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O´RPHICA Whatever is to be said in any summary of the Orphic doctrines must start from Lobeck's great section on the subject in his Aglaophamus (233-1104). Like the Phanes of the Orphic legend, he must be absorbed by any one who coming after him essays, however feebly and imperfectly, to play the part of the ordering Zeus.

1. Orpheus.

In early times, the difference between prophet or poet and priest hardly existed, so that it is not surprising that the Thracian Orpheus, who is so well known as a poet, should appear also as a priest. An important passage of Aristophanes (Aristoph. Frogs 1032) says that what Orpheus gave the Greeks towards civilisation was τελεταὶ φόνων τ᾽ ἀπέχεσθαι. But far more in later times came to be attributed to him; viz. the invention of writing, music, medical art, oracles, heroic versification, and other things (Lobeck, 233-243). But it was chiefly as the founder of a mystic brotherhood that he was known. The first mention of him is in lbycus, 530 B.C. (Bergk, iii. p. 241); but already to Pindar (Pind. P. 177) he was of older date than Homer, and from the position assigned to him in the passage of Aristophanes cited above the comic poet would seem to have held the same opinion; indeed this belief was so strong that Herodotus (2.53) felt called upon to express his entire dissent from it. We have shown in ELEUSINIA that, during the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., there was a great influx into Greece of Thracian and Oriental worships (cf. Lobeck, 304 f.), consisting of purificatory and mystic rites--which were all quite foreign to the ordinary Hellenic ideas. For example, the ancient Scholiasts (see Schol. Venet. on II. xi 680) did not fail to notice that there was no trace of purification for murder in Homer. The earliest instance of such is in the Aethiopis of Arctinus, wherein Ulysses purifies Achilles for the murder of Thersites (cf. Grote, 1.25). Now it was round the name of Orpheus that these Thracian and Oriental ideas clustered; he was held to be the founder of the sect, and as time [p. 2.298]went on and as it grew in importance, he came to be considered the actual author of the various works written by the members of the sect,--in fact, “eine litterarische Collectivperson,” as Preller puts it; and so Aristotle (Cic. N. D. 1.3. 8, 107) and a grammarian Dionysius (Suid. s. v. Ὀρφεύς) could boldly declare that Orpheus never existed at all; and again others could say that there were two, three, or even six Orpheuses (Lobeck, 351-357). But the sect continued to exist, and did not fail to make its mark in classical Greek times; it continued during the Alexandrine era on into Roman times, gradually gathering round it all sorts of accretions, superstitions without number, and every kind of nonsense in its speculations, which was, however, allegorised away into metaphysical conceptions, till in the third and fourth centuries A.D. it was the Orphic theology and the Orphic life that made the last intellectual struggle against the victorious doctrines of Christianity. It was a recognised theory that all the philosophers had derived their systems from the Orphic school, and even at the Renaissance there were the most extravagant views held of this fount of original wisdom (Lobeck, 407-410). Let us see then, firstly, what the Orphics practised.

