ORPHIC FRAGMENT 49 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment comes from an ancient papyrus (Berlin Papyrus Berolinensis [13044 V]) which tells the story of the abduction of Pærsæphónî (Περσεφόνη).

Introduction: Fragment 49 is text from the cartonnage (material from the funerary mask) of an ancient Egyption mummy thought to have been written out in the 2nd or 1st century BCE. The scroll includes two distinct texts, one written on the folium rectum (the top or smooth side) containing fragments of an ancient novel about Alexander the Great’s encounter with the Gymnosophists (Γυμνοσοφισταί), along with the Laterculi Alexandrini, a list of famous people and places, neither documents concerned with our subject.

Our text is on the folium versum, the reverse side of the papyrus, and it preserves an account of the abduction of rsæphónî (Περσεφόνη). The text is highly fragmented, and there exist several proposed reconstructions of the missing areas. We are using the version found in the Orphicorum Fragmenta of Otto Kern, 1922, almost exclusively. There are several words which this translator found problematic and, therefore, chose to use the proposals found in Alberto Bernabè’s more recent collection of Orphic fragments (Poetae Epici Graeci Testimonia et fragmenta, Pars. II, Orphicorum et Orphicis similium testimonia et fragmenta, fasc. 1, Monachii et Lipsiae), all these duly noted. 

The story here is presented as that told by Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) himself, and passed down to Mousaios, who then wrote it out. It begins with child-like Pærsæphónî and the daughters of Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός), playing and picking flowers. In the midst of all this innocence, the earth opens up and Áidîs (Ἅιδης), with the cooperation of Zefs (Ζεύς), carries her away in his chariot drawn by black horses. The abduction of Pærsæphónî is usually described as a “rape,” but the text uses the word ἀπάγω, which means “to carry off” or “abduct.” Ὁμηρικὸς Ὕμνος 2 Εις Δίμητραν, likely the most familiar telling of the story, uses the word ἁρπάζω, which has the same meaning, “to snatch away” or “carry off.” In Liddell, Scott and Jones, the most criminal definition of ἁρπάζω is “to captivate” or “ravish,” quite less severe than the usual translation “rape.”  

The rest of the tale is not so very different from the Homeric hymn, with a notable exception: Mætáneira (Μετάνειρα), the wife of  Kælæós (Κελεός) and mother of Dîmophóôn (Δημοφόων), is absent. In her place we find Vavvóh (Baubo, Βαυβώ). Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ), who has left Sicily in search of her daughter, is welcomed into the house of Kælæós, and she begins to make Dîmophóôn immortal, but while placing the child in the fire, she is secretly observed by Vavvóh, who cries out in horror, causing Dîmítîr to abandon her task in anger, exasperated at the foolishness of mankind. She then reveals herself as the great Goddess of fruitfulness. The text ends shortly after this in fragmentation, so we do not know if it continued to follow the storyline of the Homeric hymn, although it is likely it did so.

Reconstruction of the text: The Descent of Pærsæphónî

(This is a paraphrase of the text, taking certain liberties, even somewhat re-arranging the sections. Since the story is very good, I could not resist producing a version in a more poetic form, with better English than is possible in direct translation. For the literal text, see the ancient Greek columns with their accompanying translations below this reconstruction.) 

Here is a story told by Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς), the son of Íagros (Οἴαγρος) and Kalliópî (Καλλιόπη) the Mousa (Μοῦσα). And from the Mousai (Μοῦσαι), King Apóllôn (Ἀπόλλων) blew upon them, whence divine inspiration was born. He composed these hymns, little things which Mousaios restored from memory and wrote down. He received all of this from Orphéfs: the secret rites of worship, not only for the Greeks but also for the barbarians; and he declares that in every act of worship one should be attentive concerning the rites, mysteries, purifications, and oracles.

Let us pray to Goddess Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ), who in this story is foremost along with her daughter. Orphéfs said that she is the sister of Zefs (Ζεύς). Others say that she is his mother. But of those who say impious things, while finding them in his memory, Mousaios refrained from writing them down.

