ORPHIC FRAGMENT 124 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment gives the opinions of Noumínios (Νουμήνιος), Pythagóras, Plátôn, Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος), Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς), and Phærækýdîs (Φερεκύδης) regarding the source of the birth of souls.

124. Pseudo-Galen. (= Porphyr.) Ad Gaurum quomodo animetur fetus Chapter 3 ed. Kalbfleisch (Abh. Akad. Berlin 1895) 34, 26:

κἀνταῦθα πολὺς ὁ Νουμήνιος καὶ οἱ τὰς Πυθαγόρου ὑπο- |35 νοίας ἐξηγούμενοι, καὶ τὸν παρὰ μὲν τῶι Πλάτωνι (Πολιτεία Πλάτωνος 10.621 a) ποταμὸν Ἀμέλητα, παρὰ δὲ τῶι Ἡσιόδωι (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 361) καὶ τοῖς Ὀρφικοῖς τὴν Στύγα, παρὰ δὲ τῶι Φερεκύδηι (Diels II3 204 fr. 7) τὴν ἐκροὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ σπέρματος ἐκδεχόμενοι.

“Here many (suggest) Noumínios (Νουμήνιος) and the leading supposition of Pythagóras and Plátôn [1] (say) the river Amǽlîta (Ἀμέλητα); but to Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος) [2] and Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς), (they say) the river Styx (Στύξ); but to Phærækýdîs (Φερεκύδης) [3] the outflow received by the seed (of earth).” (trans. by the author)

NOTES:

[1] Πολιτεία Πλάτωνος 10.621 a: The souls have chosen their new lives and report to the Mírai (Μοῖραι), and then “they passed beneath the throne of Necessity; and when they had all passed, they marched on in a scorching heat to the plain of Forgetfulness (Λήθη), which was a barren waste destitute of trees and verdure; and then towards evening they encamped by the river of Unmindfulness (Ἀμέλητα), whose water no vessel can hold; of this they were all obliged to drink a certain quantity, and those who were not saved by wisdom drank more than was necessary; and each one as he drank forgot all things.” (trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892)

[2] Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 361: Of the daughters of Tîthýs (Τηθύς) and Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός): “Styx who is the chiefest of them all.” (trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

[3] Kern cites here Diels II3 204 fr. 7, but this is simply the citation for this exact fragment.


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.

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