ORPHIC FRAGMENT 81 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 81 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: The fragment states that Irikæpaios (Ἠρικεπαῖος) is both female and father (male).

81. (62) σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 30 c. d (I 429, 26 Diehl):

διὸ καὶ ὁλικώτατον ζῶιον ὁ θεολόγος ἀναπλάττει κριοῦ καὶ ταύρου καὶ λέοντος καὶ δράκοντος αὐτῶι περιτιθεὶς κεφαλάς, καὶ ἐν αὐτῶι πρώτῶι τὸ θῆλυ καὶ τὸ ἄρρεν ὡς ζώιωι πρώτωι·

θῆλυς καὶ γενέτωρ κρατερὸς θεὸς Ἠρικεπαῖος,

|430 Diehl φησὶν ὁ θεολόγος· αὐτῶι δὲ καὶ αἱ πτέρυγες πρώτον (v. fr. 78) καὶ τί δεῖ πολλὰ λέγειν; εί γαρ έκ τοΰ πρωτογενούς ὠιοῦ τὴν πρόοδον ἔσχε, δηλοῖ καὶ ὅδε ὁ μῦθος, ὅτι τὸ πρώτιστον ζῶιόν ἐστιν, εἴπερ τὴν ἀναλογίαν προσήκει φυλάττειν· ὡς γὰρ τὸ ὠιὸν τὴν σπερματικὴν αἰτίαν τοῦ ζῷου προείληφεν, ὅυτως ὁ κρύφιος διάκοσμος ἑνοειδῶς περιέχει πᾶν τὸ νοητόν, καὶ ὡς τὸ ζῶιόν ἤδη διηιρημένως ἔχει ὅσα ἦν ἐν τῶι ὠιῶι σπερματικῶς, οὕτω δὴ καὶ ὁ θεὸς ὅδε προάγει τὸ ἄρρητον καὶ ἄληπτον τῶν πρῶτων αἰτίων εἰς τὸ ἐμφανές.

Hence also, the theologist represents it as a most total animal; surrounds it with the heads of a ram, a bull, a lion, and a dragon; and ascribes to it primarily the female and the male, as to the first animal.

‘Female and father, strong and mighty God, Ericapæus,’

“...says the theologist. He is likewise the first God that is represented with wings. And what occasion is there to be prolix? For if he has his progression from the primogenial egg, this fable manifests that he is the first animal, if it is fit to preserve the analogy. For as the egg antecedently comprehends the spermatic cause of the animal, thus also the occult (κρύφιος, “concealed”) order [1], uniformly comprehends the whole of the intelligible. And as the animal now possesses in a distributed manner, such things as were in the egg spermatically, thus likewise this God produces into a visible subsistence that which is ineffable and incomprehensible in first causes. Concerning these things however, what has now been said may suffice for the present.”

[1] i.e. The first triad of the intelligible order, which is called by Plato in the Parmenides τὸ ἓν ὄν, the one being, or being characterized by, and absorbed as if it were in The One.

(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

in σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 31 a (I 450, 24 Diehl):

θῆλυς καὶ γενέτωρ (sc. ὁ Φάνης ἀνυμνεῖται)

“(Phanes, however, proceeds by himself alone, and is celebrated as) female and father.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Lactantius Institutiones Divinae IV 8, 4 p. 296, 2 Brandt:

nisi forte existimabimus (existimavimus RV, existimabamus H) deum, sicut Orpheus putavit, et marem esse et feminam, quod aliter generare non quiverit (nequierit H), nisi haberet vim sexus utriusque, quasi aut ipse secum coierit aut sine coitu non potuerit procreare.

“Unless by chance we shall [profanely] imagine, as Orpheus supposed, that God is both male and female, because otherwise He would have been unable to beget, unless He had the power of each sex, as though He could have intercourse with Himself, or without such intercourse be unable to produce.”

(trans. William Fletcher, 1886)

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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