ORPHIC FRAGMENT 66 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 66 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: Time gave birth to Aithír causing a vast chasm to open.

66. (52) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 138, 8 Kr. (v. Kroll Philol. LIII 1894, 561)

τίνες δὴ οὖν αἱ δυάδες αὗται; πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ἐκεῖνό μοι δοκεῖ μὴ παρέργως ὁ Πλάτων ὀνομάσαι χάσματα τὰς δύο δυάδας, ἀλλ᾿ εἰδὼς καὶ τὸν θεολόγον Ὀρφέα τούτῳ τῷ ὀνόματι καλοῦντα τὴν πασῶν κινήσεων καὶ προόδων πρωτουργὸν ἐν τοῖς νοητοῖς αἰτίαν, ἣν οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι δυάδα νοητὴν καὶ ἀόριστον προσηγόρευον·

a Αἰθέρα μὲν Χρόνος οὗτος ἀγήραος, 1 ἀφθιτόμητις γείνατο καὶ μέγα χάσμα πελώριον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα.

καὶ μικρὸς ὕστερον· fr. 72

“What in fact are the dyads themselves? Well first then, one should not think that they are cursory, for Plátôn named the two dyads ‘chasms.’ Another understanding, the theologian Orphéfs suggests by this name, that the causes of all motions and progressing primary motions lie in the intelligible, whereas the Pythagoreans call the dyad intelligible and indefinite:

a ‘Indeed, Time (Χρόνος), the undecaying one, of immortal counsel, begot Aithír and a vast wide chasm opened on this side and that,’

and a little (one) after." (trans. by the author)

Vs. 2 καὶ μέγα ... ἔνθα citant etiam σχόλιον Συριανοῦ τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικά τοῦ Ἀριστοτέλους B 4 p. 1000 b 14 (43, 30 Kr.), σχόλιον Σιμπλικίου επὶ περὶ Φυσικὴς τοῦ Ἀριστοτέλους IV, 1 p. 208 b 29 (I 528, 12 Diels):

ἔοικε δὲ τοιαύτη τις τότε τῶν Ἡσιόδου ἐπῶν ἐπιπολάζειν ἐξήγησις τὸ Χάος εἰς χώραν μεταλαμβάνουσα. δηλοῖ δὲ οὐ χώραν ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀπειροειδῆ καὶ πεπληθυσμένην τῶν θεῶν αἰτίαν, ἣν 'Ορφεὺς ‘χάσμα πελώριον’ ἐκάλεσε. μετὰ γὰρ τὴν μίαν τῶν πάντων ἀρχήν, ἣν 'Ορφεὺς Χρόνον ἀνυμνεῖ ὡς μέτρον οὖσαν τῆς μυθικῆς τῶν θεῶν γενέσεως, Αἰθέρα καὶ τὸ “πελώριον χάσμὰ” προελθεῖν φησι, τὸν μὲν τῆς περατοειδοῦς προόδου τῶν θεῶν αἴτιον, τὸ δὲ τῆς ἀπειροειδοῦς. καὶ λέγει περὶ αὐτοῦ·

b οὐδέ τι πεῖραρ 2 ὑπῆν, 3 οὐ πυθμήν, οὐδέ 4 τις ἕδρα.

“And it looks as though (an idea) such as this at the time of the verses of Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος) were prevalent, whereby Khaos partakes of space. But it does not indicate space, but the rather the infinite and plurality of the cause of the Gods, (of which) Orphéfs (Ορφεὺς) called the ‘mighty chasm.’ For after the one first cause of all, which Orphéfs proclaimed as Time, thus being the measure of the mythical birth of the Gods. He says the Aithír (Αἰθήρ) and the ‘mighty chasm’ advanced forward, indeed, that as the cause of the limited procession of the Gods, and (the other) as the infinite (procession). And he says of it himself:

b “subsisting without limit, without foundation, without any dwelling place.” (trans. by the author)

laudat. in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Παρμενίδου Πλάτωνος 137 d VI p. 1120, 28 Cous.:

οὐδέ τι πεῖρας ὑπῆν,

“Nor any (of Χάος) pierced through (i.e. stuck in place, as meat on spits) beneath it.” (trans. by the author)

in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 30 a (I 385, 29 Diehl):

