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Ancient Greek Poetry

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Don Quixote View Drop Down

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ancient Greek Poetry
    Posted: 14-Mar-2012 at 13:46
A thread for posting Ancient Greek poetry.
I'll start with my beloved Orphic Hymns, posting one every day or so. I love them as poetry and they are also a  good primary source for Greek mythology. When I can, I'd like to enliven the posts with pictures of Greek art that represent relevant to the hymn mythological characters.

Statue of Demeter,  State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia


Attend Musæus to my sacred song, and learn what rites to sacrifice belong.
Jove [Zeus] I invoke, the Earth [Gaia], and Solar Light [Helios],
the Moon's [Mene] pure splendor, and the Stars of night;
Thee Neptune [Poseidon], ruler of the sea profound, dark-hair'd, whose waves begirt the solid ground;
Ceres [Demeter] abundant, and of lovely mien,
and Proserpine [Phersephone] infernal Pluto's [Haides] queen
The huntress Dian [Artemis], and bright Phœbus rays, far-darting God, the theme of Delphic praise;
And Bacchus [Dionysos], honour'd by the heav'nly choir,
and raging Mars [Ares], and Vulcan [Hephaistos] god of fire;
The mighty pow'r who rose from foam to light, and Pluto potent in the realms of night;
With Hebe young, and Hercules the strong, and you to whom the cares of births [Eileithyia] belong:
Justice [Dikaisune] and Piety [Eusebia] august I call, and much-fam'd nymphs, and Pan the god of all.
To Juno [Hera] sacred, and to Mem'ry [Mnemosyne] fair, and the chaste Muses I address my pray'r;
The various year, the Graces [Kharites], and the Hours [Horai],
fair-hair'd Latona [Leto], and Dione's pow'rs;
Armed Curetes, household Gods [Korybantes, Kouretes, Kabeiroi] I call,
with those [Soteroi] who spring from Jove [Zeus] the king of all:
Th' Idæan Gods, the angel of the skies, and righteous Themis, with sagacious eyes;
With ancient Night [Nyx], and Day-light [Hemara] I implore,
and Faith [Pistis], and Justice [Dike] dealing right adore;
Saturn [Kronos] and Rhea, and great Thetis too, hid in a veil of bright celestial blue:
I call great Ocean [Okeanos], and the beauteous train of nymphs, who dwell in chambers of the main;
Atlas the strong, and ever in its prime, vig'rous Eternity [Aion], and endless Time [Khronos];
The Stygian pool [Styx], and placid Gods [Meilikhoi] beside,
and various Genii [Daimones], that o'er men preside;
Illustrious Providence [Pronoia], the noble train of dæmon forms, who fill th' ætherial plain;
Or live in air, in water, earth, or fire, or deep beneath the solid ground retire.
Bacchus [Dionysos] and Semele the friends of all, and white Leucothea of the sea I call;
Palæmon bounteous, and Adrastria great, and sweet-tongu'd Victory [Nike], with success elate;
Great Esculapius [Asklepios], skill'd to cure disease,
and dread Minerva [Athene], whom fierce battles please;
Thunders [Brontoi] and Winds [Anemoi] in mighty columns pent,
with dreadful roaring struggling hard for vent;
Attis, the mother of the pow'rs on high, and fair Adonis, never doom'd to die,
End and beginning he is all to all, these with propitious aid I gently call;
And to my holy sacrifice invite, the pow'r who reigns in deepest hell and night;
I call Einodian Hecate, lovely dame, of earthly, wat'ry, and celestial frame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil array'd, leas'd with dark ghosts that wander thro' the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail! The world's key-bearer never doom'd to fail
On the rough rock to wander thee delights, leader and nurse be present to our rites
Propitious grant our just desires success, accept our homage, and the incense bless.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2012 at 23:41
Orphic Hymn #1


The Fumigation from Storax.
O venerable goddess, hear my pray'r, for labour pains are thy peculiar care;
In thee, when stretch'd upon the bed of grief, the sex as in a mirror view relief.
Guard of the race, endued with gentle mind, to helpless youth, benevolent and kind;
Benignant nourisher; great Nature's key belongs to no divinity but thee.
Thou dwell'st with all immanifest to sight, and solemn festivals are thy delight.
Thine is the talk to loose the virgin's zone, and thou in ev'ry work art seen and known.
With births you sympathize, tho' pleas'd to see the numerous offspring of fertility;
When rack'd with nature's pangs and sore distress'd, the sex invoke thee, as the soul's sure rest;
For thou alone can'st give relief to pain, which art attempts to ease, but tries in vain;
Assisting goddess [Eileithyia], venerable pow'r, who bring'st relief in labour's dreadful hour;
Hear, blessed Dian [Artemis], and accept my pray'r, and make the infant race thy constant care.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 11:59
Orphic Hymn #3
Ouranos, the Greek god of the Sky - really, the Sky

Gaia /Earth/ and Uranos /Sky/


The Fumigation from Frankincense.
Great Heav'n [Ouranos], whose mighty frame no respite knows, father of all, from whom the world arose:
Hear, bounteous parent, source and end of all, forever whirling round this earthly ball;
Abode of Gods, whose guardian pow'r surrounds th' eternal World with ever during bounds;
Whose ample bosom and encircling folds the dire necessity of nature holds.
Ætherial, earthly, whose all-various frame azure and full of forms, no power can tame.
All-seeing Heav'n, progenitor of Time [Kronos], forever blessed, deity sublime,
Propitious on a novel mystic shine, and crown his wishes with a life divine.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2012 at 23:15
Orphic Hymn #2:
Aphrodite /Kypris/


The Fumigation with Torches.
Night [Nyx], parent goddess, source of sweet repose, from whom at first both Gods and men arose,
Hear, blessed Venus [Kypris], deck'd with starry light, in sleep's deep silence dwelling Ebon night!
Dreams and soft case attend thy dusky train, pleas'd with the length'ned gloom and feaftful strain.
Dissolving anxious care, the friend of Mirth, with darkling coursers riding round the earth.
Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play, whose drowsy pow'r divides the nat'ral day:
By Fate's decree you constant send the light to deepest hell, remote from mortal sight
For dire Necessity which nought withstands, invests the world with adamantine bands.
Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant's pray'r, desir'd by all, whom all alike revere,
Blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid dispell the fears of Twilight's dreadful shade.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2012 at 21:24
Orphic Hymn #4:
I couldn't find aa Ancient Greek representation of Aether, this is a representation of his mother- Nyx-Night. I find very significant that the Greeks believed that Light was born from Night and Darkness - very philosophical and poetic in the same time.