Orphéfs maintains that the first daughter of Zefs and Dîmítîr is Pærsæphónî (Περσεφόνη), the Kórî (Κόρη). Once, while yet a child, she was amusing herself with the daughters of Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός) whose names follow. All these things we know because they are attested by Orphéfs himself. Pærsæphónî was playing with Lefkíppî (Λευκίππη), Phanærí (Φανερή), Îlǽktra (Ἠλέκτρα), Iánthi Mîlovosís (Ἰάνθι Μηλοβοσίς), Týkhî (Τύχη), blushing Ôkyróî (Ὠκυρόη), Krysîís (Χρυσηΐς), Iáneirá (Ἰάνειρά), Akástî (Ἀκάστη), Admítî (Ἀδμήτη), Rodópî (Ῥοδόπη) Ploutóh (Πλουτώ), charming Kallypsó (Καλυψώ), Styx Ouranía (Οὐρανία), and Galaxávrî (Γαλαξαύρη), all these Goddesses so lovely and beautiful!

Until this time, Pærsæphónî and her friends had been dancing together like silly children. They were pleasing their simple desires, making floral-ribbons from blossoms of krókos (κρόκος), hyacinth (ὑάκινθος), and buds of roses, and this made them happy as little children, but such innocence was a trap for the blushing girl. Finding a narcissus (νάρκισσος) flower, and astonished at its beauty, Kórî ran to it. When she plucked the flower with her hands, from this very action, it is said that the earth came apart, and from out of the earth, Áidîs (Ἅιδης) came up to swallow her away on his chariot with horses. So, he carried away Kórî, taking her for himself, and Zefs (Ζεύς) assisted his brother with thunder and lightning, placing black horses on the axles of the chariot; these very horses are established in the pasture of Ártæmis (Ἄρτεμις) for her to ride while practicing archery.  But now, by the designs of Zefs to indulge his brother Ploutôn Polydéktîs, the earth became a glittering wonder, and this marvel was witnessed with astonishment by all the immortal Gods and mortal men, for from the foundation of the earth, Ploutô created a crevice a hundred headlong deep. Along the Nysian plain, lord polydǽgmôn Ploutôn, the famous son of Krónos, darted forth with his immortal stallions.

As long as the young Goddess could behold the earth, and the starry sky, the strong-rushing sea full of fish, and the light of the sun, she yet had hope to again see her dear mother and the races of immortal Gods. But now Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) heard the cries of her daughter and shouted out so as to be heeded by all. In her lamentation, Dîmítîr wailed over Kórî, so that Kalliópî (Καλλιόπη), Kleisidíkî (Κλεισιδίκη), and Dîmóhnassa (Δημώνασσα), who had come along with the queen to fetch water, inquired of the Goddess, as though she were mortal, and came to her aid in regards to her needs, as Mousaios says in his tales. Indeed, they tried to discover the cause of her grief, and to offer her kindness. Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) first asked for help from Ækátî (Ἑκάτη), who agreed to assist her. She then left Sicily and wandered throughout the earth in search of her daughter, but at the the gates of the city of King Kælæós (Κελεός), she conceiled her identity.

Entering the palace and seeing Dîmophóôn (Δημοφόων), the beautiful child, Dîmítîr freely put herself at the disposal of Vavvóh (Βαυβώ), to nurse the little one herself, for love of the child, and she offered do so entirely by herself. Dîmítîr was now already in the home, agreeing to be their guest, together with the youngster, for a nurse such as this was needed there. Now, every night, she anointed the little one with amvrosía (ἀμβροσία), and she lowered the child into the fire, being careful at morning to escape notice, when the youth was taken up by his parents. As concerns the desire of the boy, he was not suckling at the breast like a typical child, but was taking other sustenance, becoming well-nourished and beautiful, such that Vavvóh was astonished at the remarkable, thriving-condition of the child, so at night, peeking through the door lest she be apprehended, Vavvóh saw Dîmítîr placing the child into the fire, and was seized with fear, producing a horrible cry. “Dîmophóôn (Δημοφόων), my son! This strange woman conceals you in the great fire, and now I wail as she heaps up sorrowful troubles!”

And then long-suffering Dîmítîr became angry and said, “Senseless mankind, suffering such hard things!   You do not have foresight, of neither what is bad nor good! Such folly! and now to waste all my many trials at night with the child! Instantly you have snatched away immortality from the boy! For even now, not all souls need be subject to decay. He came to me as a mortal, and the Goddesses of death fled from him, and now the little one has lost this chance! And you, Dîmophóôn, have been killed!” And at once standing up, she disclosed her identity: “For I am Dîmítîr who brings fruits in their season and bestows fine gifts. Which celestial God, or who of mortal men has carried off Pærsæphónî and beguiled her sweet heart?’