2. The Orphic Life.

That this was the regular expression is plain from Plato (Legg. 6.782 D). It enjoined abstinence from certain foods,--meat, fish, beans (ἶσον τοι κυαμους τε φαγεῖν κεφαλάς τε τοκήων, as the precept ran)--possibly on account of beans being used at funerals, and on the same ground the votaries appear to have abstained from eggs (Lobeck, 254, 477); they used to wear white garments (Eur. Frag. Cretens.--“luculenta vitae Orphicae descriptio,” ib. 622), but were not allowed to use linen clothes either during religious worship nor as a winding sheet for the corpse--all this on account of certain religious reasons set forth in the Orphic books (cf. Hdt. 2.81). No bloody sacrifices were allowed (Plat. l.c.; Plut. Conviv. Sept. Sap. 159, 20), for transmigration of souls was a cardinal feature of their doctrine. They believed in the original sin of man, sprung as he was from the ashes of the Titans, and that the human soul passed from one body to another--that is, from one charnel-house to another (σῶμα, σῆμα)--till the ingrained taint was washed out and the purified soul was translated to the stars. We can hardly help feeling a connexion between this doctrine and the Buddhist passage from Sansara to Nirvana. Besides, there was specially the taint of guilt in certain families (cf. Plat. Phaedr. 244 E); purifications were absolutely necessary for such (D. L. 8.33), and purifications according to Orphic rites of course alone availed. Here came the scandal in the eyes of the ordinary Greeks, especially as a certain class of religious beggars, called Orpheotelestae or Metragyrtae or some such title bespeaking their foreign ritual, went about with an ass carrying their sacred utensils (ὄνος ἄγων μυστήρια, Aristoph. Frogs 159), with great strings of books (βίβλων ὁρμαθόν), promising expiations from crimes both for those alive and for the dead by “certain sacrifices and pleasurable amusements,” and otherwise trading on the superstitious feelings of the community (Plat. Rep. 2.364 B). Paradise was open to the true votary if he performed the true ceremonial, and a precious paradise it sometimes was--perpetual drunkenness (ib. 363 C; Plat. Comp. Cimon. et Lucull. 1; Lobeck, 807). But there was no lack of votaries amongo the superstitious: the δεισιδαίμων of Theophrastus (xvi.) goes with wife and child once a month to an Orpheotelestes. The Phrygian worship of Sabazius, too, was full of purifications and superstitious magic; it was celebrated with great wildness both of grief and horror, and thus, highly ecstatic in its nature, was much affected by women and the lower orders (Aristoph. Lys. 388)--in all which points it is very similar to Orphic rites (Lobeck, 695). Priestesses appear to have played an important part (cf. Menand. Frag. 530, 21, Kock); they were called περιμακτρίαι or ἐγχυτριστπίαι (Schol. Aristoph. Wasps 289). A priestess called Ninus was put to death for magic (Schol. on Dem. Fals. Leg. 431.281); and Aeschines's mother, Glaucothea, officiated at most vulgar Sabazian ceremonies, according to Demosthenes (de Coron. 313.259; Lobeck, 646 if., 652 if.). Then, too, there were the Corybantes, who were supposed to cause madness (Eur. Hipp. 142), which was cured by exorcisings and purifications according to the rites of these divinities (Schol. on Aristoph. Wasps 119), rites which consisted of elaborate ceremonies, with ecstatic dances and clashing of cymbals round the patient, who sat enthroned (θρόνωσις, θρονισμός) in the midst of those officiating (Plat. Euthyd. 277 E; Legg. 7.790, 791; Lobeck, 116, 640 ff.). The anxious ceremonial of the genuine Orphics, their abstinences and fastings, their scrupulousness about clothes and so forth, made them appear all of a piece with these pettifogging impostors, and so utterly contemptible in the eyes of the strong-minded Athenian man of the world (cf. the speech of Theseus in Eur. Hipp. 952). This genuine Orphic life, however, which was practised by an ascetic religious brotherhood, must not be charged with all the excesses of the impostors who traded on its name, nor with the calumnies which the ordinary pleasure-loving Greek was only too ready to fling against it. It does not appear to have made any mark that we can appreciate till the Pythagorean brotherhood broke up in Italy. This was an ascetic religious society, very similar in some points to the Orphics; and accordingly the scattered Pythagoreans joined naturally to the Orphics, and introduced into their doctrines the more highlydeveloped speculative principles which their master had taught them: and we take it that it was this influx of Pythagorean members that gave the most important impetus to the development of Orphic doctrine and increased prominence to the Orphic life. To the Orphic speculations we now turn.

3. The Orphic Authors generally.

Before the Pythagorean league was broken up, during that period at Athens after the murder of Cylon when the Athenian people were a prey to religious terrors and recourse had to be taken to various foreign methods of purification, it was only natural that the Orphic religion should appear. Onomacritus, who lived at the court of Pisistratus, was a χρησμολόγος and διαθέτης (arranger and editor) of the Oracles of Musaeus (Hdt. 7.6). He performed the same office for the works attributed to Orpheus (Tatian, [p. 2.299]adv. Graecos, 41.275, p. 885 Migne; Clem. Alex. Strom. 1.332, Pott), but at the same time he forged several works and attributed them to the names of Orpheus and Musaeus, which must have been venerable at the time (Herod. l.c.; Plut. Pyth. Resp. 25; Paus. 1.22, 7; Suidas, s. v. Ὀρφεύς). So Aristotle always speaks of τὰ καλούμενα Ὀρφέως ἔπη, τὰ Ὀρφικὰ καλούμενα ἔπη, and such like (Lobeck, 339). A celebrated passage in Pausanias (8.37, 5) shows that we are to attribute to Onomacritus the introduction of the Zagreus legend (see below, § 6). Pherecydes of Athens (Suid. s. v.) is also credited with the same functions as Onomacritus. Then, after the Pythagorean influence became predominant, we have writings from men called Cercops, Brontinus, Zopyrus, Persinus, from a woman Arignote, and many other Pythagoreans. The Orphic poems gained considerable popularity and were recited by the rhapsodists at the public games (Plat. Ion, 536 B), but it was specially by the priestly family of the Lycomidae that the Orphic ritual was used (Paus. 9.27, 2; 30, 5); they introduced Orphic speculations and rites into the Eleusinian worship [ELEUSINIA]. The Peripatetic Eudemus did good service in collecting and editing an Orphic theogony, and we hear of one Epigenes occupying himself with the grammar and criticism of the Orphic poems (Lobeck, 340). For the long succession of writers who busied themselves with Orphic treatises, it will be sufficient to refer to Lobeck, 341-347, and to point out the goodly collection of them there was in Neo-Platonic times. Then we find Charax, Syrianus, and Hierocles occupied chiefly in harmonising Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Plato, and one Asclepiades actually writing a Harmony of All the Theologies (τῶν θεολογιῶν ἁπασῶν τὴν συμφωνίαν), though this was mere child's play compared with later Byzantine efforts (Lobeck, 346). But we must come to the actual writings attributed to Orpheus.