The Fumigation from Saffron.
O Ever untam'd Fire [Aither], who reign'st on high in Jove's [Zeus'] dominions ruler of the sky;
The glorious sun with dazzling lustre bright, and moon and stars from thee derive their light;
All taming pow'r, ætherial shining fire, whose vivid blasts the heat of life inspire:
The world's best element, light-bearing pow'r, with starry radiance shining, splendid flow'r,
O hear my suppliant pray'r, and may thy frame be ever innocent, serene, and tame.

Aether in the Greek mythology was a Protogenos - one of the elemental gods:

"...AITHER (or Aether) was the Protogenos (first-born elemental god) of the bright, glowing upper air of heaven - the substance of light. Above him lay the solid dome of the sky-god, Ouranos, and below, the transparent mists of earth-bound air. In the evening his mother Nyx drew her veil of darkness between the aither and the aer to bring night to man. In the morn his sister-wife Hemera dispersed these mists, revealing the shining blue aither of day. Night and day were regarded as quite independent of the sun in the ancient cosmogonies.

Aither was one of the three "airs". The middle air was Aer or Khaos, a colourless mist which enveloped the mortal world. The lower air was Erebos, the mists of darkness, which enveloped the dark places beneath the earth and the realm of the dead. The third was the upper air of aither, the mist of light, home of the gods of heaven. It enveloped the mountain peaks, clouds, stars, sun and moon. The stars themselves were said to be formed from the concentrated fires of aither.His female counterpart was Aithre, Titanis of the Clear Blue Sky, mother of the Sun and Moon..."

Ouranos was a son of Aether ; and his parents were Erebos /god of Darkness/ and Nyx - the same Nix/Night from  hymn #3. Couple of primary sources on that, the link I posted has more:

"..Alcman, Fragment 61 (from Eustathius on Iliad) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (Greek lyric C7th B.C.) :
"The father of Ouranos (Heaven), as was said already, is called Akmon [probably Aither] because heavenly motion is untiring (akamatos); an the sons of Ouranos are Akmonidai: the ancients make these two points clear. Alcman, they say, tells that the heaven belongs to Akmon."

Alcman, Fragment 5 (from Scholia) :
"So at the same moment there came into being Poros [Khaos?] and Tekmor [Gaia?] and Skotos [Erebos]. `Amar (Day) and Melana (Moon) and third, Skotos (Darkness) as far as Marmarugas (Flashings) [Aither and/or the Stars?]' : days does not mean simply day, but contains the idea of the sun. Previously there was only darkness, and afterwards, when it had been differentiated, light came into being."

Callimachus, Fragment 498 (trans. Trypanis) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"[Ouranos is called] revolving Akmonides, son of Akmon [Aither].".." Ibid

Edited by Don Quixote - 18-Mar-2012 at 21:41
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2012 at 21:26
This topic is perfect for our new member Aphrodite. Maybe she can contribute a couple of her favorite poems?
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2012 at 21:30
That would be greatSmile. Can I take the liberty to send her the URL of the thread? Otherwise she may not see it, being here in the poetry section.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2012 at 20:23
Orphic Hymn #5
Protogonus /Phanes/ emerging from the Cosmic Egg - around him are the signs of the zodiac and the 4 winds, blowing from the 4 directions


The Fumigation from Myrrh.
O Mighty first-begotten [Protogonos], hear my pray'r, two-fold, egg-born, and wand'ring thro' the air,
Bull-roarer, glorying in thy golden wings, from whom the race of Gods and mortals springs.
Ericapæus [Erikapaios], celebrated pow'r, ineffable, occult, all shining flow'r.
From eyes obscure thou wip'st the gloom of night, all-spreading splendour, pure and holy light
Hence Phanes call'd, the glory of the sky, on waving pinions thro' the world you fly.
Priapus, dark-ey'd splendour, thee I sing, genial, all-prudent, ever-blessed king,
With joyful aspect on our rights divine and holy sacrifice propitious shine.

Protogonus, according to the Orphic myth, was the first-created-god-creator:

"...Creator god. Protogonus (Protogonos) was the first god to be born from the Cosmic Egg (World Egg), which Chaos and Aether had reproduced, according to the Orphic Creation Myths. Protogonus named mean "First Born", and it was he who had created the universe.

Protogonus have three different names. Protogonus was popularly known by another name as Phanes, the golden-winged god of light and love. His other names were Ericapaeus (Power) and Metis (Thought). These three different names represent the three different aspects of Protogonus' powers.Protogonus was the first supreme ruler of the universe.

Most scholars identified Phanes/Protogonus with Eros, the Greek primeval god of love. Like in Hesiod's account about the Creation, Eros sprung out of Chaos at the same time as Gaea and Tartarus, so Eros was a primeval god, unlike later myths, where he was known to the Hellenistic as the mischievous son of Aphrodite (Venus), whom the Roman called Cupid. As Eros, he was often called Bromios (Thunderer), which is the same epithet as Dionysus.There is some confusion of whether Nyx (Night) was his mother, wife or daughter. The source that I have with me is that Nyx was his daughter, whom he had sex with, to beget Heaven (Uranus) and Earth (Gaea).

As Phanes, he was seen a sun god or the god of light. Phanes has four eyes, and heads of various animals. Phanes was depict as a sexless god or a god with both sexes (androgynous being, ie a Demiurge) with golden wings. Phanes was also invisible but he radiated pure light.

Protogonus or Phanes had also been identified with the god Zagreus or Dionysus, or he is Dionysus. When Zeus became powerful, he had swallowed Protogonus and all things that Protogonus had created. Zeus then recreated a new world. Then Zeus copulated with his own daughter, Persephone, and Protogonus was reborn as Zagreus or Dionysus. But the Titans had killed Zagreus, but Zeus saved the heart. Zeus swallowed Zagreus' heart and then mated with a mortal woman named Semele, and she gave birth to Dionysus, the reincarnation of Protogonus/Zagreus...."