Thus, this story is called by Orphéfs The Descent of Pærsæphónî.”
(reconstructed by the author)

49. Tractatus Papyrus Berol. [13044] 44 saec. I a. Chr. (Schubart et Wilcken; saec. II Diels) editus a W. Schubartio et F. Buechelero adiutis a Dielesio Berl. Klassikertexte V 1 p. 7 n. 2. Partim ad. etiam Diels II3 173 n. 15 a. Egerunt de papyro quoque Croenert Lit. Centralbl. 1907, 442; T. W. Allen Classical Review XXI 1907, 97; K. F. W. Schmidt Wochenschr. kl. Phil. XXV 1908, 281; Ludwich Berl. philol. Wochenschr. 1919, 999. 1028. Utor quoque imagine lucis ope confecta, quam mihi benigne suppeditavit W. Schubart. Multa admodum obscura sunt. Ad meum usum papyrum nuper inspexit Udalricus Wilcken. Adhibui etiam schedulas mihi a Croenertio libraliter traditas.

I. <Ὀρφεὺς υἱὸς ἦν Οἰάγ>ρου καὶ Καλλιόπης τῆς
<Μούσης, ὁ δὲ Μουσ>ῶν βασιλεὺς Ἀπόλλων τού-
<τωι ἐπέπνευσεν, ὅθεν> ἔνθεος γενόμενος
<ἐποίησεν τοὺς ὕμνους,> οὓς ὀλίγα Μουσαῖος ἐπα-
<νορθώσας κατέγρ>αψεν· παρέδωκεν δὲ    
5
<τὰ Ὀρφέως ὄργι>α σέβεσθαι ῞Ελλησίν τε καὶ
<βαρβάροις, καὶ κ>α<θ᾿> ἕκαστον σέβημα ἦν ἐ-
<πιμελέστατος περὶ> τελετὰς καὶ μυστήρια καὶ
<καθαρμοὺς καὶ> μαντεῖα. τ<ὴ>ν Δ<ή>μητρα θε<ὰν>
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . υ . ας ἡ τ . ς . . . π . νουσας    
10
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . τῆς Δήμη<τ>ρος ετ . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . διᾶγοι α . . . καὶ . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . <τα>ύτης ἐχθρ<ὸ>ς . . . . 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ως . . .

“(Here is a tale of) Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς), the son of Íagros (Οἴαγρος) and Kalliópî (Καλλιόπη) the
Mousa (Μοῦσα). And of the Mousai (Μοῦσαι), King Apóllôn (Ἀπόλλων)
blew upon them, whence divine inspiration was born.
He composed the hymns, little things which Mousaios restored (to  memory) 
and wrote down.  But he received them    5
from Orphéfs: the secret rites of worship, for both the Greeks and the
barbarians; and that in every act of worship (one should) be
attentive concerning the rites, mysteries, and
purifications and oracles. To Goddess Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(too fragmentary) . . . . . . ”    10
(trans. by the author)

