ORPHIC FRAGMENT 48 - OTTO KERN

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

48. (209) Λόγος παραινέτικος πρὸς Ἕλληνας Ἰουστίνου μάρτυρος
(pseudo-Justin Martyr, Cohortatio ad Graecos) 17 b p. 66 Otto:

ὁ δὲ ποιητὴς Ὅμηρος, τῆι τῆς ποιήσεως ἀποχρώμερος ἐξουσίαι καὶ τὴν ἐν ἀρχῆι τῆς πολυθεότητος Ὀρφέως ζηλώσας δόξαρ, μυθωδῶς μὲν πλειόνων θεών μέμνηται, ἵνα μὴ δόξηι τῆς Ὀρφεως ὀπάιδειν ποιήσεως, ἣν οὕτως ζηλῶσαι προὔθετο, ὡς καὶ διὰ τοῦ πρώτου τῆς ποιήσεως ἔπους τὴν πρὸς αὐτὸν σημῆναι σχεσιν. τοῦ γὰρ Ὀρφέως·

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Δημήτερος ἀγλαοκάρπου

ἐν ἀρχῆι τῆς ποιήσεως εἰρηκότος, αὐτὸς

'Μῖνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος'

γέγραφεν, ἑλόμενος, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ, ἐν ἀρχῆι καὶ τοῦ κατὰ τὴν νοίησιν ἐκπεσεῖν μέτρου, ἵνα μὴ δόξηι τοῦ τῶν θεῶν ὀνόματος μὴ μεμνῆσθαι πρῶτον. [1]  Versum Orphicum affert etiam Tzetz. Exeges. in Iliad. 26, 14 Herm.

[1.] μὴ μεμνῆσθαι πρῶτον CE, μεμνῆσθαι πρῶτον F, μεμνῆσθαι πρῶτος ABDG.

Herm. XVIII p. 478; Lob. II 827; Giseke 79; Buecheler Berl. Klassikertexte V 1, 17.

“And the poet Homer, using the license of poetry, and rivalling the original opinion of Orpheus regarding the plurality of the Gods, mentions, indeed, several Gods in a mythical style, lest he should seem to sing in a different strain from the poem of Orpheus, which he so distinctly proposed to rival, that even in the first line of his poem he indicated the relation he held to him. For as Orpheus in the beginning of his poem had said,

‘O Goddess, sing the wrath of Demeter, who brings the goodly fruit,’

 Homer began thus,

"O Goddess, sing the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus,"

...preferring, as it seems to me, even to violate the poetical metre in his first line, than that he should seem not to have remembered before all else the names of the Gods.” (trans. Marcus Dods, 1885.  Ante-Nicene Fathers)



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.

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           

 

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