ORPHIC FRAGMENT 125 - OTTO KERN
For links to many more fragments: The Orphic Fragments of Otto Kern.
SUMMARY: This fragment identifies the four rivers of the Underworld with the four classical elements.
125. (156) σχόλιον Ὀλυμπιοδώρου επὶ Φαίδωνος Πλάτωνος D ρμέ p. 241, 5 Norv.:
ὅτι οἱ τέτταρες ποταμοὶ τὰ τέτταρα στοιχεῖά ἐστι τὰ ἐν τῶι Τάρταροςωι, ὁ μὲν Ὠκεανός, φησι, τὸ ὕδωρ, ὁ δὲ Κωκυτὸς ἤτοι Στύγιος ἡ γῆ, ὁ δὲ Πυριφλεγέθων τὸ πῦρ, ὁ δὲ Ἀχέρων ὁ ἀήρ. ἀντικεῖσθαι δὲ τῶι μὲν Πυριφλεγέθοντι τὸν Στύγιον, ὡς θερμὸν ψυχρῶι, τῶι δὲ Ὠκεανῶι τὸν Ἀχέροντα, ὡς ὑδραῖον ἀερίωι· διὸ καὶ Ὀρφεὺς τὴν Ἀχερουσίαν λίμνην ἀερίαν καλεῖ.
“The four rivers are the four elements; so it is in Tártaros (Τάρταρος). He says that while Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός) is water, the Kôkytós (Κωκυτὸς) and Stýyios (Στύγιος, i.e. Στύξ) is earth; but the Pyriphlæyǽthôn (Πυριφλεγέθων) is fire, while the Akhǽrôn (Ἀχέρων) is air. And opposing the Pyriphlæyǽthôn is the Stýyios, thus heating in cold; and opposing Ôkæanós is the Akhǽrôn, thus water to air. Wherefore, also, Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) calls the Akhærousian Lake airy.”(trans. by the author)
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.
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