sequuntur nonnulli versus qui legi nequeunt

II. <ὁ Ὀ>ρφεὺς . . Διὸς ἀδελφὴν παραδέδωκεν,    15
οἱ δὲ μητέρα· ὧν οὐθὲν τῶν εὐσεβούν-
των εἰς ἐπίμνησιν <πε>ποίηται· ἔ<χ>ει γὰρ ἐ<κ>
Διὸς καὶ Δήμητρ<ος> θυγατρ<ὸς> ἀρχήν, Φερ-
σεφόνη<ς . . .>εκου . η . συμπαρουσῶν
τῶν <Ώκεα>νοῦ θυγατέρ<ω>ν ὀνόματα    
20
τα<ῦτα ἐκ τῶν> Ὀρφέως ἐπῶν. Λευ<κ>ίππη
Φανερή <τε> καὶ Ἠλέκτρη[ι] καὶ Ἰάν<θ>[ι] Μηλο-
βοσί<ς τε Τ>ύχη τε <καὶ> Ὠκυρόη καλυκῶπ<ις>
Χρ<υσηίς τ᾿ Ἰάνε>ιρά τ᾿ Ἀκάστη τ᾿ Ἀδμή<τη τε>
καὶ Ῥ<οδόπη Πλουτώ τε καὶ ἱμερό>εσσα Κ<α->   
25
<λυψὼ καὶ Στὺξ Ο>ὐρανίη τε Γαλαξ<αύρη τ᾿>
ἐρ<ατεινή· . . . κα>λλιερ . . τ . ν δε . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
λε . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
θυγα<τ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    
30
υνης . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) . . handed down (tales that she is) the sister of Zefs (Ζεύς),    15
but others (say that she is) mother; but of those not living in piety, he committed 
to memory (but did not write down). For he maintains that
the first daughter of Zefs and Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) (is)
Pærsæphónî (Περσεφόνη), . . . (?) . . (and that she was) playing together with
the daughters of Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός) whose names follow;    
20
these things according to Orphéfs. Lefkíppî (Λευκίππη),
Phanærí (Φανερή), Îlǽktra (Ἠλέκτρα), Iánthi Mîlovosís (Ἰάνθι Μηλοβοσίς),
Týkhî (Τύχη), blushing Ôkyróî (Ὠκυρόη),
Krysîís (Χρυσηΐς), Iáneirá (Ἰάνειρά), Akástî (Ἀκάστη), Admítî (Ἀδμήτη),
Rodópî (Ῥοδόπη) Ploutóh (Πλουτώ), charming Kallypsó (Καλυψώ),    
25
Styx Ouranía (Οὐρανία), and Galaxávrî (Γαλαξαύρη), and 
lovely . . . beautiful . . . . . ”
(trans. by the author)

deficit papyrus

III. ναρκίσ<σο>υ, <ἐφ’ ὃν ἡ Κόρη θ>αμβήσασα ἐπέδρα-
μεν· καὶ <δὴ ταύτης τα>ῖς χερσὶν βουλομένης
ἀνασπάσα<σθαι? αὐτόν, τότε> λέγεται τὴν γῆ<ν>    
35
χα<ν>εῖν καὶ <ἐκ γῆς> τὸν Ἀϊδωνέα ἀναβ<άν>τα
ἐφ’ ἅρμ<ατος> κ<αὶ ἐφ’> ἵππων συναρπά<σ>αντα
τὴν Κό<ρην ἀπαγαγεῖ>ν· τὸν δὲ Δία βρονταῖς
καὶ ἀ<στρ>απαῖ<ς καὶ ὗ>ς ἐπαξονεῖν μελαίνα<ς,>
<α>ἳ δ<ίδονται ὡς ν>ομαὶ Ἀρτέμιδος τοξεί<αι,>    
40
Ἀθηνᾶς . . . . . . . . . . . χοίρας μιᾶς· ὧν
τ . . ου . . . . . . . . . . . . . . η βραβευτὴς δυσ-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . πι . . . . ἐπὶ τῆ το<ῦ .>
. . . . . . . . . . . . . ν . . . νος . . . . . . . . . <κ>αὶ
<τῶν σ>υν<παιζ>ουσῶν καταγελασθείη· <ἐπεὶ->    
45
<δὴ> δὲ <ἤκου>σ<ε> τῆς γεγωνυίας ἡ Δημήτηρ,
<ἐκ> Σ<ικ>ελίας ἐξελθοῦσα ἐπλανᾶτο κατὰ
<γῆν· ἣ δ>ὲ πε<ρὶ> τ<ὴν> πόλιν ἀφανὴς γέγονεν
. . . . . . . . . ουτι . . . ενκ . ελ . ακ . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . ειης . . . . . . . . . . ς ε . . . . . . . ε    
50 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“(Finding) a narcissus (νάρκισσος) flower, and astonished (at its beauty), Kórî (Κόρη) ran to it.
And from this action, when she desired to pluck it herself
with her hands, it is said that the earth came apart.   
35
And from out of the earth to swallow her, Áidîs (Ἅιδης) came up
on his chariot with horses, and carried away
Kórî, taking her for himself. But Zefs (Ζεύς), with thunder
and lightning, placed black horses on the axles;*
they are established in the pasture of Ártæmis (Ἄρτεμις) for her archery.    
40
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . (too fragmentary) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and
from absurdly dancing together like children. But when    
45
Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) heard (
the cries of Kórî); she shouted out so as to be heeded.
She left Sicily and wandered throughout 
the earth, but at the city she concealed herself.”
(trans. by the author)

