PREFACE TO FRAGMENTS IN 4. ΙΕΡΟΙ ΛΟΓΟΙ EN ΡΑΨΩΙΔΙΑΙΣ ΚΛ'

PREFACE TO FRAGMENTS IN OTTO KERN

4. SACRED LOGOS IN 24 RHAPSODIES

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

PREFACE:

Titulum praebet Suid. test. nr. 223 d. Hoc carmine Neoplatonici usi sunt, qui maxime inde a Syriani aetate id interpretantur. Compositum est e singulis Ἱεροῖς λόγοις, quorum numerus non traditur, et dispositum in viginti quattuor rhapsodias ad Homeri carminum exemplar. Ab Ἱερῶι λόγωι ab Epigene Cercopi (test. nr. 174) ascripto distinguendum est nec demonstrari potest Ἱεροὺς λόγους ἐν Ῥαψωιδίαις κδ' cum Suida Cercopi vel Theogneto Thessalo (test. nr. 196) assignandos esse (Rohde Psyche II6 415). Quo tempore hoc magnum carmen varios Orphicorum λόγους comprehendens compositum sit, obscurum est. Quod quamvis multo ante Neoplatonicorum aetatem facum esse negem, tamen veterum carminum vestigia in eo conservata esse mihi extra omnem dubitationem positum est. Rhapsodiarum laudant quartam Aristocritus Manichaeus Theosophiae Tubingensis auctor (A. Brinkmann Rhein. Mus. LI 1896, 273) fr. 61, duodecimam Malalas fr. 62 vs. 4; Ἱερῶν λόγων citat quinquagesimum (?) Etymologicum M. fr. 63. Haec fragmenta initio collocavi ne quis me reliquias ordine genuino disponere ausum esse opinetur; nam hoc fieri nequit. Desunt pemulta, desunt normae; nam Neoplatonici semper eadem citare, eadem tractare solent. Addendum est, multa in Ἱεροῖς λόγοις diversis carminis permagni locis repetita esse ut Noctis partes, Titanum καταταρταρώσεις (“hurling down to Tártaros”), Veneris ortum alia. Aliquoties Ἱεροὶ λόγοι etiam ex argumento afferuntur ut:

Θεογονία, Διονύσου ἀφανισμός, τὸ περὶ Διὸς καὶ Ἥρας, οἱ περὶ τῆς Ἴπτας λόγοι

“The theogony, the destruction of Diónysos, about Zefs and Íra, the tales about Ípta” (trans. by the author)

Hos locos infra eo delegavi quo res postulare videbatur. Versum celeberrimum (quoted in Φίληβος Πλάτωνος in 66 c):

ἕκτηι δ’ ἐν γενεῆι καταπαύσατε κόσμον ἀοιδῆς

“And in the sixth generation you put an end to order of the song.” (trans. by the author)

iam a Platone fr. 14 (adde Tannery Arch. Gesch. Philos. XI 1898, 15) laudatum, post sex deorum genera enarrata positum fuisse elucet.

Orphei carmen theogonicum quod haud dubie Ἱερῶν λόγων pars erat testantur Πρεσβεία περὶ των Χριστιανὼν Ἀθηναγόρου c. 18, 12 Schw., Λόγος Στρώματα Κλήμεντος του Ἀλεξανδρέως VI 2, 26, 1 (II 442 Staeh.), Genethl. De encom. VI 144 (Rh. Gr. III 338, 5 Sp., cf. III 340, 27), Χρονογραφία του Ἰωάννου Μαλάλα IV (fr. 62), Fulgentius Mitologia III 9 p. 74, 8 Helm;

Cf. σχόλιον Σιμπλικίου επὶ περὶ οὐρανοῦ Ἀριστοτέλους I 3 p. 93, 11 Heib.:

διὰ τοῦτο τὰς θεογονίας ἡμῖν οἱ θεῖοι ἄνδρες παραδεδώκασι θεῶν μὲν πλῆθος ἐν τῶι ἑνὶ μένον

“Through this, divine men transmitted to us theogonies, indeed, (which describe) a multitude of Gods abiding in the One.” (trans. by the author)

[spectat ad Phanetis cataposin], Macrob. in Somn. Scipion. I 2, 9 narratio fabulosa, non fabula, ut sunt caerimoniarum sacra, ut Hesiodi et Orphei quae de deorum progenie actuve narrantur, ut mystica Pythagoreorum sensa referuntur, Michael the Syncellus in Life of Dionysos the Areopagite p. 362 (Migne 4, 622):

τὰς κατ’ Ὀρφέα τὸν πάντα τοῖς μουσικοῖς ἕλ| 623 Migne κοντα κρούμασι μυθώδεις θεολογίας ἀσπαζόμενος καὶ τὴν γραοπρεπῆ παρ’ Ἡσιόδωι Θεογονίαν ἀσμενιζόμενος.

