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

SUMMARY: In this quotation, Orpheus calls Dionysos a younger (νέος) God to whom the Demiurge gave power over the reincarnation of the mortals.

205. (191. 206) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 41 d (III 241, 5 Diehl):

τελευτᾶι δὴ καλῶς ἡ δημιουγία τῶν νέων θεῶν κατὰ τὴν τοῦ πατρὸς βούλησιν εἰς τὴν παλιγγενεσίαν·

[τὸ γὰρ ‘τὰ φθίνοντα δέχεσθαι πάλιν’ ουδὲν ἄλλο ἐστὶν ἢ τὸ τὴν γένεσιν ἀνανεοῦν καὶ τὴν φθορὰν ἐπανάγειν εἰς τὴν γένεσιν· διὰ γὰρ τοῦτο καὶ οὐδὲν εἰς τὸ μηδαμῶς ὂν ὅλον ἄπεισιν, ὅτι δὴ οἱ προεστῶτες θεοὶ τῆς γενέσεως συνάπτουσι ταῖς ἑαυτῶν περιόδοις τὰς τῆς γενέσεως μεταβολὰς καὶ συνεχῆ ποιοῦσι τῇ φθορᾷ τὴν γένεσιν, τὸ μὴ ὂν τῆς φθορᾶς εἰδοποιοῦντες καὶ τὴν στέρησιν εἰς μορφὴν περιάγοντες.]

ἐν τοῖς νέοις ἄρα θεοῖς καὶ τὴν ἐξ ἀρχῆς δημιουργίαν τῶν θνητῶν καὶ τὴν τῆς παλιγγενεσίας αἰτίαν ὁ δημιουργὸς ἐνέθηκεν, ὥσπερ ἁπάντων τῶν ἐγκοσμίων ἐν τῆι μονάδι τῶν νέων θεῶν, ἣν καὶ αὐτὴν νέον θεὸν προσηγόρευσεν Ὀρφεύς ὁρᾶις οὖν, ὅπως καὶ ἑνοποιοὺς αὐτοῖς καὶ <ἐκ>θεωτικὰς δυνάμεις ἐνδέδωκε θεοὺς θεῶν ἀποκαλέσας, καὶ συνεκτικὰς καὶ μονίμους διὰ τῆς τοῦ λυτοῦ καὶ ὰλύτου μεσὀτητος καὶ γνωστικὰς διὰ τῆς μαθήσεως καὶ τελειωτικὰς διὰ τοῦ τελειοῦν τὸν κόσμον ταῖς προσθήκαις τῶν θνητῶν καὶ δημιουργικὰς διὰ τῆς δημιουργικῆς <καὶ> κινητικἀς καὶ ἀφομοιωτικὰς διὰ τῆς μιμήσεως τοῦ πατρός, καὶ πάλιν, εἰ βούλει λἐγειν, Ἡφαιστιακὰς μὲν διὰ τῆς κατὰ φύσιν ἐνεργείας, Ἀθηναϊκὰς δὲ διὰ τῆς τοῦ προσυφαίνειν τῶι ἀθανάτωι τὸ θνητὸν παρακελεύσεως, Δημητριακὰς δὲ καὶ Κορικὰς διὰ τοῦ γεννᾶν καὶ τρέφειν, Τιτανικὰς δὲ διὰ τοῦ θνητὰ καὶ ἐπίκηρα παράγειν, Διονυσιακὰς δὲ διὰ τῆς παλιγγενεσίας· ἃ γὰρ γεννῶσι, φθίνοντα δέχονται πάλιν εἰς τὰς ὁλότητας αὐτῶν ἀναπέμποντες καὶ ἕκαστα τοῖς οἰκείοις διανέμοντες καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἄλλα πάλιν λαμβάνοντες καὶ συντιθέντες εἰς ἄλλον γενέσεις· πάντα γὰρ | 242 Diehl αὐτοῖς ὑπόκειται τὰ στοιχεῖα πρὸς τὰς γεννήσεις τῶν θνητῶν ζώιων καὶ τὸν κύκλον ἀεὶ πληροῦσιν ἀπαύστως τῶν γενέσεων καὶ φθίσεων. δέχονται οὖν φθίνοντα, ὅσα ἔδοσαν γιγνομένοις καὶ προστιθέασι τοῖς ὅλοις ὅσα ἀφαιροῦσι τῶν ὅλων, καὶ τοῦτο ἀπέραντον ἔχει τὴν ἀμοιβὴν διὰ τὴν ἀεικινησίαν τῶν δημιουργούντων τὰ θνητὰ θεῶν πάντων, οἷς ἐπέτρεψε τὴν δημιουργίαν ὁ πατήρ.

“The fabrication (ed. of nutriment for the animals) also of these Gods beautifully ends, according to the will of the father, in regeneration (παλιγγενεσία, i.e. reincarnation).

[For to receive back again things which are corrupted, is nothing else than a renewal of generation, and a revocation of corruption to generation. For through this, nothing departs into that which has no existence whatever; because the Gods who preside over generation, conjoin the periods of it with their own periods, and make generation to be in continuity with corruption, giving form to the non-being of the latter, and circularly leading privation into morphe.]

The Demiurgus therefore, inserted in the junior (νέος, younger) Gods the fabrication of mortal natures from the beginning, and the cause of regeneration; just as he inserted the fabrication of all mundane natures in the monad of the junior Gods, [i.e. in Bacchus,] which also Orpheus denominates the Juvenile God. You see therefore, how the Demiurgus imparts to them unifying and deifying powers, by calling them Gods of Gods; connective and stable powers, through the medium of the dissoluble and indissoluble; gnostic powers through discipline; perfective powers, through giving perfection to the world by the addition of mortals; demiurgic powers, through fabrication; and motive and assimilative powers, through the imitation of the father. And again, you may say that he imparted to them Vulcanian (Ἡφαιστιακὰς) powers, through the energy according to nature; Minerval (Ἀθηναϊκὰς) powers, through the command to weave together the mortal with the immortal nature; Cerealian (Δημητριακὰς) and Coric (Κορικὰς) powers, through the command to generate and nourish; Titanic powers, through ordering them to produce mortal and perishable natures; and Dionysiac (Διονυσιακὰς) powers, through regeneration (παλιγγενεσία). For the things which they generate they receive back again, when they are corrupted, returning them to the wholes from which they were derived, and distributing each to its proper source; from these wholes again receiving other parts, and compounding them into the generation of other things. For all the elements are spread under them, in order to the generation of mortal animals, and they perpetually and without ceasing, give completion to the circle of generations and corruptions. Hence, they receive such things as they imparted to generated natures, when they are corrupted, and deliver to wholes that which they took from them. This likewise has an infinite permutation, through the immobility [i.e. immutability] of all the Gods that fabricate mortal natures.

‘These things spake the father to those to whom he committed the

fabrication [of mortal natures].’ ”

(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic 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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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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