The  "Egg" that is mentioned here /Protogonus - egg-born/ is the Cosmic Egg, that was the beginning of the world, according to the Orphic creation myth:

"...Behind the myth, is the religion of salvation for the human's soul. This religion was named after the mythical singer, Orpheus, who was reputedly said to be the founder of the Orphic Mysteries.In the beginning, there was Time, which the Greeks called Chronus or Khronos (Χρόνος). This was a period called the Unaging Time, when nothing existed and nothing grew old; indeterminate and (almost) limitless time, which some people would call Aeon. Existing at the same time as Chronus was Adrasteia (Ἀδραστεια), or Ananke (Ἀνάγκη), meaning "Necessity".

Chronus and Adrasteia combined to create primordial Spirit and Matter, which were called Aether (Αἰθήρ) and Chaos (Χάος). (Hesiod had referred to Aether as the upper atmosphere, where the air was clean and pure; he referred to Aether as male entity, while in the Orphic myth, Aether was seen as female being. Chaos was fathomless void, abyss or the yawning gap. With Hesiod, Chaos was a male primordial being, whereas in Orphic myth, the role had changed.) A third primordial being came out of Time and Necessity, Erebus – "Darkness". Chronus then combined with Aether, or possibly with Chaos and Aether, so the primeval beings caused mists to form and solidify into a Cosmic Egg....

...The Cosmic Egg was the first definable matter that was created out of infinity. The World Egg was gigantic and silver in colour. When the great resplendent, silver Egg hatched, out sprang Protogonus (Πρωτογονυς), which literally means First-born, the first god. According to one Neo-Platonist writer, the Egg shell split in two: the two shells forming heaven and earth...."

The Egg is a very old symbol of creation-life-eternal-life - if was this milllenia before Christianity, and Christianity absorbed it as one of it's symbols /Easter/; it was found in the creation myths of Ancient Egypt. Persia and India.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2012 at 19:51
Orphic Hymn #6
Helios /Sun/ and setting Astra /star-gods/


The Fumigation from Aromatics.
With holy voice I call the stars [Astron] on high, pure sacred lights and genii of the sky.
Celestial stars, the progeny of Night [Nyx], in whirling circles beaming far your light,
Refulgent rays around the heav'ns ye throw, eternal fires, the source of all below.
With flames significant of Fate ye shine, and aptly rule for men a path divine.
In seven bright zones ye run with wand'ring flames, and heaven and earth compose your lucid frames:
With course unwearied, pure and fiery bright forever shining thro' the veil of Night.
Hail twinkling, joyful, ever wakeful fires! Propitious shine on all my just desires;
These sacred rites regard with conscious rays, and end our works devoted to your praise.

This is the info on the picture I posted:

"...Museum Collection: British Museum, London, United Kingdom
Catalogue No: London E466
Beazley Archive No.: 5967
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Shape: Calyx krater
Date: --
Period: High Classical


Side A: The Astra Planeta (gods of the five wandering stars) dive into the sea from their perches in heaven as the sun-god Helios rides into the sky, driving his four horse chariot. The fifth planet (not shown in this image) is Eosphoros, the star Venus, last of the Astra to leave the heavens.
Side B: Eos chasing Kephalos (not shown)..."

They were born by Nyx, the Night - light is born by darkness...

This one is obviously not Ancient Greek art, but is so beautiful - and I decided to post it anyway - I love beauty.

Asteria - Goddess of the Stars.

Edited by Don Quixote - 20-Mar-2012 at 19:52
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2012 at 04:13
Orphic Hymn #7


The Fumigation from Frankinsence and Manna.
Hear golden Titan, whose eternal eye with broad survey, illumines all the sky.
Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light, and to all eyes the mirrour of delight:
Lord of the seasons, with thy fiery car and leaping coursers, beaming light from far:
With thy right hand the source of morning light, and with thy left the father of the night.
Agile and vig'rous, venerable Sun, fiery and bright around the heav'ns you run.
Foe to the wicked, but the good man's guide, o'er all his steps propitious you preside:
With various founding, golden lyre, 'tis mine to fill the world with harmony divine.
Father of ages, guide of prosp'rous deeds, the world's commander, borne by lucid steeds,
Immortal Jove [Zeus], all-searching, bearing light, source of existence, pure and fiery bright
Bearer of fruit, almighty lord of years, agil and warm, whom ev'ry pow'r reveres.
Great eye of Nature and the starry skies, doom'd with immortal flames to set and rise
Dispensing justice, lover of the stream, the world's great despot, and o'er all supreme.
Faithful defender, and the eye of right, of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:
With founding whip four fiery steeds you guide, when in the car of day you glorious ride.
Propitious on these mystic labours shine, and bless thy suppliants with a life divine.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2012 at 17:18
Orphic Hymn #9
Selene, C5th BC, Athenian red-figured kylix


The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light, bull-horn'd and wand'ring thro' the gloom of Night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide Night's torch extending, thro' the heav'ns you ride:
Female and Male with borrow'd rays you shine, and now full-orb'd, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon [Mene], whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night, all-seeing pow'r bedeck'd with starry light.
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, who giv'st to Nature's works their destin'd end.
Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail! Deck'd with a graceful robe and shining veil;
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays, and pleas'd accept thy suppliant's mystic praise.

Selene in the Greek mythology was from the generation of the Titans. There were several different references as to her parents:
"...[1.1] HYPERION & THEIA (Hesiod Theogony 371, Apollodorus 1.8, Hyginus Preface)
[1.2] HYPERION & EURYPHAESSA (Homeric Hymn 31 to Helios)
[2.1] PALLAS (Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes 100, Ovid Fasti 4.373)
[3.1] HELIOS (Euripides Phoenicians 175, Nonnus Dionysiaca 44.198)..."

