ORPHIC FRAGMENT 221 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 221 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment states that in the Phaidôn (Φαίδων), Plátôn (Πλάτων) reveals secrets of the Mysteries, of the mythology, which is symbolic language, of Diónysos and the Titánæs (Τιτάνες), and other cryptic things.

221. (221) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 85, 1 Kr.:

δηλοῖ (sc. ὁ Πλάτων) δὲ ἐν Φαίδωνι (62 b; 69 c; 108 a v. fr. 5 et 7) τό τε ἐν ἀπορρήτοις λεγόμενον, ὡς ἔν τινι φρουρᾶι ἐσμεν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, σιγῆι τῆι πρεπούσηι σέβων, καὶ τὰς τελετὰς μαρτυρόμενος τῶν διαφόρων λήξεων τῆς ψυχῆς κεκαθαρμένης τε καὶ ἀκαθάρτου εἰς Ἅιδου ἀπιούσης, καὶ τάς τε σχίσεις αὖ καὶ τὰς τριόδους ἀπὸ τῶν ὁσίων καὶ τῶν πατρίων θεσμῶν (i. e. Eleusiniorum) τεκμαιρόμενος, ἃ δὴ τῆς συμβολικῆς ἅπαντα θεωρίας ἐστὶ μεστά, καὶ τῶν παρὰ τοῖς ποιηταῖς θρυλουμένων ἀνόδων τε καὶ καθόδων, τῶν τε Διονυσιακῶν συνθημάτων καὶ τῶν Τιτανικῶν ἁμαρτημάτων λεγομένων, καὶ τῶν ἐν Ἅιδου τριόδων καὶ τῆς πλάνης καὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἁπάντων. ὥστ’ οὐδ’ ἂν αὐτὸς παντελῶς ἀτιμάσειεν τὴν τοιαύτην μυθοποιΐαν, ἀλλ’ ὡς πρὸς τὴν παιδευτικὴν τῶν νέων προαίρεσιν ἀλλοτρίαν αὐτὴν ὑπείληφεν· καὶ διὰ ταῦτα τοὺς τῆς θεολογίας τύπους συμμέτρους τοῖς τῶν παιδευτικῶν ἥθεσιν παραδίδωσιν.

“But in the Phaidôn, he (Πλάτων) discloses what is usually said in secret, that men are in a ‘prison,’ this, clearly, to be kept reverentially in silence. And, further, witnessing the initiations, he describes the different allotments of the soul, (contingent upon whether it is) purified or unclean as it departs to Aidîs (Ἅιδης). And, also, of the forks, and again of the convergence of three roads, (he explains as arising) from sacred and patrilineal laws ordained from signs, all these abounding in highly symbolic content. And (he speaks) of things said many times by the poets, stories of ascents and descents, tokens of Diónysos and the sinful actions of the Titánæs (Τιτάνες) which are spoken of, and the triple-crossroads of Aidîs, and the wandering, and all the things such as these. Therefore, he (Πλάτων) would not wholly discredit mythology such as this, but he was ill-disposed (to such story-telling) as concerns policy for teaching youths. (trans. by the author)

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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