web statistics
ORPHIC HYMN TO HEPHAESTUS
66. Ἡφαίστου

HellenicGods.org

HOME              GLOSSARY              RESOURCE            ART           LOGOS            CONTACT

Introduction to the Orphic Hymn to Íphaistos

Íphaistos (Hephaestus, Ἥφαιστος) is the mighty God of Form in Ællinismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. Like Æstía (Ἑστία), he has a fire; she has the Fire of Life while Íphaistos has the Aithirial (Ethereal) Fire. It could be said that the underlying theme of the Orphic hymn to Íphaistos is centered around this fire, a fire which works with the forms. These are the forms which are revealed first by Phánis (Phanes, Φάνης) as he, mythologically, enters the Ántron (Cave, Ἄντρον) of Nyx (Νύξ). Íphaistos, the great Craftsman, the Mystic Coppersmith, works with these forms and they are later beautified by Aphrodíti (Ἀφροδίτη). In the Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony this is described thus:

Íphaistos mingled with Aphrodíti and thereby created the form of the universe, and then he united with Aglaia (Ἀγλαΐα) and produced Good Glory (Εὔκλεια), Abundance (Ευθηνία), Good Omen (Εὐφήμη, good fame), and Friendliness (Φιλοφροσύνη), by which his works are made beautiful. [1]

Having this basic background, let us attempt to more deeply understand the great Orphic hymn to Íphaistos.


Thomas Taylor's commentary on this hymn is as follows: 

"Vulcan (ed. Íphaistos) is that divine power which presides over the spermatic (ed. generative) and physical productive powers which the universe contains: for whatever Nature accomplishes by verging to bodies, that Vulcan effects in a divine and exempt manner, by moving Nature, and using her as an instrument in his own proper fabrication. For natural heat has a Vulcanian characteristic, and was produced by Vulcan for the purpose of fashioning a corporeal nature. Vulcan, therefore, is that power which perpetually presides over the fluctuating nature of bodies; and hence, says Olympiodorus (ed. Ὀλυμπιόδωρος), he operates with bellows, (εν ϕύσαις) which occultly signifies his operating in natures (ἁντί του εν ταῖς ϕύσεσι). This deity, also, as well as Mars (ed. Άρης), as Proclus (ed. Πρόκλος) observes, in Plat. Repub. p. 388, requires the assistance of Venus (ed.  Ἀφροδίτη), in order that he may invest sensible effects with beauty, and thus cause the pulchritude (ed. physical beauty) of the world." [2]  


The Original Ancient Greek Text:

66. Ἡφαίστου, θυμίαμα, λιβανομάνναν.

Ἥφαιστ’ ὀμβριμόθυμε, μεγασθενές, ἀκάματον πῦρ,   1
λαμπόμενε φλογέαις αὐγαῖς, φαεσίμβροτε δαῖμον,
φωσφόρε, καρτερόχειρ, αἰώνιε, τεχνοδίαιτε,
ἐργαστήρ, κόσμοιο μέρος, στοιχεῖον ἀμεμφές,
παμφάγε, πανδαμάτωρ, πανυπέρτατε, παντοδίαιτε,   5
αἰθήρ, ἥλιος, ἄστρα, σελήνη, φῶς ἀμίαντον·
ταῦτα γὰρ Ἡφαίστοιο μέλη θνητοῖσι προφαίνει.
πάντα δὲ οἶκον ἔχεις, πᾶσαν πόλιν, ἔθνεα πάντα·
σώματά τε θνητῶν οἰκεῖς, πολύολβε, κραταιέ·
κλῦθι, μάκαρ, κλῄζω σε πρὸς εὐϊέρους ἐπιλοιβάς,   10
αἰεὶ ὅπως χαίρουσιν ἐπ’ ἔργοις ἥμερος ἔλθῃς.
παῦσον λυσσῶσαν μανίην πυρὸς ἀκαμάτοιο,
καῦσιν ἔχων φύσεως ἐν σώμασιν ἡμετέροισιν.


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

66. Iphaistou, thymíama livanománnan.

Íphaist' omvrimóthymæ, mægasthænǽs, akámaton pyr,   1
lambómænæ phloyǽais avyais, phaæsímvrotæ daimon,
phohsphóræ, kartærókheir, aióhniæ, tækhnodíaitæ,
ærgastír, kózmio mǽros, stikheion amæmphǽs,
pampháyæ, pandamátohr, panypǽrtatæ, pandodíaite,   5
aithír, ílios, ástra, sælíni, phohs amíandon;
táfta gar Iphaistio mǽli thnitísi prophainei.
pánda dæ íkon ǽkheis, pásan pólin, ǽthnæa pánda;
sóhmatá tæ thnitóhn ikheis, polýolvæ, krataiǽ;
klýthi, mákar, klíizoh sæ pros eviǽrous æpilivás,   10
aiei ópohs khairousin æp' ǽryis ímæros ǽlthiis.
páfson lyssóhsan maníin pyrós akamátio
káfsin ǽkhohn phýsæohs æn sóhmasin imætǽrisin.