“According to Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς), drawing all the fabulous tales of the theology to musical notes was welcome, and (the stories) of the old women were happily received in the theogony by Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος).” (trans. by the author)

Λόγος δ΄ Στηλιτευτικὸς δεύτερος κατὰ Ἰουλιανοῦ Βασιλέως Γρηγορίου ὁ Ναζιανζηνός II 168 (Oration 5: Second Invective Against Julian, Section 31 Migne 35, 704):

κατάβαλε τοὺς Τριπτολέμους σου, καὶ τοὺς Κελεοὺς καὶ τοὺς μυστικοὺς δράκοντας· αἰσχύνθητί ποτε ταῖς τοῦ Θεολόγου σου βίβλοις Ὀρφέως· δέξαι τοῦ καιροῦ τὸ δῶρον, τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην σοι συγκαλύπτοντος. εἰ δὲ ταῦτα μῦθοι καὶ πλάσματα, ἐγώ σου τὰ τῆς νυκτὸς ἀποκαλύψω μυστήρια.

“Throw down thy Triptolemuses, and thy Eleusis, and thy foolish Dragons: shame thyself of the books of thine oracular Orpheus: accept the gift of the season that covers thy nakedness; and if these things be but fables and fictions, I will reveal to thee the mysteries of Night!” (trans. C. W. King, 1888)

E. Peripateticorum et Neoplatonicorum farragine addo hic σχόλιον Ἀλεξάνδρου του Ἀφροδισίου περὶ Μετεωρολογικῇ τοῦ Ἀριστοτέλους B 353 a 32 p. 66, 12 Hayd.:

τοὺς μὲν οὖν ἀρχαιοτέρους τε καὶ περὶ τὰς θεολογίας καταγινομένους - θεολόγους δὲ λέγει τοὺς περὶ θεῶν ἐπαγγελλομένους λέγειν, ὧν ἦν Ὅμηρος καὶ Ὀρφεὺς καὶ Ἡσίοδος, ὃς καὶ θεογονίαν συνέγραψε -, τούτους δή φησι ποιεῖν τινας τῆς θαλάσσης πηγάς, ἵνα αὐτοῖς ὦσιν ἀρχαί τε καὶ ῥίζαι ὁμοίως γῆς τε καὶ θαλάσσης, καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἄλλων τινῶν μεταβαλλόντων ἡ τούτων γένεσις ἦι, ἀλλ' οἰκείας ἀρχὰς ἔχωσιν, eundem ap. Ioann.

“Indeed, (he says such) certainly concerning these ancient things and also in regards to the theology – for he speaks about the Gods to the theologians, telling them to speak, I say from these: Ómiros (Ὅμηρος), Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς) and Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος), and he composed the theology. But he declares these things, making their cause from the strong sea, where they themselves are the origins and also the roots, like earth and also the sea, and not from other things changing, or it is the origin of these, but they hold the powers of the house.” (trans. by the author)

Ἰωάννου Ἀλεξανδρέως τοῦ Φιλοπόνου κατὰ τῶν Πρόκλου περὶ άϊδιότητος τοῦ κόσμου ἐπιχειρημάτων VI 27 p. 212, 16 Rabe (cf. σχόλιον Σιμπλικίου επὶ περὶ οὐρανοῦ Ἀριστοτέλους I 10, 279 b 12 p. 293, 11 Heib.):

περὶ μὲν οὖν τοῦ γεγονέναι τὸν κόσμον πάντας φησὶν (sc. Ἀριστοτέλης Περὶ οὐρανοῦ Γ 1, 298 b 28) ἀλλήλοις ὁμογνωμονεῖν τούς τε θεολόγους καὶ τοὺς φυσικούς, ἐν δὲ τοῖς μετὰ ταῦτα εἶναι τὴν διαφωνίαν αὐτοῖς. τοὺς μὲν γὰρ τῶν γεγονέναι λεγόντων ἀΐδιον φάσκειν αὐτὸν εἶναι· Ὀρφεύς τε γὰρ καὶ Ἡσίοδος καὶ οἱ πλεῖστοι τῶν θεολόγων ἐπὶ ταύτης ἐγένοντο τῆς δόξης καὶ μετὰ τούτους Πλάτων,