Hyperion was the god of light, son of Ouranos and Gaia; Thea, his wife, was a goddess of sight and light - very telling dichotomy, since one cannot see without light. Pallas was god of warcraft:
PALLAS was the Titan god (perhaps) of warcraft and the Greek campaign season of late spring and early summer. He was the father of Victory, Rivalry, Strength and Power by Styx (Hate), children who turned to the side of Zeus during the Titan-War. Pallas' name was derived from the Greek word pallô meaning "to brandish (a spear).".."

The offsping of Selene are:
"...[1.1] PANDEIA (by Zeus) (Homeric Hymn 32 to Selene, Hyginus Preface)
[2.1] ERSA (by Zeus) (Greek Lyric II Alcman Frag 57)
[3.1] NEMEA (by Zeus) (Scholiast on Pindar's Nemean Ode)
[4.1] THE HORAI x4 (by Helios) (Quintus Smyrnaeus 10.334)
[5.1] THE MENAI x50 (by Endymion) (Pausanias 5.1.5)
[6.1] NEMEAN LION (Aelian On Animals 12.7, Hyginus Fabulae 30, Seneca Hercules Furens 83)
[7.1] MOUSAIOS (Ion of Chiod Frag 30a, Plato Republic 364d, Philodemus On Piety)
[8.1] NARKISSOS (by Endymion) (Nonnus Dionysiaca 48.582)..."

And couple of primary sources on Selene and the Nemeian Lion:
"...Aelian, On Animals 12. 7 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :

"They say that the Lion of Nemea fell from the moon (selene). At any rate Epimenides [C6th B.C. poet] also has these words : `For I am sprung from fair-tressed Selene the Moon, who in a fearful shudder shook off the savage lion in Nemea, and brought him forth at the bidding of Queen Hera.'"

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 30 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The Nemean Lion, an invulnerable monster, which Luna [Selene] had nourished in a two-mouthed cave, he [Herakles] slew and took the pelt for defensive covering."

Seneca, Hercules Furens 83 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"Let Luna [Selene the moon] in the sky produce still other monstrous creatures. But he [Herakles] has conquered such as these [i.e. the Nemeian lion, born of the moon]."..." Ibid.

Edited by Don Quixote - 22-Mar-2012 at 17:27
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2012 at 11:08
Orphic Hymn #10


The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Nature [Phusis], all parent, ancient, and divine, O Much-mechanic mother, art is thine;
Heav'nly, abundant, venerable queen, in ev'ry part of thy dominions seen.
Untam'd, all-taming, ever splendid light, all ruling, honor'd, and supremly bright.
Immortal, first-born [Protogeneia], ever still the same, nocturnal, starry, shining, glorious dame.
Thy feet's still traces in a circling course, by thee are turn'd, with unremitting force.
Pure ornament of all the pow'rs divine, finite and infinite alike you shine;
To all things common and in all things known, yet incommunicable and alone.
Without a father of thy wond'rous frame, thyself the father whence thy essence came.
All-flourishing, connecting, mingling soul, leader and ruler of this mighty whole.
Life-bearer, all-sustaining, various nam'd, and for commanding grace and beauty fam'd.
Justice, supreme in might, whose general sway the waters of the restless deep obey.
Ætherial, earthly, for the pious glad, sweet to the good, but bitter to the bad.
All-wife, all bounteous, provident, divine, a rich increase of nutriment is thine;
Father of all, great nurse, and mother kind, abundant, blessed, all-spermatic mind:
Mature, impetuous, from whose fertile seeds and plastic hand, this changing scene proceeds.
All-parent pow'r, to mortal eyes unseen, eternal, moving, all-sagacious queen.
By thee the world, whose parts in rapid flow, like swift descending streams, no respite know,
On an eternal hinge, with steady course is whirl'd, with matchless, unremitting force.
Thron'd on a circling car, thy mighty hand holds and directs, the reins of wide command.
Various thy essence, honor'd, and the best, of judgement too, the general end and test.
Intrepid, fatal, all-subduing dame, life-everlasting, Parca, breathing flame.
Immortal, Providence, the world is thine, and thou art all things, architect divine.
O blessed Goddess, hear thy suppliant's pray'r, and make my future life, thy constant care;
Give plenteous seasons, and sufficient wealth, and crown my days with lasting, peace and health.

Phusis was a Protogenus goddess of Nature. Here some other primary sources on her:

"...Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 3 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
"[From a description of an ancient Greek painting :] No doubt you see the grove around the spring, the work of wise Nature (physis), I believe; for Nature (physis) is sufficient for all she desires, and has no need of art; indeed it is she who is the origin of arts themselves."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 650 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Then Phusis (Nature), who governs the universe and recreates its substance [after the world-shattering battle between Zeus and Typhoeus], closed up the gaping rents in earth’s broken surface, and sealed once more with the bond of indivisible joinery those island cliffs which had been rent from their bed."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 51 ff :
"Here [Beroe in Lebanon] dwelt a people agemates with the dawn, whom Phusis (Nature) by her own breeding, in some unwedded way, begat without bridal, without wedding, fatherless, motherless, unborn: when the atoms were mingled in fourfold combination, and the seedless ooze shaped a clever offspring by comingling water with fiery heat and air [the four elements--Air, Earth, Water, Fire], and quickened the teeming mud with the breath of life. To these Phusis (Nature) gave perfect shape . . . now first appeared the golden crop of men [the Golden Race of Mankind] brought forth in the image of the gods, with the roots of their stock in the earth. And these dwelt in the city of Beroe, that primordial seat which Kronos (Time) himself builded."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 98 ff :
"[Aphrodite] newly born from the brine; when the water impregnated from the furrow of Ouranos was delivered of deepsea Aphrodite; when without marriage, the seed plowed the flood with male fertility, and of itself shaped the foam into a daughter, and Phusis (Nature) was the midwife--coming up with the goddess there was that embroidered strap which ran round her loins like a belt [the cestus of love], set about the queen’s body in a girdle of itself."..."