IV. ειν τ<ὴν> συμφοράζουσαν στενάχειν ὑπὲρ
τῆς θυγατρός· Καλλιόπης δὲ καὶ Κλ<ει>σι<δί>κης
καὶ Δημ<ω>ν<άσ>σης μετὰ τῆς βασιλί<σσ>ης ἐ<φ᾿> ὑ-
δρείαν ἐλθουσῶν πυνθάνεσθαι τῆ<ς> Δήμη-    
55
τρος ὡς θνητῆς τινος, χρείας δ᾿ ἕν<εκ>ά
τινος αὐτὴν παραγεγονένα<ι> ὁ Μ<ουσα>ῖο<ς>
διὰ τῶν ἐπῶν αὐτοῦ λέγων ἐστίν . . . . αν· ἐν
μὲν <τ>ο<ῖ>ς λ<ιτ>οίς δεῖ τὴν αἰτίαν αἰτεῖ<ν> μετ’ εὐ-
εργεσίαν θ . . . . . . τομεν, ἐρα<σθέ>ντι δ’ ἐν ταινία    
60
κρόκον μυάκ<α>νθον (ὑάκινθον?) <καὶ> ἀκ<αλλίδ>ας* εὐτεκνείας
ναῦν, ἐπ[ε]ιπλεκ<τ>έον ἀεὶ ε . σε . . ἔνθα πρὸς αὐτο . ς
. . . . . . . . . . α . . η<. . . . ‘καλυ>κώπ<ι>δι κ<ο>ύρῃ
<Γαῖα Διὸ>ς βουλ<ῆσι χαριζομέ>νη <Πολυδέ->
κ<τῃ, θ>αυμαστὸν <γ>αν<όωντα, σέβας τ>ότε πᾶ-    
65
<σι>ν ἰδ<έσθαι ἀθ>αν<ά>τοις τε <θεοῖς ἠδὲ θ>νητοῖς
<ἀνθ>ρώποις. <τοῦ> καὶ ἀπὸ ῥί<ζης ἑκατὸν κάρα ἐξε-> 
<νεχύκει . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“In her lamentation, she wailed over
her daughter, so Kalliópî (Καλλιόπη), Kleisidíkî (Κλεισιδίκη),
and Dîmóhnassa (Δημώνασσα), who came along with the queen
to fetch water, inquired of Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ),    
55
as though she were mortal, and came to her aid in regards to
her needs, as Mousaios
says in his tales. 
Indeed, in these supplications there is need to ask why, and then offer
comfort.  To please their desires, they made floral-ribbons from    60
krókos (κρόκος), hyacinth (ὑάκινθος), and buds of roses,* (and this made them) happy as children,
. . . . . . . . . (too fragmentary) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (. . . this being a trap) for the blushing girl.
And the Earth (Γαῖα), by the designs of Zefs (Ζεύς) to indulge Polydéktîs (Πολυδέκτης, i.e. Πλούτων),
a glittering wonder, was seen with astonishment    
65
by all the immortal Gods and mortal 
men, for from the foundation of the earth, (Ploutô) had produced** a (crevice) a hundred headlong (deep).”
(trans. by the author)

*Alberto Bernabè suggests κ[άλυκ]ας instead of ἀκ<αλλίδ>ας which seems more reasonable to this author.
** assuming <νεχύκει to be [πεφύκει] as suggested by Bernabè.

deficit papyrus

V. Νέσ<ιον> ἂμ πεδίον τ<ῆ ὄρουσεν ἄναξ πολυδέ->
γμων ἵπποις ἀθανάτα<ισι Κρόνου πολυώνυ->    70
μος υἱός. ὄφρα μὲν οὖ<ν γαῖάν τε καὶ οὐρανὸν>
ἀστερόεντα λεῦσσε θεὰ <καὶ πόντον> ἀγά<ρ‐>
ρουν ἰχθυό<ε>ντα αὐγά<ς> τ’ ἠελίου, ἔτι ἤλ<πε‐>
<το μητ>έρα <κε>δνὴν <ὄ>ψεσθαι καὶ φῦλα θε<ῶν>
αἰειγ<ενετάων’ . . . > κ . . ἡ Δημήτηρ ὑπὸ    75
τ<ῆ>ς Ἑ<κάτης? ὡς πρῶτον ἠ>ρωτήθη, ἔφη . .
ση . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . σιθη . νη . . . .
πα . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
αι . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
<ἑ>τοιμ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    80

