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THE ORPHIC HYMN TO ASKLIPIÓS


67. Ἀσκληπιοῦ


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INTRODUCTION TO THE ORPHIC HYMN TO ASKLIPIÓS

Asklipiós (Asclepius, Ἀσκληπιός) is one of the great Gods of healing in Ællinismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. He is the mighty son of the mightiest of these: Apóllohn (Ἀπόλλων). All creatures, both human and otherwise, are subject to the miseries of illness and it is no wonder that in ancient times there were numerous temples to Asklipiós throughout Europe. 

The Orphic hymn to Asklipiós is very simple and direct and is used by those of our religion to supplicate the God for healing. Let us examine the hymn in both ancient Greek and in translation.

 

ANCIENT GREEK

67. Ἀσκληπιοῦ, θυμίαμα, μάνναν.

Ἰητὴρ πάντων Ἀσκληπιέ, δέσποτα Παιάν,
θέλγων ἀνθρώπων πολυαλγέα πήματα νούσων,
ἠπιόδωρε, κραταιέ, μόλοις κατάγων ὑγίειαν,
καὶ παύων νούσους χαλεπὰς θανάτοιο τε κῆρας.
αὐξιθαλής κόρε, ἀπαλεξίκακ’, ὀλβιόμοιρε,
Φοίβου Ἀπόλλωνος κρατερὸν θάλος ἀγλαότιμον,
ἐχθρὲ νόσων, Ὑγίειαν ἔχων σύλλεκτρον ἀμεμφῆ,
ἐλθέ, μάκαρ, σωτήρ, βιοτῆς τέλος ἐσθλὸν ὀπάζων.



TRANSLITERATION
(See this page:
 Transliteration of Ancient Greek)

67. Asklipiou, thymíama, mánnan.

Iitír pándon Asklipiǽ, dǽpota Paián,
thǽlgohn anthróhpohn polyalyǽa pímata nousohn,
ipiódohræ, krataiǽ, mólis katágohn yyíeian,
Kai pávohn nousous khalæpás thanátio tæ kíras.
afxithalís kóræ, apalæxíkak’olviómiræ,
Phívou Apóllohnos kratærón thálos aglaótimon,
ækhthrǽ nósohn, Yyíeian ǽkhohn sýllæktron amæmphí,
ælthǽ, mákar, sohtír, viotís tǽlos æsthlón opázohn.


BREAKDOWN OF THE HYMN

Ἀσκληπιοῦ, (gen. titles are usually in the genitive case) - Asklipiós  

θυμίαμα, - incense 

μάνναν. - manna

Ἰητὴρ (healer) πάντων (all, gen.) Ἀσκληπιέ, (Asklipiós voc.) – Asklipiós healer of all

δέσποτα (lord) Παιάν, (physician) – master physician

θέλγων (enchant, nom.part.) ἀνθρώπων (mankind) πολυαλγέα (many pain) πήματα (misery) νούσων, (disease) – you charm the many pains, misery, and disease of man

ἠπιόδωρε, - soothing,

κραταιέ, - strong

μόλοις (come) κατάγων (bring down) ὑγίειαν, (health) – come and bring back health

καὶ (and) παύων (cease) νούσους (illnesses) χαλεπὰς (difficult) θανάτοιο (death) τε κῆρας. (fate) – and cease illness and the bitter doom of death

αὐξιθαλής (promoting growth) κόρε, (boy) – life-giving boy

ἀπαλεξίκακ’, (keeping off ill, ἀπαλεξίκακος) – averter of ill

ὀλβιόμοιρε, (blessed)

Φοίβου (Phívos) Ἀπόλλωνος (Apóllohn) κρατερὸν (mighty) θάλος (scion) ἀγλαότιμον, (honored) mighty honored son of Phívos Apóllohn

ἐχθρὲ (hated) νόσων, (of disease) – foe of disease

Ὑγίειαν (Ὑγίεια) ἔχων (have) σύλλεκτρον (partner) ἀμεμφῆ. (blameless) – perfect ally of Yyíeia

ἐλθέ, - come

μάκαρ, - blessed one

σωτήρ, - savior

βιοτῆς (a living) τέλος (end) ἐσθλὸν (good) ὀπάζων. (give, cause) – lead my life to a fortunate conclusion.


All this work yields a new translation of the hymn:

67. Asklipiós, incense, manna. 

Asklipiós healer of all, master physician,
You charm the many pains, misery, and disease of man,
Soothing, doughty one, come bring back health,
And end my maladies and the strident certainty of death.
Oh life-giving Boy, averter of ills, blessed one!
Mighty honored son of Phívos Apóllohn,
Foe of disease, perfect ally of Yyíeia, Come, blessed one, savior, lead my life to a fortunate end.


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: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek        

 

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