“Indeed, it is said that of (opinions concerning) the arising of the whole world, there is agreement with one another, both with the theologians and the natural philosophers, yet in the midst of these (there is) inconsistency. For in these ideas of speaking of such an arising, they are saying (that the world) itself is eternal. For Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς), Isíodos (Ἡσίοδος), and the greatest of the theologians came to have an opinion on this, and Plátôn (Πλάτων) among them.” (trans. by the author)

σχόλιον Σιμπλικίου επὶ περὶ οὐρανοῦ Ἀριστοτέλους III 1, 298 b 24 p. 560, 19 Heib.:

τοῦτον (sc. Hesiodum) μὲν οὖν μάλιστα πάντα γενητὰ ποιεῖν φησιν, ὅτι καὶ τὸ πρῶτον (sc. τὸ Χάος) παρ’ αὐτῶι γενέσθαι λέγει· τῶν δὲ ἄλλων πρώτους φυσιολογῆσαι τοὺς περὶ Ὀρφέα καὶ Μουσαῖον λέγειν εἰκός, οἵτινεςπλὴν τοῦ πρώτου πάντα γενέσθαι λέγουσι. δῆλον δέ, ὅτι διὰ μύθων οὗτοι θεολογοῦντες γένεσιν ἐκάλουν τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν αἰτίων πρόοδον· διὸ καὶ τὸ πρῶτον αἴτιον πάντες ἀγένητον φυλάττουσι.

“Indeed, he (Ἡσίοδος) plainly says this, to (explain) the creation of all originated things; also he says that the first thing (Χάος) came to be by itself. But first of the others, the assertions made by them concerning Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) and Mousaios (Μουσαῖος) saying it is likely, that except for (what is) the first, they say that all else “came to be.” But what is evident is that through the myths they were theologizing and they call the origin the progression from causes. Wherefore, also, they observe that the first cause of all is uncreated.” (trans. by the author)

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος III 143, 33 Diehl:

ἔτι τοίνυν | 144 Diehl θεατίον τὴν ἀναλογίαν τῆς γῆς, ἣν ἔχει πρὸς τὴν νοερὰν γῆν· ὡς γὰρ ἐκείνη περιέχει τάξεις θεῶν καὶ ὑφίστησι τελεσιουργούς, φρουρητικάς, Τιτανικάς, ὧν αἱ Ὀρφικαὶ θεολογίαι πλήρεις, οὕτω δὴ καὶαὕτη δυνάμεις ἔχει ποικίλας . . .

“Farther still, we may survey the analogy which Earth has to the intellectual Earth. For as the latter comprehends and gives subsistence to perfective, guardian, and Titannic orders of Gods, of which the Orphic theologists are full, so likewise the former possesses various powers.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820)

Περὶ τῆς κατὰ Πλάτωνα θεολογίας Πρόκλου I 4 p. 9, 38:

ἔστι δὲ ὁ μὲν διὰ τῶν συμβόλων τα θεῖα μηνύειν ἐφιέμενος (sc. τρόπος) Ὀρφικὸς καὶ ὅλως τοῖς τὰς θεομυθίας γράφουσιν οἰκεῖος, ὁ δὲ διὰ τῶν εἰκόνων Πυθαγόρειος.

“And he who desires to signify divine concerns through symbols is Orphic, and in short, accords with those who write fables concerning the Gods. But he who does this through images is Pythagoric.” (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816)

σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Παρμενίδου Πλάτωνος 130 b p. 801, 14 Cous.:

καὶ πολλὰ ἄν τις ἄλλα περὶ τὴν ἐξήγησιν τῶν θείων τούτων νοημάτων βαθύνας θεωρήσειεν· ἀλλὰ νῦν τόγε τοσοῦτον ἐν τῶι παρόντι ληπτέον ὅτι καὶ οἱ θεοὶ ταῖς τοῦ Πλάτωνος ἐπιβολαῖς ἐμαρτύρησαν, ἰδέας τε καλέσαντες τὰς νοερὰς ταύτας αἰτίας, καὶ κατ' αὐτὰς τετυπῶσθαι τὸν κόσμον εἰπόντες. εἰ τοίνυν καὶ οἱ λόγοι πείθουσιν ἡμᾶς πρὸς τὴν περὶ τούτων ὑπόθεσιν, καὶ οἱ σοφοὶ περὶ αὐτῶν συνηνέχθησαν Πλάτων, Πυθαγόρας, Ὀρφεὺς καὶ οἱ θεοὶ τούτοις ἐναργῶς ἐμαρτύρησαν, σμικρὰ φροντιστέον τῶν σοφιστικῶν λόγων, αὐτῶν ὑφ' ἑαυτῶν ἐληλεγμένων, οὐδὲν ἐπιστημονικὸν οὐδὲ ὑγιὲς λεγόντων, cf. Kroll De oracul. Chald. 7 n. 1.

