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ORPHIC RHAPSODIC HYMN TO ZEUS
FOTO: by the author of this page, who has placed the picture in the Public Domain, of an alabaster statue of Zefs in his possession.

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Introduction to the Orphic Rhapsodic Hymn to Zefs 

The original source of this hymn is, likely, the Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony, an epic poem entitled The Sacred Logos in 24 Rhapsodies. The poem is not extant but its content has been reconstructed from quotations found in many, many ancient texts. The story it tells is the most endearing of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, for it shows the great compassion of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) for his creation and his plan to save us from sufferingProf. Otto Kern did the research finding the quotations and published his work in Orphicorum Fragmenta (1922), where the hymn to Zefs is fragment 168. It can be found in On Images by Porphýrios (Porphyry; Gr. Πορφύριος), fragment 3. Other places where it is appears are: Εὐσέβιος (Eusebius) Εὑαγγελικὴ προπαρασκευή (Praeparatio evangelica) III, and the Commentary on Tímaios (Timaeus; Gr. Τίμαιος) by Próklos (Proclus; Gr. Πρόκλος).
 
We also find a shortened and somewhat different version of the poem in Περὶ Κόσμου (de Mundo, On the Universe) of Aristotǽlis (Aristotle; Gr. Ἀριστοτέλης) or pseudo-Aristotǽlis because the authorship has been questioned:

Ζεὺς πρῶτος γένετο, Ζεὺς ὕστατος ἀρχικέραυνος·
Ζεὺς κεφαλή, Ζεὺς μέσσα, Διὸς δ᾿ ἐκ πάντα τέτυκται·
Ζεὺς πυθμὴν γαίης τε καὶ οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος·
Ζεὺς ἄρσην γένετο, Ζεὺς ἄμβροτος ἔπλετο νύμφη·
Ζεὺς πνοιὴ πάντων, Ζεὺς ἀκαμάτου πυρὸς ὁρμή·
Ζεὺς πόντου ῥίζα, Ζεὺς ἥλιος ἠδὲ σελήνη·
Ζεὺς βασιλεύς, Ζεὺς ἀρχὸς ἁπάντων ἀρχικέραυνος·
πάντας γὰρ κρύψας αὖθις φάος ἐς πολυγηθὲς
ἐξ ἱερῆς κραδίης ἀνενέγκατο, μέρμερα ῥέζων.

Zeus of the flashing bolt was the first to be born and the latest,
Zeus is the head and the middle; of Zeus were all things created;
Zeus is the stay of the earth and the stay of the star-spangled heaven;
Zeus is male and female of sex, the bride everlasting;
Zeus is the breath of all and the rush of unwearying fire;
Zeus is the root of the sea, and the sun and the moon in the heavens;
Zeus of the flashing bolt is the king and the ruler of all men,
Hiding them all away, and again to the glad light of heaven
Bringing them back at his will, performing terrible marvels.

(Ἀριστοτέλης Περὶ Κόσμου 401a.28 - 401b.7. Trans. E. S. Forster, 1914. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, De Mundo, Chapter 7.)

This version of the poem must have been written before 322 BCE, since Aristotǽlis quotes it and 322 is the date of his death, and he refers to it as an Orphic hymn; therefore, we know that the Orphic Rhapsodic Hymn to Zefs, in one form or another, existed well before the Common Era and must have been at least 556 some years old when Porphýrios wrote and quoted it.

There is, perhaps, no other hymn to Zeus, the highest deity of the religion, which better conveys his majesty than the Orphic Rhapsodic hymn to the God. There are many people who have difficulty relating to this most important deity. They cannot understand why a God is held in so much esteem when the stories concerning him would appear to portray him in a bad light. But it should be obvious to anyone familiar with Greek mythology that the stories cannot be taken literally and that they will very much mislead the reader if he/she is not instructed as to the hidden meaning of these texts. Zefs is the mighty king of both Gods and men; indeed, he is sovereign over every single thing in the entire Kózmos (Cosmos; Gr. Κόσμος). As the hymn itself proclaims, "...nothing which is, no word nor cry nor noise nor voice, escapes the ear of the mightiest son of Krónos." Zefs is the supreme lord of justice who has great compassion for all of his creation, but this hymn concentrates more on his cosmic function.


