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Headword: *)orfeu/s
Adler number: omicron,660
Translated headword: Orpheus
Vetting Status: high
In the days of the Hebrew Judges, after the monarchy of the Athenians had been suppressed, Orpheus was famous, a wise man learned in many mysteries. His doctrines concerning theogony are preserved, among them the following. He said that originally the aether was shown forth, having been fashioned by the god; and from that point chaos came from the aether, and fearsome night held everything down, and hid everything under the aether. Meaning the night had the advantage; he said the aether was something incomprehensible and was the highest of all things and more primeval and the supreme demiurge of all things. And he said the earth was invisible. But he said that the light shattered the aether and illuminated the earth and all its foundation, meaning the light is that supreme of all things, unapproachable, encompassing all. Which thing he named Will, Light, Life. These 3 names signified one and the same capacity and one power of the demiurgic god of all things, who leads all things from not-being into being, both seen and unseen. Concerning the race of men he said it too was fashioned by the demiurge god of all things, and that it had received a rational soul, following [sc. in this view] the doctrine of Moses.[1] He said the race of men was miserable and beset with many sufferings both spiritual and physical, receptive to both good and evil acts, and laboriously disposed concerning life's essentials.
Greek Original:
*)orfeu/s: o(/ti e)pi\ tw=n para\ *)ioudai/ois *kritw=n, kataluqei/shs th=s basilei/as *)aqhnai/wn, *)orfeu\s e)gnwri/zeto, sofo\s a)/ristos geno/menos kai\ polla\ musth/ria didaxqei/s: fe/rontai ga\r au)tou= kai\ peri\ qeognwsi/as lo/goi, e)c w(=n ei)si tau=ta. ei)=pe ga/r, o(/ti e)carxh=s a)nedei/xqh o( ai)qh\r u(po\ tou= qeou= dhmiourghqei/s: kai\ e)nteu=qen ka)kei=qen tou= ai)qe/ros h)=n xa/os, kai\ nu\c fobera\ pa/nta katei=xe kai\ e)ka/lupte ta\ u(po\ to\n ai)qe/ra: shmai/nwn th\n nu/kta protereu/ein: ei)rhkw\s a)kata/lhpto/n tina kai\ pa/ntwn u(pe/rtaton ei)=nai kai\ progene/steron kai\ dhmiourgo\n a(pa/ntwn to/n te u(pe/rtaton ai)qe/ra: kai\ th\n gh=n ei)=pen a)o/raton. e)/fhse de/, o(/ti to\ fw=s r(h=can to\n ai)qe/ra e)fw/tise th\n gh=n kai\ pa=san th\n kti/sin, e)kei=no ei)pw\n to\ fw=s, to\ u(pe/rtaton pa/ntwn, to\ a)pro/siton, to\ pa/nta perie/xon: o(/per w)no/mase *boulh/n, *fw=s, *zwh/n. tau=ta ta\ g# o)no/mata mi/an du/namin a)pefh/nato kai\ e(\n kra/tos tou= dhmiourgou= pa/ntwn qeou=, tou= pa/nta e)k tw=n mh\ o)/ntwn paragago/ntos ei)s to\ ei)=nai, o(ratw=n te kai\ a)ora/twn. peri\ de\ tou= ge/nous tw=n a)nqrw/pwn ei)=pen, o(/ti kai\ au)to\ u(po\ tou= dhmiourgou= pa/ntwn kai\ qeou= e)pla/sqh kai\ yuxh\n e)/labe logikh/n, a)kolouqh/sas toi=s *mwse/ws: kai\ talai/pwron ei)rhkw\s to\ ge/nos tw=n a)nqrw/pwn kai\ polloi=s u(pokei/menon pa/qesi, yuxikoi=s te kai\ swmatikoi=s, dektiko/n te a)gaqw=n kai\ ponhrw=n e)/rgwn kai\ ta\ pro\s to\ zh=n a)qli/ws diakei/menon.
John of Antioch fr.14 FHG (4.548), now 25 Roberto.
For Orpheus see generally OCD(4) s.v. 'Orpheus', 'Orphic literature' (also relevant to omicron 654, omicron 655, omicron 656, omicron 657, omicron 658, omicron 661), and 'Orphism'.
[1] Moses: mu 1348.
Keywords: biography; chronology; ethics; geography; historiography; imagery; mythology; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Ross Scaife ✝ on 24 November 2003@16:41:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (supplied notes; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 25 November 2003@03:34:42.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 23 July 2013@03:39:06.
David Whitehead on 6 August 2014@03:23:13.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 January 2015@11:31:47.


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