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

SUMMARY: Fragment 65 states, according to John Malalas (491-578 CE) the Syrian chronicler from Antioch, that Orpheus outlined the following sequence: the Incomprehensible One, Time, Aether, and Chaos. Under the Aether is everything; this everything is the possession of and is concealed by Nyx (Night). Earth was in this darkness, but the light of the Incomprehensible One broke through the Aether and illuminated everything. This Incomprehensible One is three-fold: Metis (Counselor), Phanes (Light), and Ericapaeus (Giver-of-Life). These three are one power of one God, who is the source of all creation.

65. (56) Χρονογραφία Ἰωάννου Μαλάλα IV 89 p. 74 Dind. ~ Georg. Cedren. I 102, 8 Bekk. (v. etiam I 148, 7) ~ Suid. s.:

Ὀρφεύς. ἔστι δὲ ἅπερ ἐξέθετο Ὀρφεὺς ταῦτα. ὅτι ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἀνεδείχθη τῷ Χρόνῳ ὁ Αἰθὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ δημιουργηθείς καὶ ἐντεῦθεν κἀκεῖθεν τοῦ Αἰθέρος ἦν Χάος, καὶ Νὺξ ζοφερὰ πάντα κατεῖχε καὶ ἐκάλυπτε τὰ ὑπὸ τὸν Αἰθέρα, σημαίνων τὴν Νύκτα πρωτεύειν, εἰρηκὼς ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ ἐκθέσει ἀκατάληπτόν τινα καὶ πάντων ὑπέρτατον εἶναι, καὶ προγενέστερον δὲ καὶ δημιουργὸν ἁπάντων καὶ τοῦ Αἰθέρος αυτοῦ καὶ τῆς Νυκτὸς καὶ πάσης τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν Αἰθέρα οὔσης καὶ καλυπτομένης κτίσεως· τὴν δὲ Γῆν εἶπεν ὑπὸ τοῦ σκότους ἀόρατον οὖσαν· ἔφρασε δὲ ὅτι τὸ φῶς ῥῆξαν τὸν Αἰθέρα ἐφώτισε τὴν Γῆν καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν κτίσιν, εἰπὼν ἐκεῖνο εἶναι τὸ φῶς τὸ ῥῆξαν τὸν Αἰθέρα τὸ προειρημένον, τὸ ὑπέρτατον πάντων, οὗ ὄνομα ὁ αὐτὸς Ὀρφεὺς ἀκούσας ἐκ τῆς μαντείας (v. fr. 62) ἐξεῖπε, Μῆτιν, Φάνητα, Ἠρικεπαῖον· ὅπερ ἑρμηνεύεται τῇ κοινῇ γλώσσῃ βουλή, φῶς, ζῳοδοτήρ· εἰπὼν ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ ἐκθέσει τὰς αὐτὰς τρεῖς θείας τῶν ὀνομάτων δυνάμεις μίαν εἶναι δύναμιν καὶ κράτος τοῦ μόνου θεοῦ, ὃν οὐδεὶς ὁρᾷ, ἧστινος δυνάμεως οὐδεὶς δύναται γνῶναι ἰδέαν ἢ φύσιν, ἐξ αὐτῆς δὲ τῆς δυνάμεως τὰ πάντα γεγενῆσθαι, καὶ ἀρχὰς ἀσωμάτους καὶ ἥλιον καὶ σελήνην, ἐξουσίας καὶ ἄστρα πάντα καὶ γῆν καὶ θάλασσαν, τὰ ὁρώμενα ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα.

“Orpheus. And this is what Orphéfs said. He declared that from the beginning (of everything), the Aithír followed after Time, created by the God. And henceforth Kháos (Χάος) follows next after the Aithír. And that gloomy Nyx (Night, Νὺξ) possesses all and conceals it under the Aithír, thus indicating that the first place belongs to Nyx. He says here in his exposition that there is an incomprehensible one, who is the highest of all, and so, therefore, primeval, and creator of all, and the Aithír itself and Nyx and this which was beneath the Aithír concealing the foundation. He then explained that the Earth was invisible under the darkness. He said that then the light broke through the Aithír and illuminated the earth and all of creation, declaring that the light which broke through the Aithír was the one spoken of previously, he who is highest of all, whose name Orphéfs himself heard from an oracle (v. fr. 62), and said it was Mítis (Μῆτις), Phánîs (Φάνης), Irikæpaios (Ἠρικεπαῖος). These three can be interpreted in ordinary language as, “Counselor, Light, Giver-of-Life!” He said in his exposition that those three sacred things, bearing those names, are one power, and are the strength of one God, whom no-one can see. Concerning this power, no-one has the capability to understand its form or nature. From this power of itself everything came into being, the unembodied beginning, the sun and the moon, the magistrates, and all the stars and the earth and the sea, all that which is perceptible in them and that which is unseen.” (trans. by the author)

Lobeck I 479; Roeper Lection. Abulpharag. I (Progr. Danzig 1844), 8. of the name and power of Irikæpaios v. Waser RE2 VI 452; an inscription must be added from an altar at Hierocaesareensis fr. 31 p. 103 s. On the significance of ζῳοδοτὴρ “giver of life” v. Beth Wien. Stud. XXXIV 1912, 292.

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.

This logo 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).

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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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