Translation by Thomas Taylor [1]  

(Translated by Thomas Taylor in The Hymns of Orpheus, London, 1792, pp. 30-32)

Jove is the first and last, high thund'ring king,
Middle and head, from Jove all beings spring;
In Jove the male and female forms combine,
In Jove's a man, and yet a maid divine;
Jove the strong basis of the earth contains,
And the deep splendour of the starry plains;
Jove is the breath of all; Jove's wondrous frame
Lives in the rage of ever restless flame;
Jove is the sea's strong root, the solar light,
And Jove's the moon, fair regent of the night;
Jove is a king by no restraint confin'd,
And all things flow from Jove's prolific mind;
One is the pow'r divine in all things known,
And one the ruler absolute alone.
For in Jove's royal body all things lie,
Fire, night and day, earth, water and the sky;
The first begetters pleasing love and mind;
These in his mighty body, Jove confin'd:
See, how his beauteous head and aspect bright
Illumine heav'n, and scatter boundless light!
Round which his pendant golden tresses shine
Form'd from the starry beams, with light divine;
On either side two radiant horns behold,
Shap'd like a bull's and bright with glittering gold;
And East and West in opposition lie, 
The lucid paths of all the Gods on high;
His eyes, the sun, and moon with borrow'd ray;
His mind is truth, unconscious of decay,
Royal, ætherial; and his ear refin'd
Hears ev'ry voice, and sounds of ev'ry kind.
Thus are his head and mind immortal, bright,
His body's boundless, stable, full of light;
Strong are his members, with a force endu'd
Pow'rful to tame, but ne'er to be subdu'd;
Th' extended region of surrounding air
Forms his broad shoulders, back, and bosom fair,
And thro' the world the ruler of the skies
Upborne on natal, rapid pinions flies;
His sacred belly earth with fertile plains,
And mountains swelling to the clouds, contains;
His middle zone's the spreading sea profound,
Whose roaring waves the solid globe surround;
The distant realms of Tartarus obscure
Within earth's roots, his holy feet secure;
For these earth's utmost bounds to Jove belong,
And form his basis permanent and strong.
Thus all things Jove within his breast conceal'd,
And into beauteous light from thence reveal'd.


Original ancient Greek text of the Orphic Rhapsodic Hymn to Zefs [2]

Ζεὺς πρῶτος γένετο, Ζεὺς ὕστατος ἀργιϰέραυνος·
Ζεὺς ϰεφαλή, Ζεὺς μέσσα· Διὸς δ’ ἐϰ πάντα τέτυϰται.
Ζεὺς ἄρσην γένετο, Ζεὺς ἄμβροτος ἔπλετο νύμφη·
Ζεὺς πυθμὴν γαίης τε ϰαὶ οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος·
Ζεὺς βασιλεύς, Ζεὺς αὐτὸς ἁπάντων ἀρχιγένεθλος·   5
ἓν ϰράτος, εἷς δαίμων γένετο, μέγας ἀρχὸς ἁπάντων,
ἓν δὲ δέμας βασίλειον, ἐν ὧι τάδε πάντα ϰυϰλεῖται,
πῦρ ϰαὶ ὕδωρ ϰαὶ γαῖα ϰαὶ αἰθήρ, νύξ τε ϰαὶ ἦμαρ,
ϰαὶ Μῆτις, πρῶτος γενέτωρ ϰαὶ Ἔρως πολυτερπής·
πάντα γὰρ ἐν Ζηνὸς μεγάλωι τάδε σώματι ϰεῖται·   10
τοῦ δή τοι ϰεφαλὴ μὲν ἰδεῖν ϰαὶ ϰαλὰ πρόσωπα
οὐρανὸς αἰγλήεις, ὃν χρύσεαι ἀμφὶς ἔθειραι
ἄστρων μαρμαρέων περιϰαλλέες ἠερέθονται,
ταύρεα δ' ἀμφοτέρωθε δύο χρύσεια ϰέρατα,
ἀντολίη τε δύσις τε, θεῶν ὁδοὶ οὐρανιώνων,   15
ὄμματα δ' ἠέλιός τε ϰαὶ ἀντιόωσα σελήνη·
νοῦς δέ ἀψευδὴς βασιλήϊος ἄφθιτος αἰθήρ,
ὧι δή πάντα ϰλύει ϰαὶ φράζεται· οὐδέ τίς ἐστιν
αὐδὴ οὔδ' ἐνοπὴ οὐδὲ ϰτύπος οὐδὲ μὲν ὄσσα,
ἣ λήθει Διὸς οὖας ὑπερμενέος Κρονίωνος.   20
ὧδε μὲν ἀθανάτην ϰεφαλὴν ἔχει ἠδὲ νόημα·
σῶμα δέ οἱ περιφεγγές, ἀπείριτον, ἀστυφέλιϰτον,
ἄτρομον, ὀβριμόγυιον, ὑπερμενές ὧδε τέτυϰται·
ὦμοι μὲν καὶ στέρνα ϰαὶ εὐρέα νῶτα θεοῖο
ἀὴρ εὐρυβίης, πτέρυγες δέ οἱ ἐξεφύοντο,   25
τῆις ἐπὶ πάντα ποτᾶθ', ἱερὴ δέ οἱ ἔπλετο νηδύς
γαῖά τε παμμήτωρ ὀρέων τ' αἰπεινὰ ϰάρηνα·
μέσση δὲ ζώνη βαρυηχέος οἶδμα θαλάσσης
ϰαὶ πόντου· πυμάτη δὲ βάσις, χθονὸς ἔνδοθι ῥίζαι,
Τάρταρά τ' εὐρώεντα ϰαὶ ἔσχατα πείρατα γαίης.   30
πάντα δ' ἀποϰρύψας αὖθις φάος ἐς πολυγηθὲς
μέλλεν ἀπό ϰραδίης προφέρειν πάλι, θέσϰελα ῥέζων.


