ORPHIC FRAGMENT 12 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 12 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment consists of two quotations from which we can glean that the songs of Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) were sweet and that he (καὶ Μαρσύας) invented music.

12. Νόμοι Πλάτωνος VIII 829 d. e:

μηδέ τινα τολμᾶν ἄιδειν ἀδόκιμον μοῦσαν μὴ κρινάντων τῶν νομοφυλάκων, μηδ᾽ ἂν ἡδίων ἢι τῶν Θαμύρου τε καὶ Ὀρφείων ὕμνων.

“Nor shall any one dare to sing a song which has not been approved by the judgment of the guardians of the laws, not even if his strain be sweeter than the songs of Thamyras and Orpheus.”

(trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892)

Platonem in Legibus saepius quam in aliis dialogis Orphea arcessere iam Schuster 26 monuit; v. test. nr. 212, frr. 9. 11. 19. 21 et Νόμοι Πλάτωνος III 677 d Cliniae verba:

Κλεινίας· τοῦτο ὅτι μὲν μυριάκις μύρια ἔτη διελάνθανεν ἄρα τοὺς τότε, χίλια δὲ ἀφ᾽ οὗ γέγονεν (del. Herm.) ἢ δὶς τοσαῦτα ἔτη, τὰ μὲν Δαιδάλωι καταφανῆ γέγονεν (del. Ast.), τὰ δὲ Ὀρφεῖ, τὰ δὲ Παλαμήδει, τὰ δὲ περὶ μουσικὴν Μαρσύαι καὶ Ὀλύμπωι, περὶ λύραν δὲ Ἀμφίονι, τὰ δὲ ἄλλα ἄλλοις πάμπολλα, ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν χθὲς καὶ πρώιην γεγονότα.

Kleinías: “For it is evident that the arts were unknown during ten thousand times ten thousand years. And no more than a thousand or two thousand years have elapsed since the discoveries of Daedalus, Orpheus and Palamedes, --- since Marsyas and Olympus invented music, and Amphion the lyre, --- not to speak of numberless other inventions which are but of yesterday.”

(trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892)

De omnibus Platonis ad Orphicos spectantibus locis v. F. Weber Platon. Notizen über Orpheus Progr. Monacense 1899.

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 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, 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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