χάσμα μὲν γάρ ἐστιν ὡς χώρα τῶν εἰδῶν καὶ τόπος, οὔτε δὲ πεῖραρ οὔτε | 386 Diehl πυθμὴν οὔτε ἕδρα περὶ αὐτήν ἐστιν, ὡ ἄστατον καὶ ἄπειρον καὶ ἀόριστον οὖσαν· ἀζηχὲς δὲ αὖ σκότος καὶ αὐτὴ ὡς ἀνείδεον λαχοῦσα τὴν φύσιν ὀνομάζοιτο ἄν --- ὥστε καὶ Ὀ. κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ἀπὸ τῆς πρωτίστης τῶν νοητῶν ύποστάσεως παράγει τὴν ὕλην· ἐκεῖ γὰρ τὸ ἀζηχὲς σκότος καὶ τὸ ἄπειρον, καὶ ταῦτα μὲν κρειττόνως τῶν ἐφεξῆς, τῇ δὲ ὕλῃ τὸ ἀλαμπὲς δι’ ἔνδειαν καὶ τὸ ἄπειρον, οὐ κατὰ δυνάμεως περιουσίαν, ἀλλὰ κατ' ἔλλειψιν,

An it is indeed a separation (χώρισμα), as being the receptacle (χώρα) and place of forms; but there is neither bound, nor a bottom, nor a seat about it, as being infinite, unstable, an indefinite. But again, the last infinity may be denominated a perpetual darkness, as being allotted a formless nature. Hence conformably to this assertion, Orpheus produces matter from the first hypostasis of intelligibles. For there perpetual darkness and the infinite subsist. And these indeed, subsist there is a way more excellent than the successive orders of being. In matter however, the unilluminated, and the infinite are inherent, through indigence, and not according to a transcendency, but a deficiency of power.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 30 c. d (I 428, 4 Diehl):

ἦν δὲ τὸ ὠιὸν ἐκεῖνο τοῦ τε Αἰθέρος ἔγγονον καὶ τοῦ Χάους, ὧν ὁ μὲν κατὰ τὸ πέρας ἵδρυται τῶν νοητῶν, ὸ δὲ κατὰ τὸ ἄπειρον. ὃ μὲν γάρ ἐστι ῥίζωμα τῶν πάντων (v. Empedocl. fr. 6, 1 Diels I3 226), τῷ δὲ οὐδὲν πεῖραρ ὑπῆν (v. fr. 79).

“This egg however, was the offspring of Ether and Chaos, the former of which is established conformably to the bound, but the latter to the infinity of intelligibles. For the former is the root of all things, but the latter has not any boundary.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Nihil addunt Syrian. in Aristot. Metaph. B 1 p. 996 a 1 (10, 12 Kr.), B 4 p. 1000 a 19 (43, 12 Kr.), N 4 p. 1091 b 4 (p. 182, 18 Kr.) et Procl. in Tim. 24e (I 176, 13 Diehl), in Parmenid. 137 d VI p. 1121, 27 Cous. 2; Damasc. De princ. 50 (I 100, 19 Rue.).

1. ἀγήραος non ἀγήρατος v. fr. 54 n. 3.

2. πεῖραρ Simplic. EF Procl. in Tim. 30a; πεῖρας Simpl. Ald.; πεῖρας Procl. in Parm. 137d.

3. ὑπῆν Simpl. E Procl.; ἦν Simpl. F, ἔην Simpl. Ald.

4. οὐ Simpl. EF; οὐδὲ Ald.

Lob. I 472; Kern De Theogon. 3; Holwerda 290. 292. 300. 306.

Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 386:

τῶν οὐκ ἔστ᾽ ἀπάνευθε Διὸς δόμος, οὐδέ τις ἕδρη.

“[Cratos (Strength) and Bia (Force), wonderful children.]

These have no house apart from Zeus, nor any dwelling

[nor path except that wherein God leads them,

but they dwell always with Zeus the loud-thunderer.]”

(trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

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; Gr. 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; Gr. κιθάρα), the the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. 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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