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

Zefs próhtos yǽnæto,  Zefs ýstatos aryikǽravnos;
Zefs kæphalí, Zefs mǽssa; Diós d'æk pánta tǽtyktai.
Zefs ársin yǽnæto, Zefs ámvrotos ǽplæto nýmphi;
Zefs pythmín yaiis tæ kai ouranou astæróæntos;
Zefs vasiléfs, Zefs aftós apántohn arkhiyǽnæthlos;  5 
æn krátos, eis daimohn yǽnæto, mǽgas arkhós apántohn,
æn dæ dǽmas vasíleion, æn óï tádæ pánta kykleitai,
pyr kai ýdohr kai yaia kai aithír, nyx tæ kai ímar,
kai Mítis, próhtos yænǽtohr kai Ǽrohs polytærpís;
pánta yar æn Zinós mægáloï tádæ sóhmati keitai;   10
tou di ti kæphalí mæn idein kai kalá prósohpa
ouranós aiglíeis, ohn khrýsæai amphís ǽtheirai
ástrohn marmarǽohn pærikallǽæs iærǽthontai,
távræa d'amphotǽrohthæ dýo khrýseia kǽrata,
antolíi tæ dýsis tæ, thæóhn odí ouranióhnohn,   15
ómmata d'iǽliós tæ kai antióöhsa sælíni;
nous dæ apsevdís vasilíïos áphthitos aithír,
óï di pánta klýei kai phrázætai; oudǽ tis ǽstin
avdí oud'ænopí oudǽ ktýpos oudǽ mæn óssa,
i líthei Diós ouas ypærmænǽos Kroníohnos.   20
óhdæ mæn athanátin kæphalín ǽkhei idǽ nóïma;
sóhma dæ i pæriphængǽs, apeiriton, astyphǽlikton,
átromon, ovrimóyion, ypærmænǽs óhdæ tǽtyktai;
óhmi mæn kai stǽrna kai evrǽa nóhta thæío
äír evryvíis, ptǽriyæs dæ i æxæphýonto,   25
tíïs æpí pánta potáth'iærí dæ i ǽplæto nidýs
yaia tæ pammítohr orǽohn t'aipeiná kárina;
mǽssi dæ zóhni varÿïkhǽos ídma thalássis
kai póntou; pymáti dæ vásis, khthonós ǽndothi rízai,
Tártará t'evróænta kai ǽskhata peirata yaiïs.   30
pánta d'apokrýpsas áfthis pháos æs poliyithǽs
mǽllæn apó kradíïs prophǽrein páli, thǽskæla rǽzohn.