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2012 at 20:53
Orphic Hymn #10

Pan,, Lucanian red-figure krater. C4th B.C., Toledo Museum of Art

[10] X. TO PAN

The Fumigation from Various Odors.
I Call strong Pan, the substance of the whole, etherial, marine, earthly, general soul,
Immortal fire; for all the world is thine, and all are parts of thee, O pow'r divine.
Come, blessed Pan, whom rural haunts delight, come, leaping, agile, wand'ring, starry light;
The Hours and Seasons [Horai], wait thy high command, and round thy throne in graceful order stand.
Goat-footed, horned, Bacchanalian Pan, fanatic pow'r, from whom the world began,
Whose various parts by thee inspir'd, combine in endless dance and melody divine.
In thee a refuge from our fears we find, those fears peculiar to the human kind.
Thee shepherds, streams of water, goats rejoice, thou lov'st the chace, and Echo's secret voice:
The sportive nymphs, thy ev'ry step attend, and all thy works fulfill their destin'd end.
O all-producing pow'r, much-fam'd, divine, the world's great ruler, rich increase is thine.
All-fertile Pæan, heav'nly splendor pure, in fruits rejoicing, and in caves obscure.
True serpent-horned Jove [Zeus], whose dreadful rage when rous'd, 'tis hard for mortals to asswage.
By thee the earth wide-bosom'd deep and long, stands on a basis permanent and strong.
Th' unwearied waters of the rolling sea, profoundly spreading, yield to thy decree.
Old Ocean [Okeanos] too reveres thy high command, whose liquid arms begirt the solid land.
The spacious air, whose nutrimental fire, and vivid blasts, the heat of life inspire
The lighter frame of fire, whose sparkling eye shines on the summit of the azure sky,
Submit alike to thee, whole general sway all parts of matter, various form'd obey.
All nature's change thro' thy protecting care, and all mankind thy lib'ral bounties share:
For these where'er dispers'd thro' boundless space, still find thy providence support their race.
Come, Bacchanalian, blessed power draw near, fanatic Pan, thy humble suppliant hear,
Propitious to these holy rites attend, and grant my life may meet a prosp'rous end;
Drive panic Fury too, wherever found, from human kind, to earth's remotest bound.

Pan was:

"...PAN was the god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music. He wandered the hills and mountains of Arkadia playing his pan-pipes and chasing Nymphs. His unseen presence aroused feelings of panic in men passing through the remote, lonely places of the wilds.

The god was a lover of nymphs, who commonly fled from his advances. Syrinx ran and was transformed into a clump of reeds, out of which the god crafted his famous pan-pipes. Pitys escaped and was turned into a mountain fir, the god's sacred tree. Ekho spurned his advances and fading away left behind only her voice to repeat forever the mountain cries of the god.

Pan was depicted as a man with the horns, legs and tail of a goat, and with thick beard, snub nose and pointed ears. He was often appears in the retinue of Dionysos alongside the other rustic gods. Greeks in the classical age associated his name with the word pan meaning "all". However, it true origin lies in an old Arkadian word for rustic...."

I think this mosaic is from Pompeii, but not sure, the site didn't say

Tile Mosaic, Pan and Hamadryad

His parents and progeny:


[1.1] HERMES & DAUGHTER OF DRYOPOS (Homeric Hymn 19 to Pan)
[1.2] HERMES & THYMBRIS (Apollodorus 1.22-23, Scholiast ad Theocritus 1.123)
[1.3] HERMES & PENELOPE (Herodotus 2.145, Apollodorus E7.38, Hyginus Fabulae 224, Nonnus Dionysiaca 14.67, Servius ad Aeneid 2.43)
[1.4] HERMES (Plato Cratylus 408b, Pliny Natural History 7.204)
[1.5] HERMES & SOSE (Nonnus Dionysiaca 14.67)
[1.6] HERMES & KALLISTO (Scholiast ad Theocritus 1.3)
[1.7] HERMES & ORNEIOS (Scholiast ad Theocritus 1.3)
[1.1] THE PANES x12 (Dionysiaca 14.67)
[2.1] KROTOS (by Eupheme) (Eratosthenes, Hyginus Fabulae 224, Hyginus Astr. 2.27)
[3.1] AKIS (by Symaithis) (Ovid Metamorphoses 13.750)
[4.1] EURYMEDON (Statius Thebaid 11.32)
[5.1] KRENAIOS (by Ismenis) (Statius Thebaid 9.318)
[6.1] IYNX (by Ekho) (Other references)
[7.1] SEILENOS (by Melia) (Other references)..." Ibid.

In a Roman copy:

Some primary sources on him:
"...Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 22 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :

"Apollon, learnt the mantic art from Pan, son of Zeus and Thymbris."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E7. 39 :
"Some say that Penelope [the wife of Odysseus] was seduced by Antinous [one the suitors], and returned by Odysseus to her father Ikarios (Icarius), and that when she reached Mantineia in Arkadia, she bore Pan, to Hermes."
[N.B. According to other sources, Penelope the mother of Pan was a nymphe, and not the wife of Odysseus.]

Herodotus, Histories 2. 153. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"Among the Greeks, Herakles, Dionysos, and Pan are held to be the youngest of the gods . . . and Pan the son of Penelope, for according to the Greeks Penelope and Hermes were the parents of Pan, was [first worshipped in Greece] about eight hundred years before me [Herodotus], and thus of a later date than the Trojan war . . . Had Dionysus son of Semele and Pan son of Penelope appeared in Hellas and lived there to old age, like Herakles the son of Amphitryon, it might have been said that they too (like Herakles) were but men, named after the older Pan and Dionysus, the gods of antiquity;  but as it is . . . for Pan, the Greeks do not know what became of him after his birth. It is therefore plain to me that the Greeks learned the names of these two gods later than the names of all the others, and trace the birth of both to the time when they gained the knowledge."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 30. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"They say that Pan was so surnamed [Sinoeis] after a [Arkadian] Nymphe Sinoe, who with others of the Nymphai nursed him on her own account."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 224 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Mortals who were made immortal . . . Pan, son of Mercurius [Hermes] and Penelope."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 67 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Two other Panes [in fact just Pan in his two aspects as Hunter and Shepherd], the sons of Hermes, who divided his love between two Nymphai; for one he visited the bed of Sose, the highland prophetess, and begat a son inspired with the divine voice of prophecy, Agreus (Hunter), well versed in the beast-slaying sport of the hunt; the other was Nomios (Shepherd), whom the pasturing sheep loved well, one practised in the shepherd's pipe, for whom Hermes sought the bed of Penelope the country Nymphe. Along with these came Phorbas to join their march, savage and insatiate."
[N.B. Phorbas means "giver of grazing," but is also a play on the word phobos, "fear," the aspect of Pan which inspires irrational panic in the lonely wilds.]..." Ibid