4. The Orphic Literature specially.

Preller (in Pauly, 4.999) divides the Orphic literature into (1) Theological, (2) Liturgical, (3) Theurgical--an excellent division, which introduces order into the chaos of the catalogues given by Clement (Strom. 1.397) and Suidas (s. v. Ὀρφεύς). This classification we shall follow, giving up any pretence, except in a very few cases, of attempting to discover who were the actual authors of the separate works.

i. Theological.

(1) Theogonia or Theologia (see § 5). (2) Κρατῆρες (there were two works, a greater Crater and a less)--a title taken from the two mixings in Plato wherein the Deity constructed the universal soul and the individual souls, according to Lobeck, p. 736, though his reasons are not very plain. The fragments of the work only speak of the Unity of the Gods (ib. 731, 735). (3) Φυσικά, attributed to both Brontinus and Onomacritus, treats of how the individual soul is breathed into or inhaled by the body, after having been carried thereto by the winds (cf. τὴν ψυχὴν ἐκ τοῦ ὅλου εἰσιέναι ἀναπνεόντων, φερομένην ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνέμων, Aristot. de An. 1.5, 13). The guardians of the winds, or the winds themselves, are called Tritopatores, whatever be the true interpretation of that word, perhaps that they are our ancestors (τρίτοι πάτερες, in the general sense of “ancestors” ): for further, see Lobeck, 753-773, especially 763. Here, too, may have come in the wide-spread theory of the transmigration of souls, of the circle of births which it should be our aim to get free from: κύκλου τ᾽ αὖ λῆξαι καὶ ἀναπνεῦσαι κακότητος (ib. 800). (4) Ἱεροὶ λόγοι--besides the Theogony, which is often so styled (ib. 508), there were certain treatises under this name on the mystic import of numbers in Pythagorean style. Pythagoras wrote ἱεροὶ λόγοι in prose on this subject, but he acknowledges his obligations to Orpheus (ib. 717, 725, 726). (5) Τριαγμὸς may be mentioned here, a work on the number Three, in prose, and therefore not written by an Orphic, but by Ion the tragedian, or perhaps Epigenes (ib. 388). (6) Κατάβασις εἰς Αἵδου--concerning the descent of Orpheus to Hades to recover Eurydice, ascribed to Prodicus. It seems to be older than Plat. Symp. 179 D; Eur. Med. 557. The detailed description of Hades attributed to Orpheus doubtless came in here (Diod. 1.96; Lobeck, 811, 812). (7) Διαθῆκαι (cf. Justin, Cohort. 15) was the testament of Orpheus to Musaeus. It is a sort of palinode in that he reduces the 360 gods he had formerly allowed back to one god (Lobeck, 364). See an extensive fragment on this subject in Hermann's Orphica, p. 447, and much the same poem, only lengthened, on p.450 if. It was written by Alexandrine Jews, as the plain allusions to Abraham and Moses show. On the monotheism of the mysteries, see, besides Lobeck, 460-5, some remarks in MYSTERIA (8) Δίκτυον appears to have had reference to the formation of the human frame, which is compared to the weaving of a net (Aristot. de Generat. Anim. 2.1 = 734 a. 20, Lobeck, 381). (9) Κτίσις κόσμου: geographical. (10) Πέπλος, attributed to Zopyrus or Brontinus (Suid. s. v. Ὀρφεύς), seems to have been a treatise on cosmogony, πέπλος being the heavens (cf. Psalm 104.2, “who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain;” also Pherecydes, Ζᾶς ποιέει φᾶρος μέγα τε καὶ καλὸν καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ ποικίλλει γᾶν τε καὶ Ὤγηνον καὶ Ὠγήνου δώματα). (11) περὶ σεισμῶν, also attributed to Hermes Trismegistus; but as a portion of a verse is preserved, it is best to give it to an Orphic source, as Hermes wrote in prose. (12) Ἀργοναυτικὰ (still extant) was written in late Christian times, and. was an effort to dress up Greek mythology on Orphic principles. (13) Τελεταί, composed by Onomacritus (Suidas, s. v. Ὀρφεύς). Of its contents we know nothing for certain. Schuster (De veteris Orphicae Theogoniae indole atque origine, p. 54) thinks that it was probably in this work that Onomacritus published the Zagreus legend.

ii. Liturgical.