“And there are many other (ideas) if you wished to consider deepening the explanation of these godlike designs. But even now, it is sufficient in having accepted that the Gods bear witness to these conceptions of Plátôn (Πλάτων), of these ideas, and having called them noetic causes, and it being said that the kózmos is formed in conformity with them. Accordingly, if these explanations persuade us towards this proposal about them, and if the wise have agreed concerning them, from Plátôn, Pythagóras (Πυθαγόρας), Orphéfs (Ὀρφεὺς), and if the Gods manifestly bear witness, (then we need take) little heed the of the words of the sophists, which disprove themselves (by their own arguments), not one (argument) scientific and in no wise having sound reasoning.” (trans. by the author)

Nonnullos Ἱεροὺς λόγους sicut Hymnos, Argonautica, Lithic alia Musaeo dedicatos fuisse fr. 61 docet. Apollinis acclamatio fr. 62 conferri potest cum Ὀρφέως Ἀργοναυτικά 1:

Ὦναξ Πυθῶνος μεδέων, ἑκατηβόλε, μάντι.

“Oh lord guardian of Pythóh (Πυθώ = Δελφοί), far-darting one, prophet.” (trans. by the author)

Ἱρὸς λόγος Orphicorum iam ap. Hero. II 81 test. nr. 216; v. etiam Plat. Epist. VII 335 a fr. 10 παλαιοῖς τε καὶ ἱεροῖς λόγοις.

Neque praeterire volo Philodem. De pietat. 51, 2-11 p. 23 Gomp.:

Σοφοκλῆς ἐ<ν Ἰνά>χωι (TGF 193 fr. 268) τὴν γῆν μ<ητέ>ρα τῶν θεῶν φη<σιν>, ἐν Τριπτολέμ<ωι (ibidem 266 fr. 558) δὲ> καὶ Ἑστίαν εἶ<ναι·> Κλείδημος δὲ μητέρα θεῶν ὃ κἀν τοῖς Ἱεροῖς λ<ό>γοις τινὲς ἐξε<ν>ην<ό>χασιν.

Sophoklís in (the lost play) Ínakhos (Ἴναχος) says that Earth is the mother of the Gods, but in (the play) Triptólæmos (Τριπτόλεμος) it is Æstía (Ἑστία). And Keidîmos (Κλείδημος) the mother of the Gods (Ῥέα), as they disclose in the Sacred Logos (Ἱεροῖ λόγοι).” (trans. by the author)

Cf. etiam Ἠθικὰ Πλουτάρχου· 49. Συμποσιακά II 3, 1 p. 636 d:

ἀείσω ξυνετοῖσι’ (v. s. ΔΙΑΘΗΚΑΙ) τὸν Ὀρφικὸν καὶ ἱερὸν λόγον, ὃς οὐκ ὄρνιθος μόνον τὸ ὠιὸν ἀποφαίνει πρεσβύτερον, ἀλλὰ καὶ συλλαβὼν ἅπασαν αὐτῶι τὴν ἁπάντων ὁμοῦ πρεσβυγένειαν ἀνατίθησι.

“ ‘I shall sing to the wise’ the holy Orphic saying, that not only declares the egg older from the hen, but also ascribes quite all of conceptions to itself from all together one and the same priority of birth.” (trans. by the author)

Alternate translation:

“I speak to those that are acquainted with the mystical and sacred discourse of Orpheus, who not only affirms the egg to be before the bird, but makes it the first being in the whole world.” (trans. by various scholars. Corrected and revised by William W. Goodwin, 1874)

Ἱερὸν λόγον de Aegypto commemorant Argonaut. 43 test. nr. 224 p. 67 vs. 32.43-45 (v. infra s. ΙΕΡΟΣ ΛΟΓΟΣ [ΑΙΓΥΠΤΙΟΣ].

De Hieronymi et Hellanici Theogonia multis modis cum Ἱεροῖς λόγοις consentiente cf. p. 132.

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.

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