BREAKDOWN OF THE HYMN

Ζεὺς (Zefs/Zeus) πρῶτος (first) γένετο, (comes to be) - Zefs is first

Ζεὺς (Zefs) ὕστατος (last) ἀργιϰέραυνος· (of bright lightning) - Zefs of the bright lightning is last

Ζεὺς (Zefs) ϰεφαλή, (head) - Zefs the head

Ζεὺς (Zefs) μέσσα· (middle or center) - Zefs the middle

Διὸς (gen. of Zefs) δἐϰ (from) πάντα (all) τέτυϰται. (made, fabricated) - from Zefs all is made

Ζεὺς (Zefs) ἄρσην (male) γένετο, (comes to be) - Zefs is male

Ζεὺς (Zefs) ἄμβροτος (immortal) ἔπλετο (comes forth) νύμφη· (nýmphi [nymph]) - immortal Zefs is a nýmphi (female)

Ζεὺς (Zefs) πυθμὴν (bottom, foundation) γαίης (earth) τε (both and) ϰαὶ (and) οὐρανοῦ (heaven) ἀστερόεντος· (starry) - Zefs is the foundation of both earth and the heavens filled with stars

Ζεὺς (Zefs) βασιλεύς, (king) - Zefs the king

Ζεὺς (Zefs) αὐτὸς (self) ἁπάντων (all together, all) ἀρχιγένεθλος· (origin, primal) - Zefs of himself is the origin of all

ἓν (one) ϰράτος, (power) - one power

εἷς (one) δαίμων (divinity) γένετο, (come to be) - emerging one divinity

μέγας (big, great) ἀρχὸς (commander) ἁπάντων, (all together) - the mighty commander of all things

ἓν (one) δὲ (but, then) δέμας (body) βασίλειον, (royal) - but one royal body

ἐν (in, into) ὧι (which) τάδε (this) πάντα (all, on every side) ϰυϰλεῖται, (revolve) - in which everything revolves

πῦρ (fire) ϰαὶ (and) ὕδωρ (water) ϰαὶ (and) γαῖα (earth) ϰαὶ (and) αἰθήρ, (aithír) - fire and water and earth and aithír

νύξ (night) τε (both and) ϰαὶ (and) ἦμαρ, (day) - both night and day

ϰαὶ (and) Μῆτις, (Mítis) - and Mítis

πρῶτος (first) γενέτωρ (begotten) ϰαὶ (and) Ἔρως (Ǽrohs/Eros) πολυτερπής· (much delighting) - first-begotten and much-delighting Ǽrohs

πάντα (all) γὰρ (for) ἐν (in, into) Ζηνὸς (Zefs) μεγάλωι (big, great) τάδε (this) σώματι (body) ϰεῖται· (laid) - for all this is the great body of Zefs

τοῦ δή τοι ϰεφαλὴ (head) μὲν (indeed, as well) ἰδεῖν (see, behold) ϰαὶ (and) ϰαλὰ (beautiful, handsome) πρόσωπα (face, countenance) - as well behold his head and handsome countenance

οὐρανὸς (sky) αἰγλήεις, (radiant) - the radiant sky

ὃν (his) χρύσεαι (golden) ἀμφὶς (around) ἔθειραι (hair) - around his golden hair

ἄστρων (stars) μαρμαρέων (gleaming) περιϰαλλέες (very beautiful) ἠερέθονται, (flutter, float) - the gleaming stars beautifully fluttering

ταύρεα (of bulls) δ' ἀμφοτέρωθε (from both sides) δύο (two) χρύσεια (golden) ϰέρατα, (horns) - with golden bull's horns on either side

ἀντολίη (rising) τε (and) δύσις (setting) τε, (and [redundant?]) - rising and setting

θεῶν (Gods) ὁδοὶ (pathway) οὐρανιώνων, (the heavenly ones) - the pathway of the heavenly Gods

ὄμματα (eyes) δ' ἠέλιός (the sun) τε ϰαὶ (and) ἀντιόωσα (meeting) σελήνη· (moon) - his eyes are the sun reflected in the moon

νοῦς (mind) δέ ἀψευδὴς (truthful) βασιλήϊος (regal) ἄφθιτος (imperishable) αἰθήρ, (aithír) - His mind is kingly truth itself, the immortal Aithír

ὧι δή πάντα (all) ϰλύει (hear) ϰαὶ (and) φράζεται· (ponder, consider) - hearing and considering all

οὐδέ (nor) τίς (any thing) ἐστιν (be, exist) - no ...