(1) ῞γμνοι to the gods (cf. Paus. 9.27, 2; 30, 5). They were φυσικοὶ ὕμνοι, τίς τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος φύσις, τίς τοῦ Διὸς παρατιθέμενοι, as Menander, de Encom. 2.30, says; and he justly considers them liable to parody (cf. Lobeck, 390, 745 f.), and they were parodied by the New Comedy. In one of them the Sun is said to be father of everything (Macr. 1.23, 22). They were composed by one man, in late Christian times, who had some knowledge of the old poets and of mystic theology. The Neo-Platonists do not use them, though they might have, to support their θεοκρασία and extensive allegorising. These hymns are first mentioned in the 12th cent A.D. The [p. 2.300]elaborate proof of these conclusions by Lobeck is one of the finest arguments in the Aglaophamus (389-410). (2) Θρονισμοὶ μητρῷοι καὶ βακχικά--prayers and hymns sung at the θρόνωσις of votaries in the worship of Cybele and Bacchus: similar to those used in the worship of the Corybantes, § 2. (3) Ὅρκοι. A few lines of this poem referring to the Mosaic cosmogony are found in Justin, but they are also attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (Lobeck, 737, 738). (4) Σωτήρια--prayers and thanksgivings for safety, attributed to authors called Timocles or Perginus (ib. 383). (5) Ὀνομαστικά, lists of names of the gods, sometimes with interpretation, possibly like the lists in the Κρατήρ (ib. 731), or the various names of one and the same god, as in Ov. Met. 4.11 ff. (6) Νεοτευκτικά, forms of service for the dedication of temples (ib. 375). (7) Θυηπολικόν. This was perhaps one of the kind of books the Orphic impostors used to carry about ( § 2).

iii. Theurgical.

(1) Ἔργα καὶ ἡμέραι. These were really separate works at first. That called ἔργα is also called περὶ γεωργίας, and Lobeck (414-5) quotes some verses from it. This poem has been supposed by Tyrwhitt to have been the same as the περὶ καταρχῶν of Maximus, the preceptor of Julian, but the fact is Maximus plagiarised from it (ib. 418-424). To it was added an astrological poem called Δωδεκαετηρίδες. The ἡμέραι is also called ἐφημερίδες, a kind of superstitious astrological diary (cf. Juv. 6.569; Plin. Nat. 29.9), treating of what days were lucky and what unlucky, concerning which Lobeck collects a vast mass of learning (428-434), and also of the days on which it was considered that the gods were born.

(2) περὶ φυτῶν, βοτανῶν, φαρμάκων--concerning the healing properties of certain plants, animals and drugs, which degenerated into absurd magic. We also hear of books written by Orpheus called περὶ ἐπῳδικῶν και μαγικῶν, and such like--Orpheus the poet and minstrel, who stayed rivers by his song, and with his lute made trees and the mountain tops that freeze bow themselves when he did sing, being transformed into Orpheus the magician (ib. 751-2).

(3) Λιθικά, on the magical properties of stones. This poem is still extant (Hermann's Orphica, pp. 359-442). It was not known to Proculus. Suidas (s. v. Ὀρφεύς) says that a poem on this subject, called Ὀγδοηκοντάλιθος, was composed by Onomacritus, and included in his Τελεταί, and this is probable enough, as the virtue of rings is a very old superstition (cf. the story of Gyges in Plato; yet see Lobeck, 377).

(4) Ἱεροστολιστικὰ and Καταζωστικά, concerning the dress and especially the girdles of the initiates and of the statues. Purple bands round the waist were essential in the Cabirian worship [CABIRIA]. Some verses are quoted in Macr. 1.18, 22, describing the dress as having sun and stars represented on it, very much like the dress we should associate with a magician. Also some verses in Eusebius and Nicephorus (Lobeck, 728 ff.), concerning the special symbols or insignia to be put on statues; e. g. lizards round the statue of Hecate, just as the bow was the symbol of Apollo, and the winged sandals of Hermes. Such a statue was said to be συμβολικῶς ἱδρυμένον. For superstition in this direction, see Lobeck l.c.

(5) Ἀμνοσκοπία (or ἀνεμοσκοπία), ὠοσκοπικά, and ὠοθυτικὰ treated, as their names indicate, of various kinds of divination (ib. 410).

5. The Orphic Theogony.

The multifarious theogonies which existed among the Greeks are very confusing, and their history has yet to be written, especially in the light of an extensive knowledge of Oriental literature. The philosophical value of these theogonies is that they, at any rate, asked the question of cosmogony. The not very definite evidences of an actual work, called Θεογονία, attributed to Orpheus, is given by Lobeck (367, 368). Under what are called the Orphic Theogonies, we have four, which must be mentioned separately.

(1) That systematised under the name of Eudemus, the pupil of Aristotle. It began with Night (ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς Νυκτὸς ἐποιήσατο τὴν ἀρχήν, says Damascius, ap. Lobeck, 488). Further than this we cannot go with certainty. We can neither with Zeller (Die Philosophie der Griechen, 1.99, Eng. trans.) infer from Plato (Tim. 40 D) that, according to Eudemus, “beside Night are placed Earth and Sky, both of which apparently proceeded from Night, as with Hesiod the Earth came forth from Chaos; Night being here substituted for Chaos. The children of Uranus and Gaea are Oceanus and Tethys” --this would be to beg the question that Plato used the Eudemian theogony. Nor suppose with Schuster (op. cit. p. 16 ff.) that the system of Eudemus which posits one first principle (cf. Aristot. Met. 12.6, οἱ θεολόγοι οἱ δ̓κ νυκτὸς γεννῶντες) is identical with that referred to by Lydus (de Mens. 2.7) which posits three--viz. Night, Earth, Sky; however great may be the resemblance (cf. Lobeck, 494). This is well shown by Otto Kern, De Orphei Epimenidis, Pherecydis theogoniis quaestiones criticae, pp. 53-55).

