ORPHIC FRAGMENT 126 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment discusses the relationship between Anange and the Moirai.

126. σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 207, 14 Dr.:

Preceding section: (ὥστ᾿ εἰ τὴν προτέραν ἐκίνει τὸ πᾶν θεός, τὴν ἐναντίαν ἐκείνῃ τὸ κινοῦν [οὐ]κ ἔ[στι θεῖον. θεὸν] δὲ τὴν Ἀνάγκην [καὶ] μεγίστην εἶναι φήσομεν, ἐπεὶ καὶ τὰς Μοίρας τὰς τῆς Ἀνάγκης παῖδας δηλώ[σει ὁ] προφήτης, τὸν νοῦν τῆς Λαχέσ[εως ἐνδιδοὺς] ταῖς ψυχαῖς, νοερός τις ὢν καὶ αὐτός· ὥστε πολλῷ πλέον νοεραὶ αἱ Μοῖραι· νοεραὶ δὲ οὖσαι καὶ ταῖς ὅλαις ἐφεστῶσαι περιφοραῖς θεαί τινές εἰσιν· ὥστε πολλῷ μειζόνως ἡ Ἀνάγκη <ἡ> γεννησαμένη τὰς Μοίρας θεός. οὐδ᾿ ἄρα τὴν Εἱμαρμένην καὶ τὴν Ἀνάγκην κατ᾿ αὐτὴν τὴν Πλάτωνος κρίσιν συνάγειν εἰς ἓν δυνατόν, μὴ παντάπασιν ἀπᾴδοντα γράφειν τῶν ἐκείνου θέλοντας.)

τίνα οὖν ἡμεῖς τὴν θεὸν ταύτην εἶναι φήσομεν; ἢ δῆλον ὅτι τοῖς ῥήμασιν ἑπόμενοι, μητέρα μὲν αὐτὴν τῶν Μοιρῶν ὑμνουμένην ἀκούοντες, ἡγεμόνα δὲ τῆς κοσμικῆς ἁπάσης τάξεως, τῆς ἐν ψυχαῖς, τῆς ἐν φύσεσιν, συνέχουσαν δὲ ἀκλινῶς τὰ πάντα καὶ ὁρίζουσαν, ὅπου τεθὲν ἕκαστον συμπληρώσει τὸν κόσμον ἐν τῶι πρέποντι σχήματι, ταύτην ἐκείνην εἶναι τὴν παρὰ τοῖς θεολόγοις καλουμένην Θέμιν (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 901); ἣν τὸ ὑπερβαίνειν ἐγχειροῦν ἀθέμιτον μὲν εἶναι λέγομεν, ὑπερβαίνειν δὲ ὅμως μὴ δύνασθαι. τίνα γὰρ ἄλλην μητέρα Μοιρῶν ἢ ταύτην ἐκείνων ὑμνούντων ἠκούσαμεν; οἶδα μὲν οὖν, ὅτι καὶ Μοίρας ἄλλας Ὀρφεύς, εἰ καὶ τοῖς αὐτοῖς ὀνόμασι χρώμενος, ἀπ’ αὐτῶν προελθεῖν φησιν τῶν πρωτίστων θεῶν, ἐπέκεινα καὶ τῆς Κρόνου βασιλείας καὶ τῶν νοερῶν ὅλως διακόσμων· ἀλλὰ κἀκεῖνος ἄλλην Ἀνάγκην παρήγαγεν πρὸ τῶν Μοιρῶν, στυγερῶπά τε Ἀνάγκην λέγων προελθεῖν ἀπ’ ἐκείνων.

“Who, in fact, will we say, is this Goddess? That is manifest in the verses we are following. We hear she (Ἀνάγκη) is lauded as the mother of the Mírai (Μοῖραι); consequently, she is the leader of the whole worldly order, from within souls, from within natures, and holding together unswerving in every way, and dividing, where she has placed each order in completion in suitable form. This being the one who is called by the theologians Thǽmis (Θέμις).[1] We say that to transgress is undertaking what is unlawful, and yet, do we not dare ourselves to transgress? For who have we heard is another mother of the Mírai than this one they sing of? I do indeed certainly know, seeing that even Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) knew another Mírai, and he is proclaiming so himself with their names, from themselves having proceeded forward, he says, from the very first Gods, and henceforth, from Krónos the king also of the whole intellectual order. But the latter led another Anángî (Ἀνάγκη) before the Mírai, saying that hateful-faced Anángî proceeds from them.”

(trans. by the author)

[1] Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 901:

δεύτερον ἠγάγετο λιπαρὴν Θέμιν, ἣ τέκεν Ὥρας,

Εὐνουμίην τε Δίκην τε καὶ Εἰρήνην τεθαλυῖαν,

αἳ ἔργ᾽ ὠρεύουσι καταθνητοῖσι βροτοῖσι,

Μοίρας θ᾽, ᾗ πλείστην τιμὴν πόρε μητίετα Ζεύς,

Κλωθώ τε Λάχεσίν τε καὶ Ἄτροπον, αἵτε διδοῦσι

θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποισιν ἔχειν ἀγαθόν τε κακόν τε.

“Next he (Ζεύς) married bright Themis who bore the Horae (Hours),

and Eunomia (Order), Diké (Justice), and blooming Eirene (Peace),

who mind the works of mortal men,

and the Moerae (Fates) to whom wise Zeus gave the greatest honor,

Clotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos who give

mortal men evil and good to have.”

(trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)


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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