“Along the Nysian plain, there lord polydǽgmôn (πολυδέγμων, i.e. Ploutôn) darted forth
on his immortal stallions, the famous son of Krónos.    
70
Indeed, so long as the Goddess could see
the earth and the starry sky,
and the strong-rushing sea full of fish, and the light of the sun, she yet had hope
to again see her dear mother and the races of Gods
who are immortal . . . . . Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) from     
75
Ækátî (Ἑκάτη) asked (for help) before (asking the others); she said yes . . . 
. . . . (too fragmentary) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”
(trans. by the author)

sequuntur nonnulli versus qui legi nequeunt

VI. ε, <δί>δωσι δ<ὲ α>ὐτῆι Β[ρ]αυβὼ[ι] παιδίον, <ὃ τι>θηνήσεται,
<ἀγαπ>ᾷ <δὲ καὶ πάν>υ αὐτήν· ἡ δὲ Δημήτη<ρ ἤδη> εἰς <οἶ>κον
κ<αταινέσασ>α κ<α>τάξ<ε>σθαι σὺν τῶι πα<ιδί>ωι . . . . . .
<οἷα δεῖ τιθ>ήνην, καὶ ἀμβροσίαι χρ<ίο>υσα <τὸ> παιδίον
<καθῆ>κεν <δι>ὰ ν<υ>κτὸς εἰς τὴν πυράν, πρωὶ δὲ λ<αθο>ῦσα    
85
<τοὺς γονεῖς> ἀνελάμβανεν· τοῦ δὲ παιδίου οὐ βου-
<λομένου> θηλάζειν οὐδὲ προσφορὰν ἄλλην λαμβάνον-
τος, <ἀλλ’ ὄν>τος εὐτρόφου καὶ καλοῦ, ἔκθαμβος γενηθεῖσα
ἡ Β<αυβὼ> ἐπὶ τῆι <τοῦ> παιδίου εὐτροφίᾳ, νυκτὸς
α<ἰσθομέν>η <διἀ> τῆς θύρα<ς> τὴν μὴ νοήσασαν ἐνκρύ-    
90
π<του>σαν τὸ παιδίον εἰς πυρὰν καὶ ὑπολαβοῦσα
<ἄρρη>τα γείν<ε>σθαι ἀνεβόα· ‘τέκνον Δημοφόων,
<ξείνη δε πυρῇ ἔνι πο>λλῇ κρύπτ<ει, ἐμοὶ> δὲ γό<ο>ν
<καὶ κήδεα λυγρὰ τ>ίθησιν’· <τότε δ>ὲ ἡ Δημήτηρ βαρὺ
<ὀργισθεῖσα εἶπ>ε<ν·> ‘ἄφρονε<ς> ἄνθ<ρω>ποι, δυστλήμονες   
95
<οὔτε κακοῖο ὔμμιν ἐπ>ερ<χομένου πρ>ογνώμονες οὔτ’ α-
<γ>α<θοἷο· . . . γ>ἀρ ἀφραδί<η . . . . . . .>μος πολὺ πείρατι νυ-
κτὸς τη . . . . . . . . . εκ . α . . . . . . ἥρπασεν ἀγηρ . . .
<. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . νῦν δ’ οὐκ ἐσθ’ ὥς <κεν θά>ν ατον
<καὶ κῆρας ἀλύξαι.’ καὶ τὸ παι>δίον ἐπι . κ . . . σα καίει    
100