(2) That given by Apollonius Rhodius (Argon. 1.494 ff.), where Orpheus is introduced as singing how Earth, Sky, and Sea were all commingled together in the beginning, but afterwards separated “by reason of destructive Strife” (νείκεος ἐξ ὀλοοῖο); how sun, moon, and stars got their fixed courses in heaven; how mountains arose and sounding rivers with their nymphs, and how all creeping things were produced. And in those primeval days did Ophion and Eurynome rule in heaven, till they were cast into the ocean by Kronos and Rhea, who ruled for a time over the happy gods the Titans (μακάρεσσι θεοῖς Τιτῆσιν), while Zeus was still a child and did not wield the thunderbolt. The first part of this cosmogony is unquestionably derived from Empedocles: the Sphairos being divided by Neikos is a cardinal point of his doctrine. But to whom the story about the rule of Ophion and Eurynome is due is not yet decided. Preller (Ausgewählte Aufsätze, ed. Köhler, p. 358) says Pherecydes, but this is most probably not the case: see Kern (op. cit. pp. 57-61, and chap. 3 on Pherecydes). Preller (l.c.) quotes a number of passages where allusion is made to this dynasty (Lycophr. Alex. 1192, and Tzetzes ad loc.; Schol. on Aristoph. Cl. 247, on Aesch. Prom. Vinct. 955; Lucian, Tragopod. 99 ff.). In Claud. Rapt. Proserp. 3.348, Ophion is a giant.

(3) κατὰ τὸν Ἱερώνυμον φερομένη καὶ Ἑλλανικον, εἴπερ μὴ καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν (Damasc. ap. [p. 2.301]Lobeck, 484). Zeller (op. cit. p. 103) shows that this Hieronymus was probably the Egyptian who was author of a Phoenician Antiquities (ἀρχαιολογία φοινικική), and mentioned by Josephus (J. AJ 1.3, 6, 9), not the Peripatetic philosopher; and this is rendered almost certain from the fact that in much (e. g. the notion of water and primitive slime at the beginning) this theogony agrees with the Phoenician cosmogonies (Schuster, op. cit. 90-98). He it was who probably attributed to Hellanicus a work of his own called Αἰγυπτιακά (Epictet. Diss. 2.19, 14)--for there were many books on foreign nations which were falsely ascribed to Hellanicus--and both in the Αἰγυπτιακὰ and in the Phoenician Antiquities he may have expressed the same view of the Orphic theogony. This view posits water and primitive slime, from which came Earth by solidification. From these two, Earth and Water, comes a dragon with the heads of a bull and a lion, and between the two the visage of a god, and he had upon his shoulders wings, and his name was Never-Aging Time (Χρόνος ἀγήραος), and the same was Heracles. And with him did consort Necessity, and she was none other than the incorporeal Adrastea, who is spread abroad throughout all space and reacheth to the ends of the world, and she is both male and female. Then did Time generate a gigantic egg, and filled by the might of its generator it burst in twain, and its top was Heaven and its bottom Earth (Lobeck, 487). Again, there is mention of another god, though it is not plain whether he belongs to this theogony or not (ib. 486), and he was incorporeal, yet he had golden wings on his shoulders, and to his flanks were united heads of bulls, and on his head was a mighty dragon, like unto the manifold forms of beasts, and his name was Protogonos or Zeus or Pan, for he arranged the whole world. Not very different to this is--

(4) The theogony called that of the Rhapsodists, which was the one ordinarily in vogue, and which was regarded by both Christians and Neo-Platonists as the genuine Orphic theogony. This is important when we remember that they considered Orpheus as the real author of all the Greek mythologies and disregarded Hesiod (Lobeck, 466). Orpheus was supposed to have learned it from the Sun. According to it, Chronus is the first of all, and he produces Aether and Chaos, by the agency of which two he produces further a silver egg, from which bursts a god called Phanes or Metis or Ericapaeus, also called Protogonos and the cosmogonic Eros. This god contains the germs of everything, so is male and female, has the heads of numerous animals, and so forth. The upper part of the egg becomes Heaven and the lower Earth. Phanes then proceeds to create the Sun of the natural world, and afterwards the Moon with its mountains and cities and palaces (Lobeck, 499). From himself Phanes produces Night, and afterwards a horrid monster called Echidna: from Night Phanes begets Uranus and Gaea. Then follow the generations of these two, pretty much the same as in Hesiod,--the Parcae, Centimani, Cyclopes, Titans, till Cronus dethrones Uranus and later Zeus dethrones Cronus. Then it is that Zeus devours Phanes, and so becomes the sum of all things, but only that he may once more reproduce them in accordance with the dictates of Justice (Δίκη). Then follow accounts of a few of the other gods--Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite, and others, though often with considerable blending of the gods together,--e. g. Demeter and Rhea; Persephone, Artemis, and Hecate. But the chief story in this part of the theogony is that of Zagreus, which we reserve for the next section.