On Athenian red vase
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2012 at 00:41
Orphic Hymn #11
Farnese Hercules


The Fumigation from Frankincense.
..."Hear, pow'rful, Hercules [Herakles] untam'd and strong, to whom vast hands, and mighty works belong,
Almighty Titan, prudent and benign, of various forms, eternal and divine,
Father of Time [khronos], the theme of gen'ral praise, ineffable, ador'd in various ways.
Magnanimous, in divination skill'd and in the athletic labours of the field.
'Tis thine strong archer, all things to devour, supreme, all-helping, all-producing pow'r;
To thee mankind as their deliv'rer pray, whose arm can chase the savage tribes away:
Uweary'd, earth's best blossom, offspring fair, to whom calm peace, and peaceful works are dear.
Self-born, with primogenial fires you shine, and various names and strength of heart are thine.
Thy mighty head supports the morning light, and bears untam'd, the silent gloomy night;
From east to west endu'd with strength divine, twelve glorious labours to absolve is thine;
Supremely skill'd, thou reign'st in heav'n's abodes, thyself a God amid'st th' immortal Gods.
With arms unshaken, infinite, divine, come, blessed pow'r, and to our rites incline;
The mitigations of disease convey, and drive disasterous maladies away.
Come, shake the branch with thy almighty arm, dismiss thy darts and noxious fate disarm...."

Hercules Fulgor

Heracles was worshiped throughout Greece as a protector of mankind. This site has a wealth or primary sources on the cults of Heracles, as well as of his labors, big and small. This page talks about his cult in Akhaia, Arkadia and Greece beyond the Pelloponese, in primary sources. His main center was in Thebes.

Heracles in the Prado Museum

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2012 at 20:46
Orphic Hymn #12


The Fumigation from Storax.
Etherial father, mighty Titan, hear, great fire of Gods and men, whom all revere:
Endu'd with various council, pure and strong, to whom perfection and decrease belong.
Consum'd by thee all forms that hourly die, by thee restor'd, their former place supply;
The world immense in everlasting chains, strong and ineffable thy pow'r contains
Father of vast eternity, divine, O mighty Saturn [Kronos], various speech is thine:
Blossom of earth and of the starry skies, husband of Rhea, and Prometheus wife.
Obstetric Nature, venerable root, from which the various forms of being shoot;
No parts peculiar can thy pow'r enclose, diffus'd thro' all, from which the world arose,
O, best of beings, of a subtle mind, propitious hear to holy pray'rs inclin'd;
The sacred rites benevolent attend, and grant a blameless life, a blessed end.

Kronos/Khronos in the Orphic mythology was essentially the same with Cronos, the son of Ouranos and father of Zeus and all gods and goddess of the second generation; but not identical with him. However, in the Orphic perspective Kronos was much more than that:

"...KHRONOS (or Chronus) was the Protogenos (primeval god) of time, a divinity who emerged self-formed at the beginning of creation in the Orphic cosmogonies. Khronos was imagined as an incorporeal god, serpentine in form, with three heads--that of a man, a bull, and a lion. He and his consort, serpentine Ananke (Inevitability), circled the primal world-egg in their coils and split it apart to form the ordered universe of earth, sea and sky. Khronos and Ananke continued to circle the cosmos after creation-their passage driving the circling of heaven and the eternal passage of time.

The figure of Khronos was essentially a cosmological doubling of the Titan Kronos (also "Father Time"). The Orphics occasionally combined Khronos with their creator-god Phanes, and identified him with Ophion. His equivalent in the Phoenician cosmogony was probably Olam (Eternal Time), or Oulomos, as his name appears in Greek transcriptions.

Khronos was represented in Greco-Roman mosaic as Aion, "eternity" personified. He stands against the sky holding a wheel inscribed with the signs of the zodiac. Beneath his feet Gaia (Mother Earth) is usually seen reclining. The poet Nonnus describes Aion as an old man with long white hair and beard. Mosaics, however, present a youthful figure...."

For one, the Orphic Chronos was a Protogenus, emerged fully and self-formed, was incorporeal, with 3 heads /snake's, bull's and lion's - one can remember here the bull from Catal Huyuk and the island of Crete/, and  with his wife split the Cosmic Egg - an image heavily laden with symbolism - Time and Inevitabilty splitting the Cosmos to create the World.

Head of Alexander and Chronos, depicted with staff and 6 wings on the other side of the coin. The coin is from the Seleucid Kingdom. Alexander I Balas. 150-145 BC. 21mm (Byblos mint)

Edited by Don Quixote - 27-Mar-2012 at 21:23
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2012 at 20:45
Orphic Hymn #13
Rhea riding lion, Athenian red-figure vase,
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


"...The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Daughter of great Protogonus, divine, illustrious Rhea, to my pray'r incline,
Who driv'st thy holy car with speed along, drawn by fierce lions, terrible and strong.
Mother of Jove [Zeus], whose mighty arm can wield th' avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield.
Drum-beating, frantic, of a splendid mien, brass-sounding, honor'd, Saturn's [Kronos'] blessed queen.
Thou joy'st in mountains and tumultuous fight, and mankind's horrid howlings, thee delight.
War's parent, mighty, of majestic frame, deceitful saviour, liberating dame.
Mother of Gods and men, from whom the earth [Gaia] and lofty heav'ns [Ouranos] derive their glorious birth;
Th' ætherial gales, the deeply spreading sea goddess ærial form'd, proceed from thee.
Come, pleas'd with wand'rings, blessed and divine, with peace attended on our labours shine;
Bring rich abundance, and wherever found drive dire disease, to earth's remotest bound...."

Kronos receives the omphalos from Rhea, thinking that it was Zeus, Athenian vase

Rhea was one of the aspects of the Great Mother Goddess - the most ancient aspect:
"...RHEA was the Titanis mother of the gods, and a goddess of female fertility, motherhood, and generation. Her name means "flow" and "ease." As the wife of Kronos (Time), she represented the eternal flow of time and generations ; as the great Mother (Meter Megale), the "flow" was menstrual blood, birth waters, and milk. She was also a goddess of comfort and ease, a blessing reflected in the common Homeric phrase "the gods who live at their ease (rhea)."

