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ORPHIC HYMN TO EROS
FOTO: User:Jastrow who has kindly placed the image in the public domain. Corruption of the pottery cleaned up with Corel Paintshop. File:Eros bobbin Louvre CA1798.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

58. Ἔρωτος

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Introduction to the Orphic hymn to Ǽrohs

Ǽrohs (Eros; Gr. Ἔρως) is central to our religion for without this divine power, the full flowering of interaction between Gods and men is impossible. When the progression of the soul is sufficient that it is capable of appreciating beauty, the dawn of perceiving the divine is imminent and when this occurs, 
Ǽrohs flutters in the space between the blessed ones and the heart of man. And it is this moment that the Gods have anticipated over a vast expanse of time: we have invited them and they, smiling and rosy-cheeked, reciprocate with great generosity. The Orphic hymn to Ǽrohs speaks of this and outlines his vast power over all things.


The original ancient Greek text

58. Ἔρωτος, θυμίαμα ἀρώματα.

Κικλήσκω μέγαν ἁγνόν ἐράσμιον ἡδὺν Ἔρωτα,
τοξαλκῆ, πτερόεντα, πυρίδρομον, εὔδρομον ὁρμῇ,
συμπαίζοντα θεοῖς ἠδὲ θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποις·
εὐπάλαμον, διφυῆ, πάντων κληῗδας ἔχοντα,
αἰθέρος οὐρανίου, πόντου, χθονός, ἠδ’ ὅσα θνητοῖς
πνεύματα παντογένεθλα θεὰ βόσκει χλοόκαρπος,
ἠδ’ ὅσα Τάρταρος εὐρὺς ἔχει, πόντος θ’ ἁλίδουπος·
μοῦνος γὰρ τούτων πάντων οἴηκα κρατύνεις.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, καθαραῖς γνώμαις μύστῃσι συνέρχου,
φαύλους δ’ ἐκτοπίους θ’ ὁρμὰς ἀπὸ τῶνδ’ ἀπόπεμπε.



Transliteration of the ancient Greek text
(See this page: Transliteration of Ancient Greek)

58.
 Ǽrohtos, thymíama aróhmata.

Kiklískoh mǽgan agnón ærázmion idýn Ǽrohta,
toxalkí, ptæróænda, pyrídromon, évdromon ormíi,
symbaizonda thæís idǽ thnitís anthróhpis;
efpálamon, diphyí, pándohn kliídas ǽkhonta,
aithǽros ouraníou, póndou, khthonós, id'ósa thnitís
pnévmata pandoyǽnæthla thæá vóskei khloókarpos,
id'ósa Tártaros evrýs ǽkhei, póndos th'alídoupos;
mounos gar toutohn pándohn íika kratýneis.
allá, mákar, katharais gnóhmais mýstiisi synǽrkhou,
phávlous d'æktopíous th'ormás apó tóhnd'apópæmpæ.



BREAKDOWN OF THE HYMN

Ἔρωτος - Ἔρωτος is the genitive of Ἔρως; titles are usually placed in the genitive case in ancient Greek.

θυμίαμα (incense) ἀρώματα. (aromatic herbs or spices) - The author of this hymn is suggesting an incense-offering of aromatic herbs or spices.

Κικλήσκω (I call) μέγαν, (great) ἁγνόν (holy or pure, ἁγνόν can be nom. but more commonly ἁγνός) ἐράσμιον (lovely, ἐράσμιος, fem./masc. nom.) ἡδὺν (ἡδύς is nom., sweet) Ἔρωτα, (Ǽrohs) – I call great holy lovely sweet Ǽrohs

τοξαλκῆ, - mighty archer (τοξαλκής, fem./masc. nom.)

πτερόεντα, - winged (πτερόεις, masc. nom.)

πυρίδρομον, - fiery in its course (πυρίδρομος, fem./masc. nom.)

εὔδρομον (εὔδρομος, swift of foot) ὁρμῆι, (ὁρμῇattack) - who strikes quickly

συμπαίζοντα (play with) θεοῖς (Gods) ἠδὲ (and) θνητοῖς (mortal) ἀνθρώποις; (men) - who plays with Gods and mortal men

εὐπάλαμον, - skillful one (εὐπάλαμος, fem./masc. nom.)

διφυῆ, - two-formed (διφυῆ can be nom. but more commonly διφυής, fem./masc. nom.)

πάντων (all) κληῖδας (key) ἔχοντα, (holding) - holding the keys to all

αἰθέρος (= gen.; αἰθήρ is nom., aithírοὐρανίου, (= gen. heavenly) - heavenly aithír

πόντου, - sea (= gen.; πόντος, masc. nom.)

χθονός, - earth (= gen.; χθών, fem. nom.)

ἠδ' (and) ὅσα (as great as, as much as) θνητοῖς (mortal, dat.) - and as much as mortals

πνεύματα (winds) παντογένεθλα (παντογένεθλος is fem./masc. nom., all-generating) θεὰ (Goddess) βόσκει (feed, nurture) χλοόκαρπος, (producing green fruits) - are nurtured by all-generating winds of the Goddess who produces green fruits (Dimítir)

ἠδ' (and) ὅσα (as great as, as much as) Τάρταρος (Tártaros) εὐρὺς (wide, broad) ἔχει, (bear, have, support) as far as wide Tártaros 

πόντος (sea) θἁλίδουπος· (sea-resounding) -  and the thunderous sea

μοῦνος (alone) γὰρ (for) τούτων (this) πάντων (all) οἴηκα (acc. of οἴαξ, rudder, thus, to steerκρατύνεις. (strengthen, govern) - for you alone command the rudder of all these things

ἀλλά, - but

μάκαρ, - happy one

καθαραῖς (pure) γνώμαις (mind, intelligence, purpose) μύστῃσι (the initiates) συνέρχου, (συνέρχομαι, come together) - bring a pure motivation to the initiates

φαύλους (mean or common) δἐκτοπίους (put away from) θὁρμὰς (impulses) ἀπὸ (from, away from) τῶνδ' (this) ἀπόπεμπε. (send off) - and send away our vulgar desires


All this work yields a more literal translation of the Orphic hymn to Ǽrohs

58. Ǽrohs, Incense: aromatic herbs and spices.

I call mighty holy lovely and sweet Ǽrohs,
valiant archer, bearing wings. On your flaming footpath, you strike quickly,
as you play with Gods and mortal men;
Skillful, two-formed, you hold the keys to everything,
of the upper aithír, of the sea, and of the earth, and as much as mortals
are nurtured by the all-generating winds of Dimítir,
and as far as wide Tártaros and throughout the thunderous sea;
for you alone have command of all these things.
But, happy one, bring pure motivation to the initiates.
And cast out our vulgar desires.


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 (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) 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 lyre of Apóllohn (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.


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic 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.

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: 

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