It would be trifling to inquire whence came the very obvious idea of the world-egg, whether it was derived from the Semites, whether it was an old Aryan idea or was arrived at independently by the Greeks (Lobeck, 476). As to the derivation of the name Ericapaeus, quot etymologici tot sententiae. Delitzsch says it is a Semitic name, Arik Anpen (HEBREW>), “long-visaged,” the first of the ten Sephiroth; so too Schelling, that he is Erek Appayim (hr), “long-suffering.” Zoega, from Egyptian roots eri and keb, and that it means “the multiplier;” for Malela interprets him as ζωοδότηρ. Göttliug thinks of ἔαρ and κάπυς, the breath of vernal winds; Visconti, of ἐρι and κάπτειν, the fierce devourer (though it is he who is devoured); while Kern (p. 22) with great complacency assures us that he was so called because he was devoured in the morning, just as Eos is called ἠριγένεια, because she is early born. Here again, though for other reasons, we think quaerere ludicrum esse. Phanes appears to have been interpreted by the Platonists as the Sun of the intelligible world, creator of the Sun of the natural world, and so the name of Dionysus is given to both (Lobeck, 499). We pass on to Night, who is the Orphic Night, a venerable goddess, the nurse of Cronus, a prophetess, the avenger of the crimes committed by Cronus, the guide of Zeus in the ordering of the world, she who prompts him to devour Phanes, &c.--quite different from the mere personification of the time of darkness in Hesiod. This is well developed by Kern, pp. 17-19, as also his proof (29-31), quite certain, that Echidna was not, as Lobeck supposed (493), another name of the Orphic Night, who was not a monstrous divinity at all, and had no likeness to a serpent. The swallowing of Phanes is the great feature of the Orphic theogony: it leads to the numerous pantheistic hymns in the Orphic collection (cf. Lobeck, 519 ff.).

The lateness of the theogony “according to Hieronymus” is proved by Zeller (op. cit. p. 101) with cogent arguments. It must be later than the syncretism of the Stoics. The symbolism so highly developed, the abstract ideas (Time, Necessity), the distinction of corporeal and incorporeal, the spreading of Adrastea through the world, like that of the Platonic world-soul, the pantheistic conception of Zeus--all point to a late origin: and Kern urges that it is much later than the theogony of the Rhapsodists and was borrowed from them. The latter is comparatively plain and simple, the former a medley of philosophical and theological ideas, collected from all sides and run pell-mell together. Why has Chronus-Heracles his multiform attributes?--he does but produce an egg (27): if Earth is solidified from mud, why is the egg introduced at all (28), and why is a regress made from Earth to Chaos (32)? and why is Adrastea, who does nothing, given as a consort to Chronus? [p. 2.302]The simpler legend, Kern says (28), is obviously the more ancient. But we cannot follow Lobeck (611) and Kern (35 ff.) in supposing that the theogony of the Rhapsodists was known to Plato, and is to be referred to the age of Onomacritus. Zeller's arguments (op. cit. 105-108) to prove that this theogony is later than the syncretists appear to us to have great weight. He urges against Lobeck: (a) That the first definite evidence of this theogony appears in the Pseudo-Aristotelian treatise De Mundo, 100.7; Plato, Legg. 4.715 E, proves nothing [see MYSTERIA]. (b) Plato in Syrup. 178 B does not mention Eros-Phanes of Orpheus as proof of the antiquity of Eros. (c) The Aristotelian evidence, Met. 14.4 (Οἱ δὲ ποιηταὶ οἱ ἀρχαῖοι ταύτῃ ὁμοίως βασιλεύειν καὶ ἄρχειν φασὶν οὐ τοὺς πρώτους οἷον νύκτα καὶ οὐρανὸν χάος ὠκεανὸν ἀλλὰ τὸν Δία), only points to Eudemus's theogony. (d) Apollonius would have hardly made Orpheus sing what was quite different to the ordinary received theogony. (e) The peculiar Pantheism points to a late origin: that Zeus is the ultimate origin and support of all things is quite different from supposing him the complex of all things. (f) The story of Phanes is an attempt to reconcile the idea of Zeus as the complex of all things with the mythological idea that he is the founder of the last generation of gods. (g) The Hesiodic myth of Zeus swallowing Metis is used in such a way that Metis is combined with the Helios-Dionysus of the earlier Orphic theology, with the creative Eros of the Cosmogonies, and with Oriental divinities into the form of Phanes. This could only have happened in the age of the syncretists. It may be perhaps a mere imitation of the theory that the Deity from time to time took all things back into himself, and again put them forth. Preller (in Pauly, 4.999) sees evidences of Egyptising Gnosticism in it. Even though some of these arguments may be overthrown--as, for example, (c) on linguistic grounds by Kern (p. 56); and though such lines as the well-known ones of Aeschylus (or Euphorion), Ζεύς ἐστιν αἰθήρ, Ζεὺς δὲ γῆ, Ζεῦς δ᾽οὐρανός, Ζεύς τοι τὰ πάντα χὤτι τῶνδ᾽ ὑπέρτερον, have as pantheistic an air about them as one could desire-still the bulk of the arguments are untouched; and though it is true that the passages of Plato wherein this theogony is supposed to be alluded to (Crat. 402 B; Tim. 40 D; Legg. 4.715; Phaedr. 248 C; Phil. 66 C; Soph. 242 D) are too vague to guarantee anything more than the barest probability, yet the absence of all allusion to Chronus, and to such striking features as the World Egg (though this may be alluded to by Aristoph. Birds 695 ff.) and to Phanes, makes us pause before we can feel quite certain that Plato was acquainted with this elaborate story.

