ORPHIC FRAGMENT 66 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: Time gave birth to Aithír causing a vast chasm to open.

66.  (52) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 138, 8 Kr. (v. Kroll Philol. LIII 1894, 561):

τίνες δὴ οὖν αἱ δυάδες αὗται; πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ἐκεῖνό μοι δοκεῖ μὴ παρέργως ὁ Πλάτων ὀνομάσαι χάσματα τὰς δύο δυάδας, ἀλλ᾿ εἰδὼς καὶ τὸν θεολόγον Ὀρφέα τούτῳ τῷ ὀνόματι καλοῦντα τὴν πασῶν κινήσεων καὶ προόδων πρωτουργὸν ἐν τοῖς νοητοῖς αἰτίαν, ἣν οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι δυάδα νοητὴν καὶ ἀόριστον προσηγόρευον·

a   Αἰθέρα μὲν Χρόνος οὗτος ἀγήραος, 1 ἀφθιτόμητις γείνατο καὶ μέγα χάσμα πελώριον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα.

καὶ μικρὸς ὕστερον· fr. 72

“What in fact are the dyads themselves? Well first then, one should not think that they are cursory, for Plátôn named the two dyads ‘chasms.' Another understanding, the theologian Orphéfs suggests by this name, that the causes of all motions and progressing primary motions lie in the intelligible, whereas the Pythagoreans call the dyad intelligible and indefinite:

a   ‘Indeed, Time (Χρόνος), the undecaying one, of immortal counsel, begot Aithír and a vast wide chasm opened on this side and that,’

and a little (one) after." (trans. by the author)

Vs. 2 καὶ μέγα ... ἔνθα citant etiam Syrian. in Aristot. Metaph. B 4 p. 1000 b 14 (43, 30 Kr.), Simplic. in Aristot. Phys. IV, 1 p. 208 b 29 (I 528, 12 Diels): 

ἔοικε δὲ τοιαύτη τις τότε τῶν Ἡσιόδου ἐπῶν ἐπιπολάζειν ἐξήγησις τὸ Χάος εἰς χώραν μεταλαμβάνουσα. δηλοῖ δὲ οὐ χώραν ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀπειροειδῆ καὶ πεπληθυσμένην τῶν θεῶν αἰτίαν, ἣν 'Ορφεὺς ‟χάσμα πελώριον'' ἐκάλεσε. μετὰ γὰρ τὴν μίαν τῶν πάντων ἀρχήν, ἣν 'Ορφεὺς Χρόνον ἀνυμνεῖ ὡς μέτρον οὖσαν τῆς μυθικῆς τῶν θεῶν γενέσεως, Αἰθέρα καὶ τὸ “πελώριον χάσμὰ” προελθεῖν φησι, τὸν μὲν τῆς περατοειδοῦς προόδου τῶν θεῶν αἴτιον, τὸ δὲ τῆς ἀπειροειδοῦς. καὶ λέγει περὶ αὐτοῦ·

b   οὐδέ τι πεῖραρ 2 ὑπῆν, 3 οὐ πυθμήν, οὐδέ 4 τις ἕδρα.

b   “but to subsist without limit, without bottom, without any dwelling place.” (trans. by the author) 

Procl. laudat in Platon. Parmenid. 137 d VI p. 1120, 28 Cous. οὐδέ τι πεῖρας ὑπῆν, in Tim. 30 a (I 385, 29 Diehl) χάσμα μὲν γάρ ἐστιν ὡς χώρα τῶν εἰδῶν καὶ τόπος, οὔτε δὲ πεῖραρ οὔτε | 386 Diehl πυθμὴν οὔτε ἕδρα περὶ αὐτήν ἐστιν, ὡ  ἄστατον καὶ ἄπειρον καὶ ἀόριστον οὖσαν· ἀζηχὲς δὲ αὖ σκότος καὶ αὐτὴ ὡς ἀνείδεον λαχοῦσα τὴν φύσιν ὀνομάζοιτο ἄν ---  ὥστε καὶ Ὀ. κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ἀπὸ τῆς πρωτίστης τῶν νοητῶν ύποστάσεως παράγει τὴν ὕλην· ἐκεῖ γὰρ τὸ ἀζηχὲς σκότος καὶ τὸ ἄπειρον, καὶ ταῦτα μὲν κρειττόνως τῶν ἐφεξῆς, τῇ δὲ ὕλῃ τὸ ἀλαμπὲς δι’ ἔνδειαν καὶ τὸ ἄπειρον, οὐ κατὰ δυνάμεως περιουσίαν, ἀλλὰ κατ' ἔλλειψιν, in Tim. 30 c. d (I 428, 4 Diehl) ἦν δὲ τὸ ὠιὸν ἐκεῖνο τοῦ τε Αἰθέρος ἔγγονον καὶ τοῦ Χάους, ὧν ὁ μὲν κατὰ τὸ πέρας ἵδρυται τῶν νοητῶν, ὸ δὲ κατὰ τὸ ἄπειρον. ὃ μὲν γάρ ἐστι ῥίζωμα τῶν πάντων (v. Empedocl. fr. 6, 1 Diels I3 226), τῷ δὲ οὐδὲν πεῖραρ ὑπῆν (v. fr. 79). Nihil addunt Syrian. in Aristot. Metaph. B 1 p. 996 a 1 (10, 12 Kr.), B 4 p. 1000 a 19 (43, 12 Kr.), N 4 p. 1091 b 4 (p. 182, 18 Kr.) et Procl. in Tim. 24e (I 176, 13 Diehl), in Parmenid. 137 d VI p. 1121, 27 Cous. 2; Damasc. De princ. 50 (I 100, 19 Rue.).


1. ἀγήραος non ἀγήρατος v. fr. 54 n. 3.
2. πεῖραρ Simplic. EF Procl. in Tim. 30a; πεῖρας Simpl. Ald.; πεῖρας Procl. in Parm. 137d.
3. ὑπῆν Simpl. E Procl.; ἦν Simpl. F, ἔην Simpl. Ald.
4. οὐ Simpl. EF; οὐδὲ Ald
.

Lob. I 472; Kern De Theogon. 3; Holwerda 290. 292. 300. 306.

Hesiod. Theogon. 386 τῶν οὐκ ἔστ᾽ ἀπάνευθε Διὸς δόμος, οὐδέ τις ἕδρη.



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.


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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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