Orphic hymns

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As Orphic hymns are hymn texts from the field of Orphic poetry called. A few fragments of texts of this kind have come down to us. This includes:

Finally, Pausanias mentions that at the mystery celebrations of Phlya in Attica the priests of the Lykomidai dynasty sang short hymn songs, which Orpheus was considered to be the author and which, according to Pausanias, did not need to fear comparison with the Homeric hymns .

A corpus of 87 hymns called Orphic Hymns , which was handed down together with the Homeric Hymns and the Hymns of Callimachus and Proclus, must be distinguished from these individual traditions. Possibly it is a work from the 2nd century by a single author that was compiled for a (perhaps Asian Minor) cult community. The relatively short texts of six to thirty verses have a pronounced invocation character, whereby the invoked deities of the Orphic pantheon ( Nyx , Kronos , Eros , Zeus , Dionysus , Curetes , Themis , Dike etc.) are often identified with one another. The collection is dedicated to Musaios , Orpheus' legendary pupil.

Editions and translations

  • Apostolos N. Athanassakis (Ed.): The Orphic hymns. Text, translation and notes. Scholars Press, Missoula (Montana) 1988, ISBN 0-89130-119-4
  • Joseph O. Plassmann: Orpheus. Ancient Greek mysteries. Diederichs, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-424-00740-4 (with translation of the Orphic hymns; first edition Jena 1928)
  • Marie-Christine Fayant (Ed.): Hymnes orphiques. Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2014, ISBN 978-2-251-00593-5 (critical edition with French translation)


Web links


OF refers to the corresponding number in Orphicorum Fragmenta , ed. by Otto Kern.

  1. ^ Plato , Nomoi 715e = OF 21; Aristotle , De mundo 401a 25-b 7 = OF 21a; J. v. Arnim (Ed.): Stoicorum veterum fragmenta , Vol. 2, pp. 1078, 1081 = OF test. 233, OF 30.
  2. Macrobius , Saturnalia 1.23.21; 12/18/17; 12/18/22 = OF 236-239; see. 307
  3. Pausanias, Description of Greece 9.27.2, 30.12 = OF 304-305.