ORPHIC FRAGMENT 100 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: These fragments speak of Night and the stars.

100. Ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν εἰς τὸν Πλάτωνος Παρμενίδην Δαμασκίου 213 (II 95, 6 Rue.):

διὰ τοῦτο καὶ Ὀρφεὺς Νύκτα αὐτὴν (sc. τήνδε τὴν διακόσμησιν) προσηγόρευσεν ὡς ὑπὲρ (ὑπὸ ? Rue.) τὴν ἐμφανῆ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐκείνου μαρμαρυγήν. ἴσως δὲ καὶ ὅτι τῆς νυκτὸς ὁ κῶνος εἰς ὀξὺ λήγει, καθάπερ καὶ αὕτη εἰς τὸ ἀμερέστατον ἀποκορυφοῦται τῆς νοερᾶς οὐσίας.

“Through this also, Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) called it Night, and thus it is displayed above in the gleaming of that sky. And in like manner also, wherefore the cone of night concludes in a point, just so it is brought into the indivisible point of the noetic substance.” (trans. by the author)


μαρμαρυγή vox Orphica? Cf. ὕμνος Ὀρφέως 7.10 Ἄστρων de stellis:

αὐγάξοντες ἀεὶ νυκτὸς ζοφοειδέα πέπλον, μαρμαρυγαῖς στίλβοντες.

“ever brightening the gloomy veil of night; with sparkling (light), all of you are glittering!” (trans. by the author)

κῶνον astronomice intellegendum esse monuit Dielesius apud Kernium Herm. XXIII 1888, 485 n. XII Κυκλικὴ θεωρία μετεώρων τοῦ Κλεομήδους p. 139 Bake:

ἡ οὖν γῆ φωτιζομένη ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ (sc. ἡλίου) σκιὰν ἀποπέμπει ἀναγκαίως καθάπερ καὶ ἄλλα ὁπόσα φωτίζεται τῶν στερεῶν σωμάτων· αὕτη τοίνυν κωνοειδῶς σχηματιζομένη ὅλον μὲν οὐκ ἐπιλαμβάνει τὸν ζωιδιακὸν οὐδὲ παντὶ τῶι πλάτει αὐτοῦ συμπαρεκτείνεται διὰ τὸ εἰς ὀξὺ ἀποκορυφοῦσθαι.

*“Certainly the earth returns to light (every day) under the reflection (of the sun), which disperses just as is necessary, and others then (the stars?), just as great, shine light on it from their solid bodies. Accordingly, assuming a conical form altogether, is not said to reach the zodiacal (path of the sun), while not in the whole expanse, it is stretched out side by side, into the vertex, having come to a point.” (trans. by the author)

*This is a text on astronomy and since the translator is ignorant of the subject, the translation may be incorrect.


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 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 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 the lyre of Apóllôn (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.

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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Pronunciation of Ancient Greek

Transliteration of Ancient Greek

Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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