ORPHIC FRAGMENT 116 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: According to this fragment, Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός) is the cause of all motion.

116. σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 40 e (III 180, 8 Diehl):

δηλοῦσι δὲ οἱ θεολόγοι τὸν Ὠκεανὸν ἁπάσης εἶναι κινήσεως χορηγόν, δέκα λέγοντες αὐτὸν ἐκπέμπειν ὀχετούς, ὧν ἐπὶ θάλατταν τοὺς ἐννέα χωρεῖν.

"(In short, Ocean is the cause of all motion, intellectual, psychical and physical to all secondary natures; but Tethys is the cause of all the separation of the streams proceeding from Ocean, imparting to each a proper purity in the motion adapted to it by nature; through which each though it may move itself, or though it may move other things, yet moves in a transcendent manner.)

But theologists manifest that Ocean is the supplier of all motion, when they say that he sends forth ten streams, nine of which proceed into the sea;

"(because it is necessary, that of motions nine should be corporeal, but that there should be one alone of the essence which is separate from bodies, as we are informed by Plato in the Laws [1].)”

[1] Plato in the 10th book of the Laws [894 c-d] distinguishes the genus of motions into ten species, viz. circulation about an immovable centre, local transition, condensation, rarefaction, increase, decrease, generation, corruption, mutation or alteration produced in another by another, and a mutation produced from a thing itself, both in itself, and in another. This last is the motion of an essence separate from bodies, and is the motion of soul.

(translation and note: Thomas Taylor, 1820)


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.

ThIS 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.

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

Transliteration of Ancient Greek

Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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