ORPHIC FRAGMENT 132 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 132 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: There are three quotations, all of which mention the breasts of Rǽa (Ῥέα) and her role in creation. The second quotation states that Íra (Hera, Ἥρα) is equal in rank with Zefs (Ζεύς).

132. Ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν εἰς τὸν Πλάτωνος Παρμενίδην Δαμασκίου De princ. 422 (II 277, 5, C. A. Ruelle [1]; IV 57, Westerink & Combès):

εἶτα ἐπὶ τούτοις καὶ εἰς τὸ κινούμενον προέρχεται καὶ ἑστώς, ἐπεὶ διὰ τοῦ δημιουργοῦ καὶ ἡ ἐσχάτη φύσις ἑδράζεται των ἄλλων ἐν τοῖς κόλποις τῆς Ῥέας, ὡς ποιεῖ Ὀρφεύς· καὶ ὅλως ὁ δημιουργικὸς ἅπασιν ὅρμος, ἧιδέ ἐστιν ἡ θεὸς ἣ καὶ πρώτη προάγει τὴν δημιουργίαν εἰς ὕλην.

“And so in reference to these things, as to motion, so also comes forth stillness, whereas through the Dimiourgós even the furthest nature of all the others is established in the bosoms of Rǽa. So sings Orphéfs: the complete dîmiourgic chain altogether, where the Goddess resides, thus proceeds first towards creation in regards to matter.” (trans. by the author)

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 18c (I 46, 27 Diehl) Taylor trans. Vol. 1, p. 52.:

ἥ τε οὖν Ἥρα συμπρόεισι τῶι Διὶ πάντα ἀποτίκτουσα σύν τῶι πατρί· διὸ καὶ ἰσοτελὴς (fr. 163) αὐττῶι | 47 Diehl προσαγορεύεται· καὶ ἡ Ῥέα τὼι Κρόνωι· πάσης γάρ ἐστι τῆς Κρονίας δυνάμεως κόλπος ἡ θεὸς αὕτη· καὶ ἡ Γῆ τῶι Οὐρανῶι· πάντων γάρ ἡ Γῆ μήτηρ, ὧν ὁ Οὐρανὸς πατήρ.

“Hence Juno (Ἥρα) proceeds together with Jupiter (Ζεύς), generating all things in conjunction with the father. Hence, too, she is said to be equal in rank with Jupiter, as is likewise Rhea (Ῥέα) with Saturn (Κρόνος). For this Goddess is the bosom of all the Saturnian (Kronian) power. Earth also is equal in dignity with Heaven (Οὐρανός). For Earth is the mother of all things, of which Heaven is the father. (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Cf. Orac. Chald. apud Krollium p. 30 (Ab. fr. 305):

Ῥείη τοι νοερῶν μακάρων πηγή τε ῥοή τε·

πάντων γὰρ πρώτη δυνάμεις κόλποισιν ἀφράστοις

δεξαμένη γενεὴν ἐπὶ πᾶν προχέει τροχάουσαν.

“Rhea, in sooth, is both the Fountain and the Flood of the blest Knowing Ones;

for she it is who first receives the Father’s Powers into her countless Bosoms,

and poureth forth on every thing birth [-and-death] that spins like to a wheel.”

(trans. G. R. S. Mead, 1908)


ubi vs. 2 cum Krollio vix πατρὸς legendum est.

Kern Herm. XXIII 1888, 488 n. XXVI.


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

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Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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