In myth, Rhea was the wife of the Titan Kronos and Queen of heaven. When her husband heard a prophecy that he would be deposed by one of his children, he took to swallowing each of them as soon as they were born. But Rhea bore her youngest, Zeus, in secret and hid him away in a cave in Krete guarded by shield-clashing Kouretes. In his stead she presented Kronos with a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes which he promptly devoured.

Rhea was closely identified with the Anatolian mother-goddess Kybele. They were both depicted as matronly women, usually wearing a turret crown, and attended by lions...."

Rhea was generally an Earth Goddess, that;s why she was identified with the Anatolian Cybele
Cybele, Roman statue

She was a Titanis, a daughter of Ouranos and Gaia; and mother of the second generation of gods - Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Hera, Demeter.
Couple of primary sources on Rhea:
"...Hesiod, Theogony 116 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :

"She [Gaia (Earth)] lay with Ouranos (Sky) and bare deep-swirling Okeanos, Koios and Krios and Hyperion and Iapetos, Theia and Rhea [amongst others]."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 1-2 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Ouranos (Sky)] fathered sons on Ge (Earth), namely the Titanes . . . also daughters called Titanides: Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe, Dione, Theia."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 66. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"The Titanes numbered six men and five women, being born, as certain writers of myths relate, of Ouranos and Ge, but according to others, of one of the Kouretes and Titaia, from whom as their mother they derive the name they have. The males were Kronos, Hyperion, Koios, Iapetos, Krios and Okeanos, and their sisters were Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe and Tethys [he omits Theia]. Each one of them was the discover of things of benefit to mankind, and because of the benefaction they conferred upon all men they were accorded honours and everlasting fame."Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Aether and Terra [were born various abstractions] . . .
[From Caelum (Ouranos) and Terra (Gaia) were born ?] Oceanus, Themis, Tartarus, Pontus; the Titanes : Briareus, Gyes, Steropes, Atlas, Hyperion, and Polus [Koios], Saturnus [Kronos], Ops [Rhea], Moneta [Mnemosyne], Dione." [N.B. Hyginus' Preface survives only in summary. The Titanes should be listed as children of Ouranos (Caelum) and Gaia (Terra) not Aither and Gaia, but the notation to this effect seems to have been lost in the transcription.]..."

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2012 at 14:08
Orphic Hymn #14


The Fumigation from Storax.
O Jove much-honor'd, Jove [Zeus] supremely great, to thee our holy rites we consecrate,
Our pray'rs and expiations, king divine, for all things round thy head exalted shine.
The earth is thine, and mountains swelling high, the sea profound, and all within the sky.
Saturnian [Kronion] king, descending from above, magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove [Zeus];
All-parent, principle and end of all, whose pow'r almighty, shakes this earthly ball;
Ev'n Nature trembles at thy mighty nod, loud-sounding, arm'd with light'ning, thund'ring God.
Source of abundance, purifying king, O various-form'd from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my pray'r, give blameless health, with peace divine, and necessary wealth.

Zeus, the king of the gods, doesn't require presentation. He sis also called "Dios" /God/, which meant something special in polytheistic religious.

Zeus served by Ganymedes, the Met Museum, NY
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2012 at 01:00
Orphic Hymn #15

Hera Battling the Giant Phoetus | Greek vase, Athenian red figure kylix


The Fumigation from Aromatics.
O Royal Juno [Hera] of majestic mien, aerial-form'd, divine, Jove's [Zeus'] blessed queen,
Thron'd in the bosom of cærulean air, the race of mortals is thy constant care.
The cooling gales thy pow'r alone inspires, which nourish life, which ev'ry life desires.
Mother of clouds and winds, from thee alone producing all things, mortal life is known:
All natures share thy temp'rament divine, and universal sway alone is thine.
With founding blasts of wind, the swelling sea and rolling rivers roar, when shook by thee.
Come, blessed Goddess, fam'd almighty queen, with aspect kind, rejoicing and serene.

Hera hardly requires a presentation, but here a list of her family connections and some primary sources on her, just for fun:

[1.1] KRONOS & RHEA (Homer Iliad 15.187, Hesiod Theogony 453, Apollodorus 1.4, Diodorus Siculus 5.68.1, et al)


[1.1] HEBE, ARES, EILEITHYIA (by Zeus) (Hesiod Theogony 921, Apollodorus 1.13, Hyginus Preface)
[1.2] ARES (by Zeus) (Homer Iliad 5.699, Aeschylus Frag 282, Pausanias 2.14.3)
[1.3] ARES (no father) (Ovid Fasti 5.229)
[1.4] HEBE (by Zeus) (Homer Odyssey 11.601, Pindar Isthmian Ode 4, Pausanias 2.13.3, Aelian On Animals 17.46)
[1.5] EILEITHYIA (Homer Iliad 11.270, Pindar Nemean Ode 7, Pausanias 1.18.5, Diodorus Siculus 4.9.4, Aelian On Animals 7.15, Nonnus Dionysiaca 48.794)
[2.1] HEPHAISTOS (without father) (Hesiod Theogony 927, Homeric Hymn 3.310, Apollodorus 1.19, Pausanias 1.20.3, Hyginus Pref)
[2.2] HEPHAISTOS (by Zeus) (Apollodorus 1.19, Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.22)
[3.1] TYPHAON (without father) (Homeric Hymn 3.300)
[4.1] THE KHARITES (Colluthus 88 & 174)


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 4 ff (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Because both Ge (Earth) and Ouranos (Sky) had given him [Kronos] a prophetic warning that his rule would be overthrown by a son of his own stock, he took to swallowing his children at birth. He swallowed his first-born daughter Hestia, then Demeter and Hera, and after Plouton and Poseidon . . .
[Later] Metis gave Kronos a drug, by which he was forced to vomit forth first the stone and then the children he had swallowed."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 4. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The Samians themselves hold that the goddess [Hera] was born in the island by the side of the river Imbrasos under the willow that even in my time grew in the Heraion (temple of Hera)."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Saturnus [Kronos] and Ops [Rhea] [were born] : Vesta [Hestia], Ceres [Demeter], Juno [Hera], Juppiter [Zeus], Pluto [Hades], Neptunus [Poseidon]."