Now (Dîmítîr)  freely offered (herself) to Vavvóh (Βαυβώ) to nurse the little one herself,
for love (of the child), and (to do so) all by herself. But Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) was now already in the home,
agreeing to be received as a guest, together with the youngster . . . . . .
And a nurse such as this was needed. With amvrosía (ἀμβροσία) she anointed the little one,
while throughout the night, she lowered (the child) into the fire, but at morning escaping notice,    
85
(the youth then) taken up by his parents. As concerns the desires of the child,
he was not suckling (at the breast), but taking other (sustenance),
becoming well-nourished and beautiful, such that Vavvóh was astonished at the remarkable
thriving-condition of the child, so at night, 
peeking through the door, lest perchance she be apprehended,    
90
(she saw) the child (being placed) into the fire, and was seized with fear,
producing a horrible cry. ‘Dîmophóôn (
Δημοφόων), my son! 
This strange woman conceals you in the great fire, and now I wail
as she heaps up sorrowful troubles!’ And then long-suffering Dîmítîr
became angry and said, ‘Senseless mankind, suffering such hard things!    
95
You do not have foresight, neither for what is bad nor good!
. . . . for folly . . . . . . my many trials of the
night there . . . . . . . . . . . . . (yet instantly) you have snatched away immortality (from the child) . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . but even now, not all of you are (subject to decay); he came (to me as a) mortal 
and the Goddesses of death fled from him!’ And now the little one (has lost it!)’ . . . . . . . . . .”   100
(trans. by the author)


VII. καὶ ἀποκτείνει <κ>αὶ ὀ<ρθ>ῶς αὑτὴν δια<καλύπτει>·
λέγει γάρ· ‘εἰμὶ δὲ Δη<μ>ήτηρ ὡρηφόρ<ος ἀγλαό->
δωρος. τίς θεὸς οὐράνιος ἠὲ θν<η>τῶ<ν ἀνθρώ->
πων ἥρπασε Φερσεφ<ό>νην καὶ <ἑὸν φίλον ἤπα->
φε θυμόν;’ τοῦ δὲ Κ<ελε?>οῦ εἰς <τὴν αὐλὴν ἀνα->    
105
βάντος ἐς ἀγροῦ τ . . . . . . . . α . . . . . . .
ε . ε μὲν ἀφεικότος . . . . . . . . . . . . .
τὴν μητέρα, τίς ἡ ξέ<νη . . . . . . . . . . .
τὴν θυγατέρα ζη<τ . . . . . . . . . . . . . εἰ->
πόντος τῆι μ<η>τ<ρὶ . . . . . . . . . . . . .    
110
ἡ δὲ Δημήτηρ <. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . σε->
βασ<τ>ῆς? εὶπειν . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
κύρ<ιον τῶ>ν πάν<των . . . . . . . . . . λει-
π<ο>μένου φωνῆς . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ει . . . τά<ς μ>ελαίνα<ς . . . . . . . . . . . . .    
115
χ<. .>με. τι θεος α . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
στημουχοιραεν . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
πέποται ἕως τῶν . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
πρὸς Τριπτ<όλ>εμο<ν . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
ὅθεν Κάθοδος λέγ<ε>τ<αι.>    120

“ Even now, you (Dîmophóôn) have been killed!’ and, standing up, she discloses her identity. 
For she says: ‘I am Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) who brings fruits in their season,
bestowing fine gifts. Which celestial God or who of mortal men
has carried off Pærsæphónî (Περσεφόνη) and beguiled her sweet
heart?’ And of (King) Kælæós (Κελεός) having gone up 
to play on the flute   105
from the field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . indeed from discharging . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
to the mother, the foreign woman . . . . . . . . . 
the daughter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
the sea with the mother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    
110
but Dîmítîr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
of the venerable one it was said . . . . . . . . . .
master of all . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
from leaving behind her cry . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . the black . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    
115
. . . . . . which God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
στημουχοιραεν ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
she drank (κυκεὼν) her . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
to Triptólæmos (Τριπτόλεμος) . . . . . . . . . . . . 
Thus it is called by him (Ὀρφεὺς) The Descent (of Pærsæphónî).”    120
(trans. by the author)

Versus hymni in Cererem Homerici Orphicus mutuatus est hosce: vs. 20-27 = Ὁμηρικὸς Ὕμνος 2 Εις Δίμητραν 418-424:


Λευκίππη Φαινώ τε (Φανερή τε Orph.) καὶ Ἠλέκτρη καὶ Ἰάνθη
καὶ Μελίτη Ἰάχη τε Ῥόδειά τε Καλλιρόη τε
Μηλόβοσίς τε Τύχη τε καὶ Ὠκυρόη καλυκῶπις 420
Χρυσηίς τ᾽ Ἰάνειρά τ᾽ Ἀκάστη τ᾽ Ἀδμήτη τε
καὶ Ῥοδόπη Πλουτώ τε καὶ ἱμερόεσσα Καλυψὼ
καὶ Στὺξ Οὐρανίη τε Γαλαξαύρη τ᾽ ἐρατεινὴ
Παλλάς τ᾽ ἐγρεμάχη καὶ Ἄρτεμις ἰοχέαιρα.