6. The Zagreus-legend

The Zagreus legend is the most important feature of the later part of the Orphic theogony (Lobeck, 547-593). Zeus violates Proserpina (his own daughter by Deo or Demeter) under the form of a serpent. She bears Zagreus, “the great hunter,” a mighty god with a bull's head, destined to become the king of Heaven, whom even as a child Zeus seated on his throne and entrusted with his thunderbolts. He appointed Apollo and the Curetes to guard the child. But Hera in jealousy urged the Titans against the god; who, after beguiling him with a mirror and other toys, slew him, though he resisted violently, cut him in pieces, boiled him, and finally ate him. His heart alone they left intact; it was taken up and preserved by Pallas. Hecate brings news of the murder to Zeus, who strikes down the Titans with his thunderbolt, and gives the heart to Apollo to bury at Delphi (cf. Aesch. Eum. 24). It was buried under the tripod (or, according to other accounts, under the omphalos), and from it rose again Dionysus in all his glory. There were probably mystic rites to Semele and Dionysus at Delphi (Lobeck, 619-20), but they are not recorded in any Orphic book. Other accounts tell that Zeus swallowed the heart dissolved in a drink, or gave the drink to Semele, who thereby conceiving bore the Theban Dionysus. From the blood of the Titans who ate Zagreus sprang men, who are as such mainly foes to the gods, but have also something Dionysiac and god-like in their nature, even as had the Titans (Dio Chrys. 30.550 R.). For further, see Lobeck, 567-8, though he thinks (580) that this may have been merely a poetical representation of an assumed relationship between men and gods.

This legend, certainly known to Callimachus (Etym. M. s. v. Ζαγρεύς), is attributed by Pausanias (8.37, 5) to Onomacritus. Nor is there any reason to question this statement. Well acquainted as he was with the Pythagorean philosophy, it was Onomacritus who did much to give expression and a kind of rational order to the wild and coarse fancies and practices which had been invading Greece for the previous century. For it is plain that this legend of the passion (παθήματα) of the god came from the East. There is a certain similarity between it and that of Soma in the Rig Veda (Maury, Religions de la Grèce antique, 3.325), that of Osiris in Egypt, of Atys in Phrygia, and of Adonis or Thammuz in Phoenicia. Now by the time of the syncretists, from about the 3rd century B.C., all these Eastern religions had got blended together in the Greek mind. Clement (ap. Lobeck, 588) says that these Orphic rites of Zagreus came from Phrygia, and Lobeck seems to agree (cf. 655, “Itaque omnia eodem nos deducunt vestigia sacra Orphica a Phrygiis nihil diversa fuisse” ). Diodorus says expressly (5.75) that the Cretans were the first who gave Dionysus as son to Proserpina, though indeed Cretan and Phrygian forms of worship were so confused in his mind that he actually says (4.4) the Cretan Dionysus was called Sabazius (Maury, op. cit. 328). Yet confirmatory evidence of its Cretan origin can be seen by the Chorus in the Cretans of Euripides (cf. § 2). Lobeck (624) is perhaps too cautious in thinking that this is no evidence: a poet would naturally choose the chief votaries of a divinity as the characters into whose mouth to put an account of that divinity's ritual. Now the Cretan religion was mainly Phoenician (Movers, Die Phönizer, 1.27-32), and it is from them that we may principally derive the story of Zagreus. For further evidence on this point, see Fr. Lenormant in the Gazette Archeólogique for 1879, pp. 22, 23, 34. But the rites of Zagreus became blended with ecstatic rites of Dionysus, introduced from Thrace, where the worship of Dionysus was indigenous (Hdt. 5.7, 7.11; Grote, 1.23 ff.), and from whence the Dionysic worship originally came into Greece. [p. 2.303]

