ORPHIC FRAGMENT 137 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: Three quotations regarding the castration by Krónos of Ouranós.

137. (114) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 396 b p. 55, 11 Pasqu.:

μόνος δ' ὁ Κρόνος καὶ ἀφαιρεῖται τὸν Οὐρανὸν τὴν βασιλείαν τελέως, καὶ τῶι Διὶ παραχωρεῖ τῆς ἡγεμονίας, τέμνων καὶ τεμνόμενος, ὥς φησιν ὁ μῦθος. ἐπεὶ τοίνυν τὴν τοιαύτην διαδοχὴν ὑβριστικὴν οὖσαν ἐπὶ Κρόνου λεγομένην ἑώρα ὁ Πλάτων παρὰ τοῖς θεολόγοις, μνήμης ἠξίωσεν καὶ τὴν ἐν τῶι ὀνόματι φαντασίαν τῆς ὕβρεως, ἵνα καὶ ταύτηι προσῆκον ἀποφήνηι τὸ ὄνομα τῶι θεῶι, καὶ εἰκόνα φέρον τῆς περὶ ἐκεῖνον μυθευομένης ὕβρεως, ἡμᾶς δ᾽ ἀναδιδάξηι καὶ τὰ μυθικὰ πλάσματα πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐπανάγειν, ὡς προσήκει περὶ θεῶν καὶ τὴν φαινομένην τερατολογίαν εἰς ἐπιστημονικὴν ἔννοιαν ἀναπέμπειν.

“But Saturn (Κρόνος) alone perfectly deprives Heaven (Οὐρανός) of the kingdom, and concedes dominion to Jupiter (Ζεύς), cutting and being cut off as the fable says. Plato therefore seeing this succession, which in Saturn is called by theologists insolent (ὑβριστικῇ) thought it worth while to mention the appearance of insolence in the name; that from this he might evince the name is adapted to the God, and that it bears an image of the insolence which is ascribed to him in fables. At the same time he teaches us to refer mythical devices to the truth concerning the Gods, and the apparent absurdity which they contain, to scientific conceptions.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Lobeck I 507; Dieterich Abraxas 76; M. Mayer ap. Rosch. II 1470.

Lyd. De mens. IV 64 p. 116, 21 W.:

τεχθῆναι δ’ αὐτὴν (sc. Ἀφροδίτην) ἀξιοῦσιν ἀπὸ τῶν Κρόνου μηδέων, τουτέστιν ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος.

“But they esteemed that Aphrodítî (Ἀφροδίτη) was brought into the world from the genitals of Krónos, that is to say from his life-force (αἰών).” (trans. by the author)

ap. Scholium G falsarii Ovidius Ibis 273 p. 51 Robinson Ellis (questionable attribution to Calixto):

(Saturnus) parte est laesus eadem poenamque a nato quam dedit ipse tulit.

“Krónos was wounded by the same means (as Ouranós), and he endured suffering from (his own) son the same as he himself delivered.” (trans. by the author)


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.

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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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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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