ORPHIC FRAGMENT 224 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 224 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: These fragments talk of reincarnation: fathers and sons change into mothers and daughters; the soul of man was once a horse, a cow, a bird, a cow, and a snake.

224. (222. 223) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 338, 10 Kr.:

ταῦτα καὶ τῆς Ὀρφικῆς ἡμᾶς ἐκδιδασκούσης θεολογίας. ἢ οὐχὶ καὶ Ὀρφεὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα σαφῶς παραδίδωσιν, ὅταν μετὰ τὴν τῶν Τιτάνων μυθικὴν δίκην καὶ τὴν ἐξ ἐκείνων γένεσιν τῶν θνητῶν τούτων ζώιων λέγηι πρώτον μέν, ὅτι τοὺς βίους ἀμείβουσιν αἱ ψυχαὶ κατὰ δή τινας περιόδους καὶ εἰσδύονται ἄλλαι εἰς ἄλλα σώματα πολλάκις ἀνθρώπων·

a οἱ δ’ αὐτοὶ πατέρες τε καὶ υἱέες ἐν μεγάροισιν

εὔκοσμοί τ’ ἄλοχοι καὶ μητέρες ἠδὲ θύγατρες

γίνοντ’ ἀλλήλων μεταμειβομένηισι γενέθλαις.

ἐν γὰρ τούτοις τὴν ἀπ’ ἀνθρωπίνων σωμάτων εἰς ἀνθρώπινα μεοτίκισιν αὐτῶν παραδίδωσιν......|339, 1 Kr. ἔπειθ’ ὅτι καὶ εἰς τὰ ἄλλα ζῶια μετάβασίς ἐστι τῶν ψυχῶν τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων, καὶ τοῦτο διαρρήδην Ὀρφεὺς ἀναδιδάσκει, ὁπηνίκα ἂν διορίζηται·

b οὕνεκ’ ἀμειβομένη ψυχὴ κατὰ κύκλα χρόνοιο

ἀνθρώπων ζώιοισι μετέρχεται ἄλλοθεν ἄλλοις·

ἄλλοτε μέν θ’ ἵππος, τότε γίνεται - - - - - - -

ἄλλοτε δὲ πρόβατον, τότε δ’ ὄρνεον αἰνὸν ἰδέσθαι,

ἄλλοτε δ’ αὖ κύνεον τε δέμας φωνή τε βαρεῖα,

καὶ ψυχρῶν ὀφίων ἕρπει γένος ἐν χθονὶ δίηι.

“And these things of the Orphic theology are taught to us thoroughly. Surely, Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς), in such matters, clearly transmits this, since by means of the Titans there is a legendary law, and it is said that those souls, out of their origin from the mortal animals, exchange their lives following about in a circle, and they enter into other bodies, even many times into those of humans:

a ‘The same are the fathers and sons of the house

as the orderly wives and mothers and daughters;

they come about changing into each other through the generations.’

“For, they (the theologians) impart, that from human bodies the souls transmigrate of themselves into humans... thereafter even migration into the other animals is from the souls of men, and this explicitly Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) clearly shows, at whatever time it is determined to come:

b ‘Because the transforming soul goes down in the circles of time,

it comes next from that of men into the other living creatures:

indeed, at one time a horse, but then it becomes …

at another time a cow, at times a bird, behold such dread!

...at another time in the shape of a dog with its strong bark,

and the cold race of snakes crawling upon the sacred earth.’ ” (trans. by the author)

σχόλιον Ὀλυμπιοδώρου επὶ Φαίδωνος Πλάτωνος 70 c p. 58, 8 Norv.:

καὶ ὅτι τὸ ζῶν καὶ τὸ τεθνεὸς ἐξ ἀλλήλων, κατεσκευάζει ἡ λέξις ἐκ τῆς μαρτυρίας τῶν παλαιῶν ποιητῶν, ἀπὸ Ὀρφέως, φημί, λέγοντος·

a οἱ δ’ αὐτοὶ πατέρες τε καὶ υἱέες ἐν μεγάροισιν

ἠδ’ ἄλοχοι σεμναὶ κεδναί τε θύγατερες.

πανταχοῦ γὰρ ὁ Πλάτων παρωιδεῖ τὰ Ὀρφεως. οὕτω γοῦν καὶ ἀνωτέρω ἔλεγεν· ὁ μὲν οὖν ἐν ἀπορρήτοις περὶ αὐτῶν λεγόμενος, καὶ πάλιν fr. 235

“That the living things and the dead arise from one another is established in the speech by the testimony of the ancient poets, (indeed,) from Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς), in his text, saying:

a ‘The fathers and sons are the same ones in the house

as also the stately wives and cherished daughters.’

“For everywhere Plátôn (Πλάτων) imitates Orphéfs....” (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.

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