αὐδὴ (word) οὔδ' (nor) ἐνοπὴ (cry) οὐδὲ (nor) ϰτύπος (noise) οὐδὲ (nor) μὲν ὄσσα, (voice) - ...word nor cry nor noise nor voice

λήθει (escapes) Διὸς (Zefs) οὖας (ear) ὑπερμενέος (very mighty) Κρονίωνος. (son of Krónos) - escapes the ear of the mightiest son of Krónos

ὧδε (thus) μὲν (indeed) ἀθανάτνη (immortal) ϰεφαλὴν (head) ἔχει (bear, support) ἠδὲ (and) νόημα· (thought) - thus indeed his immortal head and thought

σῶμα (body) δέ (now, so then) οἱ (his) περιφεγγές, (περιφέγγεια, radiance) - Now then his radiant body,

ἀπείριτον, (boundless) - boundless,

ἀστυφέλιϰτον, (unshaken, undisturbed) - undisturbed,

ἄτρομον, (fearless) - fearless,

ὀβριμόγυιον, (ὀβριμόγυιος, strong-limbed) - strong-limbed,

ὑπερμενές (exceeding mighty) ὧδε (thus) τέτυϰται· (make) - exceedingly mighty and formed thus

ὦμοι (shoulders) μὲν (indeed, thus) καὶ (and) στέρνα (chest) ϰαὶ (and) εὐρέα (wide, broad) νῶτα (back) θεοῖο (God, gen.) - the shoulders and chest and broad back of the God

ἀὴρ (air) εὐρυβίης, (extended might) - the extended might of the air

πτέρυγες (wings) δέ οἱ ἐξεφύοντο, (generate) - he generates wings

τῆις (these) ἐπὶ (upon) πάντα (all) ποτᾶθ', (fly) - whereupon he flies over all

ἱερὴ (divine) δέ οἱ ἔπλετο (is, to be) νηδύς (belly) - his divine belly is

γαῖά (earth) τε παμμήτωρ (mother of all) ὀρέων (hills) τ' αἰπεινὰ (lofty) ϰάρηνα· (head; metaphor: mountain peaks) - Earth, the mother of all, with her lofty hills and mountain peaks

μέσση (middle) δὲ () ζώνη (belt) βαρυηχέος (βαρυηχής, deep-voiced) οἶδμα (a swelling) θαλάσσης (sea) - the belt about his middle is a swelling of the deep-voiced sea

ϰαὶ (and) πόντου· (sea) - and ocean.

πυμάτη (hindmost, last) δὲ () βάσις, (step) - his feet

χθονὸς (earth, gen.) ἔνδοθι (within, at home) ῥίζαι, (root, foundation) - the foundation of the earth

Τάρταρά (Tártaros) τ' εὐρώεντα (moldy, dank) ϰαὶ (and) ἔσχατα (farthest, uttermost) πείρατα (end, limit) γαίης. (earth) - the dismal bowels of the world and earth's furthest limit

πάντα (all) δ' ἀποϰρύψας (hidden) αὖθις (anew) φάος (light) ἐς (into) πολυγηθὲς (delightful) - all hidden yet anew into delightful light

μέλλεν (destined, intend to do) ἀπό (from, away from) ϰραδίης (heart) προφέρειν (bring before) πάλι, (again) - as he intends to do from his heart to bring forth again

θέσϰελα (divinely wondrous) ῥέζων. (doing, acting, performing) - acting in wondrous holiness!


A more literal translation of the Orphic Rhapsodic hymn to Zefs

The translations presented in this series are not intended to replace the beautiful work of Thomas Taylor in our rituals. If anything, they make obvious his brilliance in capturing the spirit of the hymns while framing them in lovely poetry. Rather, we are simply trying to deepen our understanding of each hymn producing a more scholarly translation, word-for-word accurate.