“(All we were playing in a lovely meadow,) Leucippe and Phaeno and Electra and Ianthe,
Melita also and Iache with Rhodea and Callirhoe and
Melobosis and Tyche and Ocyrhoe, fair as a flower,
Chryseis, Ianeira, Acaste and Admete and
Rhodope and Pluto and charming Calypso;
Styx too was there and Urania and lovely Galaxaura
with Pallas who rouses battles and Artemis delighting in arrows.”
(trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

 

Desunt igitur 419, ut ap. Pausan. IV 30, 4, et 424, v. Malten 423 n. 1. vs. 63-71 = Hom. 8 (v. supra adn.) -18 (= 32); desunt 13-16 deficiente papyro. vs. 71-75 = Hom. 33-36. vs. 92-94 = Hom. 248. 249. vs. 95-100 = Ὁμηρικὸς Ὕμνος 2 Εις Δίμητραν 256-262:


νήϊδες ἄνθρωποι καὶ ἀφράδμονες οὔτ᾽ ἀγαθοῖο
αἶσαν ἐπερχομένου προγνώμεναι οὔτε κακοῖο·
καὶ σὺ γὰρ ἀφραδίηισι τεῆις νήκεστον ἀάσθης.
ἴστω γὰρ θεῶν
(Διὸς Nauck Mél. IV 443) ὅρκος, ἀμείλικτον Στυγὸς ὕδωρ,
ἀθάνατόν κέν τοι καὶ ἀγήραον ἤματα πάντα
παῖδα φίλον ποίησα καὶ ἄφθιτον ὤπασα τιμήν·
νῦν δ᾽ οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὥς κεν θάνατον καὶ κῆρας ἀλύξαι.


“Witless are you mortals and dull to foresee your lot,
whether of good or evil, that comes upon you.
For now in your heedlessness you have wrought folly past healing;
for — be witness the oath of the Gods, the relentless water of Styx —
I would have made your dear son deathless and unaging all his days
and would have bestowed on him everlasting honor,
but now he can in no way escape death and the fates.”
(Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)
 

vs. 102 = Ὁμηρικὸς Ὕμνος 2 Εις Δίμητραν 268: 

εἰμὶ δὲ Δημήτηρ


“Lo! I am that Demeter”
(Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)
 

+ 54: 

ὡρηφόρε, ἀγλαόδωρε 


“bringer of seasons and giver of good gifts”
(Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

  

vs. 103-105 = Ὕμνος 2 Εις Δίμητραν 55. 56: 


τίς θεῶν οὐρανίων ἠὲ θνητῶν ἀνθρώπων
ἥρπασε Περσεφόνην καὶ σὸν φίλον ἤκαχε θυμόν

“What God of heaven or what mortal man has rapt away Persephone and pierced with sorrow your dear heart?” (Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

  

Ad initium tractatus cf. Celsum ap. Origin. VII 41 (II 192, 1 Koetsch.): 

εἶτ’ οὖν Ὀρφέα βούλεται ἔνθεον εἶναι ποιητὴν εἴτε Παρμενίδην εἴτ’ Ἐμπεδοκλέα εἴτε καὶ αὐτὸν Ὅμηρον ἢ καὶ Ἡσίοδον 

“But whether Orpheus, Parmenides, Empedocles, or even Homer himself, and Hesiod, are the persons whom he means by inspired poets,...” 

(trans. Frederick Crombie, 1885)

  

et VII 53 (II 203, 12 Koetsch.):

φέρε, εἰ μὴ ἤρεσκεν Ἡρακλῆς καὶ Ἀσκληπιὸς καὶ οἱ πάλαι δεδοξασμένοι, Ὀρφέα εἴχετε, ἄνδρα ὁμολογουμένως ὁσίωι χρησάμενον πνεύματι καὶ αὐτὸν βιαίως ἀποθανόντα (cf. 54 p. 204, 9). 

“Why, if you were not satisfied with Hercules or Æsculapius, and other heroes of antiquity, you had Orpheus, who was confessedly a divinely inspired man, who died a violent death.

(trans. Frederick Crombie, 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               

 

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