθοὺς παρὰ θεῶν· παῖδας γὰρ παίδων φασὶ καὶ γένος κατόπισθεν λείπεσθαι τοῦ ὁσίου καὶ εὐόρκου. ταῦτα δὴ καὶ ἄλλα τοιαῦτα ἐγκωμιάζουσιν δικαιοσύνην· τοὺς δὲ ἀνοσίους αὖ καὶ ἀδίκους εἰς πηλόν τινα κατορύττουσιν ἐν Ἅιδου καὶ κοσκίνωι ὕδωρ ἀναγκάζουσι φέρειν, ἔτι τε ζῶντας εἰς κακὰς δόξας ἄγοντες, ἅπερ Γλαύκων περὶ τῶν δικαίων δοξαζομένων δὲ ἀδίκων διῆλθε τιμωρήματα, ταῦτα περὶ τῶν ἀδίκων λέγουσιν, ἄλλα δὲ οὐκ ἔχουσιν. ὁ μὲν οὖν ἔπαινος καὶ ὁ ψόγος οὗτος ἑκατέρων. 

“Still grander are the gifts of heaven which Musaeus and his son vouchsafe to the just; they take them down into the world below, where they have the saints lying on couches at a feast, everlastingly drunk, crowned with garlands; their idea seems to be that an immortality of drunkenness is the highest meed (reward) of virtue. Some extend their rewards yet further; the posterity, as they say, of the faithful and just shall survive to the third and fourth generation. This is the style in which they praise justice. But about the wicked there is another strain; they bury them in a slough (swamp) in Hades, and make them carry water in a sieve; also while they are yet living they bring them to infamy, and inflict upon them the punishments which Glaucon described as the portion of the just who are reputed to be unjust; nothing else does their invention supply. Such is their manner of praising the one and censuring the other.”

(trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892) 

Qui filius Musaei dictus sit, dubium. Quamvis de Eumolpo certe cogitari possit (Maaβ Orph. 111), tamen Orphicos a Platone significatos esse credimus (Rohde Psyche II6 129 n. 3).

  

Cf. Βίοι Παράλληλοι Πλουτάρχου· Κίμωνος και Λευκόλλου Σύγκρισις c. 1: 

Πλάτων ἐπισκώπτει τοὺς περὶ τὸν Ὀρφέα τοῖς εὖ βεβιωκόσι φάσκοντας ἀποκεῖσθαι γέρας ἐν Ἅιδου μέθην αἰώνιον. 

“...like that life of eternal drunkenness which Plato sneers at the Orphic school for promising to their disciples as their reward hereafter.” (trans. Aubrey Stewart & George Long, 1844–1848)

  

Verba παῖδας γὰρ παίδων κτλ. Homerum ex Orpheo mutuatum esse opinatur Serv. ad Vergil. Aeneis III 98 (et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis) nati natorum propter illud ‘et masuram urbem’. nam oraculum semper ad petita respondet. sane hic versus Homeri (Ἰλιὰς Ὁμήρου 20.308 καὶ παιδων παῖδες, τοί κεν μετόπισθε γένωνται. “...he and his children's children that shall be born hereafter.” trans. Samuel Butler, 1898. Cf. Macrobius Saturnalia V 3, 8) est, quem et ipse de Orpheo sustulit, item Orpheus de oraculo Apollinis Hyperborei. 

Lobeck II 952 n. X; Gruppe Suppl. 719 n. 1; Dieterich Nekyia 131 n. 3; R. Hirzel Der Eid 111 n., qui cum verbis Platonis γένος --- τοῦ ὁσίου καὶ εὐόρκου comparat Ὀλυμπιονῖκαι Πινδάρου III 73 εὐσεβεῖ γνώμαι φυλάσσοντες μακάρων τελετάς et carminis Orphici ΟΡΚΟΙ mentionem facit.


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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