BREAKDOWN OF THE HYMN

Ἡφαίστου - Ἡφαίστου is the genitive of Ἥφαιστος. In ancient Greek, titles are usually in the genitive case.

θυμίαμα, - incense 

λιβανομάνναν. - frankincense and mánna. The author of the hymn is suggesting an incense-offering of frankincense + mánna.

Ἥφαιστ’ (Íphaistos) ὀμβριμόθυμε, (strong of spirit) - Strong-spirited (ὀμβριμόθυμος is nom.) Íphaistos,

μεγασθενές, - mighty

ἀκάματον (untiring) πῦρ, (fire) - inexhaustible fire

λαμπόμενε (shine) φλογέαις (flaming) αὐγαῖς, (light) - gleaming flaming light

φαεσίμβροτε (light-bringing) δαῖμον, (divinity) - light-bringing divinity

φωσφόρε, - torch-bearer (φωσφόρος is nom.)

καρτερόχειρ, - strong-handed

αἰώνιε, - eternal (αἰώνιος is nom.)

τεχνοδίαιτε, - living in art (τεχνοδίαιτος  is nom.)

ἐργαστήρ, - workman

κόσμοιο (form, order) μέρος, (share, portion) - portion of the Kózmos.

στοιχεῖον (element) ἀμεμφές, (blameless, perfect) - perfect element

παμφάγε, - all-devouring (παμφάγος)

πανδαμάτωρ, - all-subduing

πανυπέρτατε, - highest of all (πανυπέρτατος is nom.)

παντοδίαιτε, - all-consuming (παντοδίαιτος is nom.)

αἰθήρ,Aithír

ἥλιος, - sun

ἄστρα, - stars

σελήνη, - moon

φῶς (light) ἀμίαντον· (pure) - pure light

ταῦτα (this) γὰρ (for) Ἡφαίστοιο (Íphaistos) μέλη (limbs, form) θνητοῖσι (mortal, adj.) προφαίνει. (manifest, verb) - for these are the limbs of Íphaistos which manifest to mortals.

πάντα (all) δὲ οἶκον (home) ἔχεις, (possess) - the dwellings of all belong to you

πᾶσαν (all) πόλιν, (city) - all cities

ἔθνεα (peoples, nations) πάντα· (all) - all peoples

σώματά (bodies) τε (you) θνητῶν (mortal) οἰκεῖς, (dwell) - you dwell in mortal bodies

πολύολβε, - rich in blessings (πολύολβος is nom.)

κραταιέ· - strong, mighty (κραταιός is nom.)

κλῦθι, - hear

μάκαρ, - happy one

κλῄζω (call) σε (you) πρὸς (to) εὐιέρους (holy) ἐπιλοιβάς, (libation) - I invite you to this holy libation

αἰεὶ (always) ὅπως (as) χαίρουσιν (rejoice) ἐπ’ ἔργοις (work) ἥμερος (tame, gentle) ἔλθοις. (come) - Come always gentle one and make work joyful.

παῦσον (cease) λυσσῶσαν (raging) μανίην (madness) πυρὸς (fire) ἀκαμάτοιο, (tireless) - Cease the raging madness of tireless fire

καῦσιν (a burning, flame) ἔχων (the one who has, who is responsible for) φύσεως (nature) ἐν (in) σώμασιν (bodies) ἡμετέροισιν. (our) - for it is your fire which burns in nature within our bodies.



All this work yields a more literal translation of the hymn to Íphaistos:

66. Íphaistos, Incense, frankincense and mánna.

Strong-spirited Íphaistos, mighty, inexhaustible fire, 1
Gleaming flaming sunlight, light-bringing divinity,
Torch-bearing, strong-handed, eternal, mighty craftsman,
Workman, portion of the Kózmos, perfect foundation,
All-devouring, all-subduing, highest of all, all-consuming, 5
Aithír, sun, stars, moon, unblemished light,
For these are the limbs of Íphaistos which manifest to mortals.
The dwellings of all belong to you, all cities, all peoples,
You dwell in our mortal bodies, blessing us, mighty one.
Hear, happy one, we invite you to this holy libation, 10
Come to us always, gentle one, and make work joyful.
Cease the raging madness of your tireless flame
For it is your fire which burns in Nature within our bodies.

NOTES:

[1] Orphic fragment 182.

 

[2] Thomas Taylor The Mystical Hymns of Orpheus, 1824.


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.

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 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 

, 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 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.

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: 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of HellenicGods.org by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

© 2010 by HellenicGods.org.  All Rights Reserved.


HOME            GLOSSARY            RESOURCE             ART           LOGOS            CONTACT