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Headword: Orpheus
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:
Orpheus: hoti epi tôn para Ioudaiois Kritôn, katalutheisês tês basileias Athênaiôn, Orpheus egnôrizeto, sophos aristos genomenos kai polla mustêria didachtheis: pherontai gar autou kai peri theognôsias logoi, ex hôn eisi tauta. eipe gar, hoti exarchês anedeichthê ho aithêr hupo tou theou dêmiourgêtheis: kai enteuthen kakeithen tou aitheros ên chaos, kai nux phobera panta kateiche kai ekalupte ta hupo ton aithera: sêmainôn tên nukta protereuein: eirêkôs akatalêpton tina kai pantôn hupertaton einai kai progenesteron kai dêmiourgon hapantôn ton te hupertaton aithera: kai tên gên eipen aoraton. ephêse de, hoti to phôs rhêxan ton aithera ephôtise tên gên kai pasan tên ktisin, ekeino eipôn to phôs, to hupertaton pantôn, to aprositon, to panta periechon: hoper ônomase Boulên, Phôs, Zôên. tauta ta g# onomata mian dunamin apephênato kai hen kratos tou dêmiourgou pantôn theou, tou panta ek tôn mê ontôn paragagontos eis to einai, horatôn te kai aoratôn. peri de tou genous tôn anthrôpôn eipen, hoti kai auto hupo tou dêmiourgou pantôn kai theou eplasthê kai psuchên elabe logikên, akolouthêsas tois Môseôs: kai talaipôron eirêkôs to genos tôn anthrôpôn kai pollois hupokeimenon pathesi, psuchikois te kai sômatikois, dektikon te agathôn kai ponêrôn ergôn kai ta pros to zên athliôs diakeimenon.
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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