The Great Orphic Rhapsodic Hymn to Olympian Zefs

Zefs is the first and the last, the lord of lightning.  1
Zefs is the head and center, for all things are from Zefs.
Zefs is born male; immortal Zefs comes forth a nýmphi (νύμφη/female).
Zefs is the foundation of earth and starry heaven.
Zefs is sovereign of all for he is the first cause of all things.  5
In one divine power, emerging one divinity, the commander of the world.
One regal body in which everything revolves:
Fire and Water and Earth and Aithír, and both Night and Day,
and Mítis (Μήτις), the first-begotten one and lovely Ǽrohs (Ἔρως).
For these are all in the mighty body of Zefs.  10 
Behold his head and handsome countenance,
the radiant sky. Around his golden hair
are the gleaming stars twinkling beautifully.
And there are great golden bull’s horns on either side of his head,
the rising and setting (sun), the heavenly pathway of the Gods.  15
His eyes are Ílios (Helios), reflected in the Moon.
His mind is kingly truth itself, the immortal Aithír,
hearing and considering all: nothing which is,
no word nor cry nor noise nor voice,
escapes the ear of the mightiest son of Krónos.  20
Thus indeed his immortal head and mind,
now then his radiant body, boundless, undisturbed.
His fearless, strong limbs, exceedingly mighty are formed thus:
the shoulders and chest and broad back of the God,
formed of the air all surrounding. He generates wings  25
whereupon he flies everywhere. His divine belly is
Earth, the mother of all, with her imposing hills and mountain peaks.
The belt about his middle is a wave of the deep-voiced sea
and ocean! His feet, the foundation of earth,
are dank Tártaros and earth's furthermost limit!  30
Hiding all things yet causing them to newly emerge into delightful light,
he brings them forth again from his heart, acting in divine wonderment!


Commentary on the Orphic Rhapsodic hymn to Zefs by Porphýrios

“Now look at the wisdom of the Greeks, and examine it as follows. The authors of the Orphic hymns supposed Zeus to be the mind of the world, and that he created all things therein, containing the world in himself. Therefore in their theological systems they have handed down their opinions concerning him thus:

(The above Orphic Rhapsodic Hymn to Zefs appears at this point in the text)

“Zeus, therefore, is the whole world, animal of animals, and God of Gods; but Zeus, that is, inasmuch as he is the mind from which he brings forth all things, and by his thoughts creates them. When the theologians had explained the nature of God in this manner, to make an image such as their description indicated was neither possible, nor, if any one thought of it, could he show the look of life, and intelligence, and forethought by the figure of a sphere. 

“But they have made the representation of Zeus in human form, because mind was that according to which he wrought, and by generative laws brought all things to completion; and he is seated, as indicating the steadfastness of his power: and his upper parts are bare, because he is manifested in the intellectual and the heavenly parts of the world; but his feet are clothed, because he is invisible in the things that lie hidden below. And he holds his sceptre in his left hand, because most close to that side of the body dwells the heart, the most commanding and intelligent organ: for the creative mind is the sovereign of the world. And in his right hand he holds forth either an eagle, because he is master of the gods who traverse the air, as the eagle is master of the birds that fly aloft----or a victory, because he is himself victorious over all things.” [3]



NOTES:

(Abbreviations can be found at the bottom of this page: GLOSSARY HOME.)

[1] The Hymns of Orpheus, trans. by Thomas Taylor, 1792; we are using a facsimile of the original edition, London, England (printed for the author), where this translation may be found on pp. pp. 30-32.

[2] The Greek text as found in ORPHICORVM FRAGMENTA by Otto Kern, 1922, pp. 201-202. It is Orphic fragment 168. This great hymn was quoted from a lost work of Porphýrios (Porphyry; Gr. Πορφύριος) in a text by the Christian Church father Efsǽvios (Eusebius; Gr. Εὐσέβιος) entitled Εὑαγγελικὴ προπαρασκευή, more commonly known by its Latin title Praeparatio evangelica. The hymn can be found in Book 3, chapter 9.

[3] 
Εὐσέβιος Εὑαγγελικὴ προπαρασκευή (Praeparatio Evangelica), Book 3, Chapter 9, quoting Πορφύριος, trans. E. H. Gifford 1903.



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.



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 kosmogonic 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.


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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