ORPHIC FRAGMENT 141 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: In this fragment, Orpheus says that Kronos reigns over the silver race.

141. (244) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Ἔργων καὶ Ἡμερῶν Ἡσιόδου 126 (Gaisf. II 121, 18):

ὁ μὲν Ὀρφεὺς τοῦ ἀργυροῦ γένους βασιλεύειν φησὶ τὸν Κρόνον, τοὺς κατὰ τὸν καθαρὸν λόγον ζῶντας ἀργυροῦς λέγων ὥσπερ τοὺς κατὰ νοῦν μόνον χρυσοῦς· ὁ δὲ Ἡσίοδος (Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι Ἡσιόδου 127, see below) ἐθέλων τὴν μεταβολὴν ἐνδείξασθαι τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ζωῆς τὸ ἀργυροῦν γένος τῶν ἀνθρώπων ποιεῖ ῥάθυμον.

Lobeck I 510; Holwerda 309.

“Truly, Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) says Krónos reigns over the silver race. The silver (humans) live in conformity with pure reason (λόγος), (and as it is understood) from the accounts, the golden (humans) live in conformity with mind alone. But Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος), gladly pointing out the change of human life, makes the silver race of humans lazy.”

(trans. by the author)

Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι Ἡσιόδου 127-139:

δεύτερον αὖτε γένος πολὺ χειρότερον μετόπισθεν

ἀργύρεον ποίησαν Ὀλύμπια δώματ᾽ ἔχοντες,

χρυσέῳ οὔτε φυὴν ἐναλίγκιον οὔτε νόημα.

ἀλλ᾽ ἑκατὸν μὲν παῖς ἔτεα παρὰ μητέρι κεδνῇ

ἐτρέφετ᾽ ἀτάλλων, μέγα νήπιος, ᾧ ἐνὶ οἴκῳ.

ἀλλ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἡβήσαι τε καὶ ἥβης μέτρον ἵκοιτο,

παυρίδιον ζώεσκον ἐπὶ χρόνον, ἄλγε᾽ ἔχοντες

ἀφραδίῃς: ὕβριν γὰρ ἀτάσθαλον οὐκ ἐδύναντο

ἀλλήλων ἀπέχειν, οὐδ᾽ ἀθανάτους θεραπεύειν

ἤθελον οὐδ᾽ ἔρδειν μακάρων ἱεροῖς ἐπὶ βωμοῖς,

ἣ θέμις ἀνθρώποις κατὰ ἤθεα. τοὺς μὲν ἔπειτα

Ζεὺς Κρονίδης ἔκρυψε χολούμενος, οὕνεκα τιμὰς

οὐκ ἔδιδον μακάρεσσι θεοῖς, οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσιν.

“Then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far. It was like the golden race neither in body nor in spirit. A child was brought up at his good mother's side a hundred years, an utter simpleton, playing childishly in his own home. But when they were full grown and were come to the full measure of their prime, they lived only a little time and that in sorrow because of their foolishness, for they could not keep from sinning and from wronging one another, nor would they serve the immortals, nor sacrifice on the holy altars of the blessed ones as it is right for men to do wherever they dwell. Then Zeus the son of Cronos was angry and put them away, because they would not give honor to the blessed Gods who live on Olympus.”

(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.

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).

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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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