Apuleius, The Golden Ass 6. 3 ff (trans. Walsh) (Roman novel C2nd A.D.) :
"You [Hera] reside in your ancient shrine at Samos, which alone can pride itself on your birth, your infant cries, and your nurture."..."

Click the image to open in full size.
Attic oinochoe, goddess Hera, 470-460 BC.

Edited by Don Quixote - 10-Apr-2012 at 00:54
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2012 at 01:57
Orphic Hymn #16
Poseidon pursuing Amymone


The Fumigation from Myrrh
Hear, Neptune [Poseidon], ruler of the sea profound, whose liquid grasp begirts the solid ground;
Who, at the bottom of the stormy main, dark and deep-bosom'd, hold'st thy wat'ry reign;
Thy awful hand the brazen trident bears, and ocean's utmost bound, thy will reveres:
Thee I invoke, whose steeds the foam divide, from whose dark locks the briny waters glide;
Whose voice loud founding thro' the roaring deep, drives all its billows, in a raging heap;
When fiercely riding thro' the boiling sea, thy hoarse command the trembling waves obey.
Earth shaking, dark-hair'd God, the liquid plains (the third division) Fate to thee ordains,
'Tis thine, cærulian dæmon, to survey well pleas'd the monsters of the ocean play,
Confirm earth's basis, and with prosp'rous gales waft ships along, and swell the spacious sails;
Add gentle Peace, and fair-hair'd Health beside, and pour abundance in a blameless tide.

Poseidon had a ginormous progeny, that included gods, Giants, animals and humans - the list is far too long to post it here, so here a link to it  . For some reason he seems to have be the preferred forebear for many kings, because almost every kingdom in Greece claimed him as a father to some of it's kings.

Poseidon/Neptune rides across the sea in a chariot drawn by two Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses), Roman mosaic, Sousse Museum, Sousse, Tunisia, C3rd AD

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Apr-2012 at 01:18
Orphic Hymn #17
Hades, Apulian krater C4th B.C., Antikensammlungen, Munich
Hades, god-king of the underworld | Apulian red figure krater C4th B.C. | Antikensammlungen, Munich


Pluto [Plouton], magnanimous, whose realms profound are fix'd beneath the firm and solid ground,
In the Tartarian plains remote from fight, and wrapt forever in the depths of night;
Terrestrial Jove [Zeus Khthonios], thy sacred ear incline, and, pleas'd, accept thy mystic's hymn divine.
Earth's keys to thee, illustrious king belong, its secret gates unlocking, deep and strong.
'Tis thine, abundant annual fruits to bear, for needy mortals are thy constant care.
To thee, great king, Avernus is assign'd, the seat of Gods, and basis of mankind.
Thy throne is fix'd in Hade's dismal plains, distant, unknown to rest, where darkness reigns;
Where, destitute of breath, pale spectres dwell, in endless, dire, inexorable hell;
And in dread Acheron, whose depths obscure, earth's stable roots eternally secure.
O mighty dæmon, whose decision dread, the future fate determines of the dead,
With captive Proserpine [Kore], thro' grassy plains, drawn in a four-yok'd car with loosen'd reins,
Rapt o'er the deep, impell'd by love, you flew 'till Eleusina's city rose to view;
There, in a wond'rous cave obscure and deep, the sacred maid secure from search you keep,
The cave of Atthis, whose wide gates display an entrance to the kingdoms void of day.
Of unapparent works, thou art alone the dispensator, visible and known.
O pow'r all-ruling, holy, honor'd light, thee sacred poets and their hymns delight:
Propitious to thy mystic's works incline, rejoicing come, for holy rites are thine.

Hades with Persephone

Hades/Pluto's family:
[1.1] KRONOS & RHEA (Hesiod Theogony 453, Homer Iliad 15.187, Apollodorus 1.4, Diodorus Siculus 5.68.1, Hyginus Pref)
[1.1] THE ERINYES (by Persephone) (Orphic Hymns 29.6 70.3)
[1.2] THE ERINYES (Statius Thebaid 12.557 & 11.47)
[2.1] ZAGREUS (Aeschylus Frag 124)
[3.1] MELINOE (by Persephone) (Orphic Hymn 71)
[4.1] MAKARIA (Suidas s.v. Makaria)

And couple of primary sources:

Homer, Iliad 15. 187 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"We are three brothers born by Rheia to Kronos, Zeus, and I [Poseidon], and the third is Aides [Haides] lord of the dead men. All was divided among us three ways, each given his domain. I [Poseidon] when the lots were shaken drew the grey sea to live in forever; Aides drew the lot of the mists and the darkness, and Zeus was allotted the wide sky, in the cloud and the bright air. But earth and high Olympos are common to all three."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Aidoneus Polysemantor (Ruler of Many), is . . . your [Demeter's] own brother and born of the same stock : also, for honour, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells."

Plato, Gorgias 523a ff (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"By Homer's account, Zeus, Poseidon, and Plouton [Haides] divided the sovereignty amongst them when they took it over from their father [Kronos]."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 7 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The three gods [Zeus, Poseidon and Haides] overpowered the Titanes, confined them in Tartaros . . . The gods then drew lots for a share of the rule. Zeus won the lordship of the sky, Poseidon that of the sea, and Plouton the rule of Hades’ realm."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 443 (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Zeus :] `My rank is no greater [than Haides]. I hold court in the sky; another rules the sea [Poseidon], and one the void [Haides].'"

Seneca, Hercules Furens 53 (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"Dis [Haides] himself, who drew a lot equal to Jove’s [Zeus's]."

Seneca, Hercules Furens 833 :
"The king [Haides] of the third estate."

So, Hades was seen as an equal to Zeus, that's why he was called in the hymn "Zeus Khtonios".

Hades and Persephone - Apulian Red figure vase
Hades & Persephone, king & queen of the underworld | Greek vase, Apulian red figure
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