ORPHIC FRAGMENT 157 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 157 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: These quotations state that Zefs (Ζεύς) possesses a scepter consisting of “four and twenty measures.”

157. (116) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 396 b (52, 26 Pasqu.):

καὶ γὰρ (Iuppiter) διττοὺς ὑφίστησι διακόσμους, τόν τε οὐράνιον καὶ τὸν ὑπερουράνιον (Lob., ὑπρουράνιον codd.), ὅθεν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ σκῆπτρον εἶναί φησιν ὁ θεολόγος

πισύρων καὶ εἴκοσι μέτρων,

ὡς διττῶν ἄρχοντος δυωδεκάδων.

“For he gives subsistence to twofold orders, the celestial, and the supercelestial; whence also the theologist Orpheus says, that his sceptre consists of

‘four and twenty measures;’

as ruling over a twofold twelve.*”

(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816)

* i.e. The Twelve Gods who first subsist in the liberated or supercelestial order and who are divided into four triads, and the twelve mundane Gods, Jupiter (Ζεύς), Neptune (Ποσειδῶν), Vulcan (Ἥφαιστος); Vesta (Ἑστία), Minerva (Ἀθηνᾶ), Mars (Ἄρης); Ceres (Δημήτηρ), Juno (Ἥρᾱ), Diana (Ἄρτεμις); and Mercury (Ἑρμῆς), Venus (Ἀφροδίτη), Apollo (Ἀπόλλων). The first of these triads is fabricative; the second defensive; the third vivific; and the fourth anagogic or elevating, as is shown by Proclus in the sixth book of his Theology. (note by Thomas Taylor)

Idem in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 20 a (I 69, 29 Diehl):

τῶι δὲ τὰς μεγίστας ἀρχὰς μετακεχειρίσθαι τὸ βασιλικὸν ἐκείνου καὶ κρατητικὸν τῶν ὅλων, οὗ καὶ τὸ |70 Diehl σκῆπτρον πισύρων --- μέτρων ἐστὶ κατὰ τοὺς θεολόγους.

“...it represents to us the royal power of the Demiurgus, and which has dominion over wholes; his sceptre, according to theologists, consisting of four and twenty measures.” * (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

* The sceptre of Jupiter (Ζεύς), as we are informed by Proclus on the Cratylus, was, according Orpheus, twenty-four measures in length; by which says he, the theologist signifies, the establishment of those two divine orders by Jupiter, the celestial, and supercelestial, and his reigning over two series of Gods, each of which is characterized by the number twelve. (Taylor’s note)

et ibidem σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 31 a (I 451, 2 Diehl):

ἀλλ’ ὁ μὲν Φάνης διττάς ὑφίστησι τριάδας, ὁ δὲ Ζεὺς διττὰς δυωδεκάδας· καὶ γὰρ διὰ τοῦτο τὸ σκῆπτρον αὐτοῦ λέγεται·

πισύρων [καὶ εἴκοσι] μέτρων.

“Phanes, however, gives subsistence to twofold triads, but Jupiter (Ζεύς) to twofold duodecads. For on this account his sceptre is said to consist of

‘four-and-twenty measures.’ ”

(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

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.

The logo to the left 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

Transliteration of Ancient Greek

Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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