ORPHIC FRAGMENT 91 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: Fragment 91 discusses the moon.

91. (81) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 32b (II 48, 15 Diehl):

οἱ δὲ Πυθαγόρειοι ἔλεγον ἐν τῶι οὐρανῶι θεωρεῖσθαι τὰ στοιχεῖα διχῶς, ἄλλως μὲν πρὸ ἡλίου, ἄλλως δὲ μετὰ ἥλιον. γῆ μὲν γὰρ αἰθερία ἡ σελήνη· τοῦτο μὲν οὖν καὶ ὁ θεολόγος εἴρηκε σαφῶς·

μήσατο τʹ ἄλλην γαίαν ἀπείριτον, ἥν τε σελήνην ἀθάνατοι κλήιζουσιν, ἐπιχθόνιοι δέ τε μήνην, ἣ πόλλ' οὔρεʹ ἔχει, πόλλ' ἄστεα, πολλὰ μέλεθρα.

“The Pythagoreans however say, that the elements may be surveyed in the heavens in a twofold respect, in one way indeed prior to the sun, and in another after it: for the moon is ethereal earth. This therefore, the theologist clearly asserts. For he says:

“ ‘Another boundless earth besides he made,
Which Gods Selene, mortals Mene call,
With num’rous houses, cities, mounts adorn’d.’ ”

(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Cf. eundem in Tim. 36d (II 282, 11 Diehl): καὶ τῶν θεολόγων τὴν σελήνην καλούντων γῆν διὰ τὴν τῆς γῆς ταύτης οἰκειότητα πρὸς αὐτήν· κοινὸν γοῦν αὐτοῖς τὸ ἀποκρύπτειν τὸ φῶς et 40 e (III 172, 20 Diehl).

“...theologists also calling the moon earth, through the alliance of the earth to it. Hence it is common to both of them to conceal the light.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Cf. fr. 22 et Plutarch. De Is. et Osir. 367 c. d οἱ δὲ τοῖσδε τοῖς φυσικοῖς καὶ τῶν ἀπ᾽ ἀστρολογίας μαθηματικῶν ἔνια μιγνύντες Τυφῶνα μὲν οἴονται τὸν ἡλιακὸν κόσμον, Ὄσιριν δὲ τὸν σεληνιακὸν λέγεσθαι. τὴν μὲν γὰρ σελήνην γόνιμον τὸ φῶς καὶ ὑγροποιὸν ἔχουσαν εὐμενῆ καὶ γοναῖς ζῴων καὶ φυτῶν εἶναι βλαστήσεσιν· τὸν δ᾽ ἥλιον κτλ.

“But those who join with these physiological accounts certain mathematical matters relating to astronomy suppose Typhon to mean the world of the sun, and Osiris that of the moon; for that the moon, being endued with a prolific and moistening light, is very favorable both to the breeding of animals and the springing up of plants; but the sun, having in it an immoderate and excessive fire, burns and dries up such things as grow up and look green, and by its scorching heat renders a great part of the world wholly uninhabitable, and very often gets the better of the moon.” (trans. William W. Goodwin, 1874)


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.

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