ORPHIC FRAGMENT 238 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 238 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment is a poetic instruction manual as to how to deck out the statue of Diónysos like the Sun.

238. (152) Macrobii Ambrosii Theodosii Saturnaliorum Libri Septem (Cornelius Labeo?) I 18, 22:

item Orpheus Liberum atque Solem unum esse deum eundemque demonstrans de ornatu vestituque eius in sacris Liberalibus ita scribit

ταῦτά τε πάντα τελεῖη ἦρι σκευῆι πυκάσαντα

σῶμα θεοῦ, μίμημα περικλύτου ἠελίοιο·

πρῶτα μὲν οὖν φλογέαις ἐναλίγκιον ἀκτίνεσσιν

πέπλον φοινίκεον πυρὶ εἴκελον ἀμφιβαλέσθαι·

αὐτὰρ ὕπερθε νεβροῖο παναίολον εὐρὺ καθάψαι

δέρμα πολύστικτον θηρὸς κατὰ δεξιὸν ὦμον,

ἄστρων δαιδαλέων μίμημ’ ἱεροῦ τε πόλοιο.

εἶτα δ’ ὕπερθε νεβρῆς χρύσεον ζωστῆρα βαλέσθαι,

παμφανόωντα, πέριξ στέρνων φορέειν, μέγα σῆμα,

εὐθὺς ὅτ’ ἐκ περάτων γαίης Φαέθων ἀνορούων

χρυσείαις ἀκτῖσι βάληι ῥόον Ὠκεανοῖο,

αὐγὴ δ’ ἄσπετος ἦι, ἀνὰ δὲ δρόσωι ἀμφιμιγεῖσα

μαρμαίρηι δίνηισιν ἑλισσομένη κατὰ κύκλον,

πρόσθε θεοῦ· ζωστὴρ δ’ ἄῥ ὑπὸ στέρνων ἀμετρήτων

φαίνεται Ὠκεανοῦ κύκλος, μέγα θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι.

“Likewise Orphéfs, (Ὀρφεύς) showing Liber (Διόνυσος) and the Sun to be the one same God, (he represents his) accoutrements and attire in the sacred Liberalia festival in the following description:

‘This, and all perfect things, prepare early, decking out

the body of the God, in imitation of the noble sun.

So first indeed like flaming rays,

encircle him in crimson, with a robe of fire.

Then over this, dangle a broad many-colored faun-pelt,

spreading out the multi-spotted hide of the wild beast

in imitation of the spangled stars and the divine axis of the sky.

Then over the faun’s pelt place a golden belt,

radiating, arrayed all ‘round his chest, a great sign!

...like Phaǽthôn (Φαέθων) leaping up straight from the rim of the earth

as he strikes the stream of Ôkæanós (Ὠκεανός) with his golden rays.

He is the unceasing sunlight, but also the king, mingled with the dew.

as he sparkles, whirling and rolling throughout the circular dance,

(All this) for the God! The belt beneath his immeasurable chest

reveals the ring of Ôkæanós, a great marvel to behold!’ ” (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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