ORPHIC FRAGMENT 99 - OTTO KERN

ORPHIC FRAGMENT 99 - OTTO KERN

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

SUMMARY: This fragment states that there are three Nights (Νύκτες): justice (δικαιοσύνη), moderation (σωφροσύνη), and knowledge (ἐπιστήμη).

99. (60) σχόλιον Ἑρμείου επὶ Φαίδρου Πλάτωνος 247d p. 154, 15 Couvr.:

οὐ μάτην δὲ οὐδὲ τὰ τρία ταῦτα ὀνόματα παρέλαβεν, αὐτὴν δικαιοσύνην, αὐτὴν σωφροσύνην, αὐτὴν ἐπιστήμην. τριῶν γὰρ παραδεδομένων Νυκτῶν παρ’ Ὀρφεῖ, τῆς μὲν ἐν ἑαυτῶι μενούσης τῆς πρώτης, τῆς δὲ τρίτης ἔξω προελθούσης, τῆς δὲ μέσης τούτων, τὴν μὲν πρώτην μαντεύειν φησίν, ὅ ἐστι τῆς ἐπιστήμης, τὴν δὲ μέσην αἰδοίαν καλεῖ, ὅ ἐστι τῆς σωφροσύνης, τὴν δὲ τρίτην ἀποτίκτειν φησὶ τὴν Δικαιοσύνην.

“But not in vain did he receive the names of these three: justice (δικαιοσύνη), moderation (σωφροσύνη), and knowledge (ἐπιστήμη) itself. For (when speaking) of threes, he (is speaking) of the (three) Nights (Νύκτες), and this knowledge coming from Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) himself; indeed, this condition abiding from the beginning. But (he is speaking) of the three which advanced forward and of the middle one. The first he calls prophecy, then there is knowledge, and of the middle, he names with reverence...it is temperance; but the third, he says, gave birth to Justice.” (trans. by the author)

Neoplatonicorum nugae extant etiam apud σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 39 b. c. d (III 88, 18 Diehl):

καὶ γὰρ τῆς νυκτὸς καὶ τῆς ἡμέρας τάξεις πολλαί, νοηταὶ καὶ νοεραὶ καὶ ὑπερκόσμιοι καὶ οὐράνιοι καὶ ὑπὸ σελήνην, ὡς καὶ ἡ Ὀρφικὴ διδάσκει θεολογία, καὶ αἳ μὲν πρὸ τῆς δημιουργίας, αἳ δὲ ἐν αὐτῆι περιεχόμεναι, αἳ δὲ ἀπ’ αὐτῆς προϊοῦσαι, καὶ αἳ μὲν ἀφανεῖς, αἳ δὲ ἐμφανεὶς, ἐπεὶ καὶ ὁ μὴν καὶ ὁ ἐνιαυτὸς ἄλλος μὲν ὁ ἀφανὴς καὶ ὁ μετρητικὸς καὶ συνοχικὸς καὶ τελεσιουργὸς τῶν νοερῶν τε καὶ σωματικῶν περιόδων, ἄλλος δὲ ὁ ἐμφανής, ὃς περάτωσίς ἐστι καὶ μέτρον τῆς ἡλιακῆς περιπολήσεως

“For there are many orders of Night and Day, intelligible, intellectual, supermundane, celestial, and sublunary, as likewise the Orphic theology teaches. And some of these indeed, are prior to the fabrication of things; but others are comprehended in it; and others proceed from it. Some likewise are invisible, but others are visible: since with respect to Month and Year also, those that are invisible are of one kind, and which are mensurative, connective, and perfective of the intellectual and corporeal periods of the Sun and Moon; but those that are visible are of another kind, which are the termination and measure of the solar revolution.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

et Ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν εἰς τὸν Πλάτωνος Παρμενίδην Δαμασκίου 192 (II 69, 20 Rue. cf. Add. 385):

οὐδὲ ἄρα ἡ ἑτερότης αὐτὴ ἀνούσιος· καθ’ ἑαυτὴν δὲ ὑφεστῶσα, οὕτω καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄκροις ὁρᾶται καί πως ἐν τῶι ἑνὶ κατὰ τὴν αἰτιώδη προβολήν· πάντα γὰρ ἦν ἐν ἀλλήλοις ἰδίως· ἔτι δὲ προϋπάρχει καὶ ἐν τοῖς νοητοῖς ἡ ἑτερότης κρύφιος. ἐκεῖθεν οὖν εἰς τάσδε τὰς μονάδας μερίζεται κατὰ τὴν προϊούσαν μέθεξιν ἀπὸ τῶν προτέρων εἰς τὰ δεύτερα.

ἐπεὶ καὶ τόδε εἰπών τις οὐ πόρρω βαλεῖ τῆς θεολόγου συνηθείας, ὅτι αἱ τρεῖς ὁμοταγεῖς πώς εἰσιν κατὰ τὴν τριάδα συνυποστᾶσα, καὶ ὡς (καὶ πῶς M., corr. Ruelle.) έν μιᾶι τριάδι, ἡ μὲν πρώτη ἐστίν, ἡ δὲ μέση, ἡ δὲ τρίτη. καὶ οὐδὲν θαυμαστὸν ἀντιμεταδιδόναι ἀλλήλαις αὐτὰς τῶν οἰκείων ἰδιωμάτων. ἀλλ’ ἔτι γὰρ πρὸς τοῖς εἰρημένοις, αἱ τρεῖς αὗται μονάδες αἱ ἴυγγές (cf. Kroll De orac. Chald. 39) εἰσι καὶ αἱ νύκτες αἱ τρεῖς. οὐκοῦν ἡ μὲν πρώτη πατρική ἐστιν καὶ τῶι πατρὶ σύνεστιν, ἡ δὲ γονιμωτάτη καὶ κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς τριάδος ἑστῶσα, ἡ δὲ ὡς νοῦς τῆς τριάδος καὶ ἤδη συντεταγμένη τοῖς πολλοῖς θεοῖς. καὶ ἡ μέση ἄρα τελεία φύσις ἐστὶ τῶι διακριτικῶι μάλιστα χαίρουσα· αὕτη δὲ ἦν ἡ ἑτερότης.

“And whereas, speaking in this way, we are not far from the foundations laid by the long-established theologian, that the three are, in a way, of the same rank, coexisting in three, and as in one triad, there is the first, but then the middle, and the third. And it is not so strange that they share with each other their own familiar properties. But, further, proceeding from what was just said, these three monads are the divinities (ἴυγγές) and the three Nights (Νύκτες). Then accordingly, the first is paternal and is joined with the father, and (the second) the fruitfulness and the power established from the triad, and (the third being) the mind of the triad, now already organized together with all the Gods. And the median then is of a complete nature rejoicing in a very penetrating ability; this being ‘otherness.’ ” (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.

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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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