In this legend Zeus and Zagreus are considered as Chthonian gods, Zagreus being sometimes said to be the son of Hades, sometimes Hades himself (Lobeck, 621). Cicero says he was son of Jupiter and the Moon (Nat. Deor. 3.23, 58): cf. Diodorus (3.73), who says Zeus and Io were his parents. Lenormant (op. cit. p. 19), after Maury (p. 323), sees in him a personification of the vital force in nature. Hence his title πρωτόγονος in the Orphic Hymn (30.2), his many names, and many forms (xlvi. xlvii.), and that he unites the attributes of the Hellenic Zeus and the Thracian Sabazius. But we must recollect that he is always called Dionysus, never Sabazius, in Orphic works (Lobeck, 621). As to the date of the introduction of the Zagreus legend into Greek ritual, Lenormant (op. cit. 23) places it at the time when Clisthenes substituted the recitations of the passion of Dionysus for that of Adrastus, himself an heroic personage, representing a divine Adrastus, who virtually is identified with Adonis (cf. Apoll. 3.6, 1; Hyg. Fab. 69; and Maury, 3.327, cf. p. 197). When the Orphic doctrines insinuated themselves into the Eleusinian mysteries, Zagreus came to be identified with Iacchus [ELEUSINIA]. A cardinal feature of this Zagreus worship was the ὠμοφαγίαι (Eur. Bacch. 139), which point distinctly to savage rites, and do not harmonise at all with the purer and higher Orphic life which abstained from all live creatures, though Euripides (l.c.) and Plutarch (Symp. 8.8) and Porphyrius (V. P. 2.28, γευσάμενοι μόνον πρὸς ἀληθείαν ἄθικτοι τῶν λοιπῶν ἔζων) seem to think they do (Lobeck, 623). That the sacrifices were originally human (cf. Porphyr. Abst. 2.55), and that the remembrance thereof was not entirely extinct in 480 B.C., is proved by Themistocles's sacrifice of three Persian prisoners to Dionysus Omestes (Plut. Them. 13), but later they were replaced by the lower animals. Thus Dionysus was called Ταυροφάγος and Μοσχοφάγος (Soph. Frag. 602, ed. Nauck, Schol. ad Aristoph. Frogs 357). Sacrifices called ὠμοφαγίαι were also celebrated at Chios, Lesbos, Tenedos, and, as originally, at Crete. (Porphyr. l.c.; Clem. Alexandr. Protr. 2.36, Pott.; Ael. VH 3.42, Nat. Anim. 12.34; Firmic. Matern. p. 9.) The rite was supposed to be a representation of Zagreus himself, torn in pieces by the Titans (cf. Schol. on Clem. Alex. iv. p. 119, ed. Klotz, ὠμὰ γὰρ εἴσθιον κρέα οἱ μυουμένοι Διονύσῳ, δεῖγμα τοῦτο τελούμενοι τοῦ σπαραγμοῦ ὃν ὑπέστη Διόνυσος ὑπὸ τῶν Μαινάδων--the last words showing a strange confusion of Zagreus and Orpheus. A vase from Vulci gives scenes from the ὠμοφαγίαι: and these as well as many other vase-pictures bearing on the Zagreus legend are described by Lenormant (op. cit. 24-37). Plato (Legg. 2.672 D) thinks that perhaps the whole story may have arisen from the natural inclination of the undeveloped mind to excited dancing, wild shouting, and generally mad behaviour, and as a subject for such indulgences feigned the passion of the god. This is a very prosaic theory, but we think as near the truth as the unsatisfactory allegorising and symbolising which the later Greek authors applied to the whole story; some (rationalists) supposing that it represented the cultivation of the vine, its pruning, and the pressing of the grapes; others (metaphysicians) seeing therein the necessary discerption of the divine element when it enters into matter (τὴν θείαν δύναμιν μερίζεσθαι εἰς τὴν ὕλην); while again the more religious section, such as Plutarch, saw in it a symbol and a testimony of the rebirth of the soul (μῦθος εἰς τὴν παλιγγενεσίαν): cf. Lobeck, 710-714.

Besides Lobeck, the following are a few of the works on the Orphic doctrines:--Zoega, Ueber den urqnfänglichen Gott der Orphiker, in his Abhandlungen, 211-265; K. O. Müller, Prolegomena zu einen wissenschaftlichen Mythologie, pp. 369-379; Preller in Pauly, s. v. Orpheus; Schömann, Griechische Alterthümer, 2.370--377; Gerhard, Ueber Orpheus und die Orphiker; Maury, Les Religions de la Grèce antique, 3.300-337; Zeller, Die Philosophie der Griechen, 1.83-108, Eng. trans.; P. R. Schuster, De veteris Orphicae Theogoniae indole atque origine; Otto Kern, De Orphei Epimenidis Pherecydis theogoniis quaestiones criticae, 1-61; Fr. Lenormant, in the Gazette Archéologique, 1879, 18-37.


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