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any one divinity is celebrated with the names and epithets of so many of the rest. For from this sublime theory it follows that every sphere contains a Jupiter, Neptune, Vnlcan, Vesta, Minerva, Mars, Ceres, Juno, Diana, Mercury, Venus, Apollo, and in short every deity, each sphere at the same time conferring on these God's the peculiar characteristic of its nature; so that, for instance, in the Sun they all possess a solar property, in the Moon a lunar one, and so of the rest. From this theory, too, we may perceive the truth of that divine saying of the ancients, that all things are full of Gods; for more particular orders proceed from such as are more general, the mundane from the supermundane, aud the sublunary from the celestial ; while earth becomes the general receptacle of the illuminations of all the Gods. Hence,” as Proclus shortly after observes, “there is a terrestrial Ceres, Vesta, and Isis, as likewise a terrestrial Jupiter and a terrestrial Hermes, established about the one divinity of the earth, just as a multitude of celestial Gods proceeds about the one divinity of the heavens. For there are progressions of all the celestial Gods into the Earth : and Earth contains all things, in an earthly manner, which Heaven comprehends celestially. Hence we speak of a terrestrial Bacchus and a terrestrial Apollo, who bestows the all-various streams of water with which the earth abounds, and openings prophetic of futurity.” And if to all this we only add, that all the other mundane Gods subsist in the twelve abovementioned, and in short, all the mundane in the supermundane Gods, and that the first triad of these is demiurgic or fabricative, viz. Jupiter, Neptune, Vulcan; the second, Vesta, Minerva, Mars, defensive; the third, Ceres, Juno, Diana, vivific; and the fourth, Mercury, Venus, Apollo, elevating and harmonic; I say, if we unite this with the preceding theory, there is nothing in the ancient theology that will not appear admirably sublime and beautifully connected, accurate in all its parts, scientific and divine.
In the next place, that the following Hymns were written by Orpheus, and that they were used in the Eleusinian mysteries, will I think be evident from the following arguments, to the intelligent reader. For that hymns were written by Orpheus is testified by Plato in the eighth book of his Laws, and by Pausanias in his Bæotics, who also says that they were few and short: from whence, as Fabricius' justly observes, it appears that they were no other than those which are now extant.” But that they were used in the Eleusinian Mysteries is evident from the testimony of Lycomedes, who says that they were sung in the sacred rites pertaining
I Vid. Biblioth. Græc. tom. i. p. 114.
2 I omit the testimonies of Cyril contra Julian, lib. i. p. 25, and of Suidas, because their authority is of little value on this subject.
to Ceres, which honor was not paid to the Homeric hymns, though they were more elegant than those of Orpheus; and the Eleusinian were the mysteries of Ceres. And that Lycomedes alludes, in what he here says, to these hymns is manifest, first from Pausanias, who in his Attics (cap. 37) observes,
" that it is not lawful to ascribe the invention of beans to Ceres.” He adds," and he who has been initiated in the Eleusinian mysteries, or has read the poems called Orphic, will know what I mean." Now Porphyry De Abstinentia, lib. iv. informs us, that beans were forbidden in the Eleusinian mysteries ;' and in the Orphic Hymn to Earth the sacrificer is ordered to fumigate from every kind of seed, except beans and aromatics. But Earth is Vesta, and Vesta, as we are informed by Proclus, is comprehended together with Juno in Ceres. Again, Suidas informs us, that relern signifies a mystic sacrifice, the greatest and most venerable of all others, (ivota μυστηριωδης, η μεγιστη και τιμιωτατα). And Proclus, whenever he speaks of the Eleusinian mysteries, calls them the most holy teletai, aylwrarai teletal. Agreeably to this, the Orphic Hymns
3 αγιωταται τελεται are called in the Thryllitian manuscript Telerat; and Scaliger justly observes, that they contain nothing but such invocations as were used in the mysteries. Besides, many of the hymns are expressly thus called by the author of them. Thus the conclusion of the hymn to Protogonus invokes that deity to be present at the holy telete, es reletny aylar: of the hymn to the Stars, to be present at the very learned labors of the most holy telete:
Ελβετ' επ' ευιερου τελετης πολυϊστορας αθλους. And in the conclusion of the Hymn to Latona the sacrifice is called an all-divine telete (Bac' etti Tavelov Teletny), as likewise in that of the Hymn to Amphietus Bacchus. And in short, the greater part of the hymns will be found to have either the word Telern in them, or to invoke the respective divinities to bless the mystics, or initiated persons. Thus the conclusion of the Hymn to Heaven entreats that divinity to confer a blessed life on a recent mystic: the conclusion of the Hymn to the Sun, to impart by illumination a pleasant life to the mystics :
-ηδυν δε βιον μυστησι πρωφαινε. And in a similar manner most of the other hymns.
* Πααργ Γελλεται γαρ και Ελευσινι απεχεσθαι και κατοικιδων ορνιθων, και ιχθυων, και κυαμων, ροιας τε και μελων. Ρ. 353, Edit. Trafc.
? See the Additional Notes.
4 For a confirmation of this I refer the reader to the conclusions of the following hymns, viz. hymo vi, xviii, xxiii, xxiv, xxv, xxxiv, xxxv, xli, xliii, xliv, xlviii, 1, lii, lii, liv, lvi, lvii, lviii, lx, lxi, lxxi, lxxiv, lxxvi, lxxvii, lxxviii, lxxix, lxxxii, and lxxxv.
Farther still, Demosthenes, in his first Oration against Aristogiton, has the following remarkable passage: Kal Thy atapairytor. και σεμνην Δικην, ην ο τας αγιωτατας ημιν τελετας καταδειξας Ορφεύς παρα τον του Διος θρονον φησι καθημενην, παντα τα των ανθρωπων epopqv. i. e. “ Let us reverence inexorable and venerable Justice, who is said by Orpheus, our instructor in the most holy teletai, to be seated by the throne of Jupiter, and to inspect all the actions of men.” Here Demosthenes calls the mysteries most holy, as well as Proclus : and I think it may be concluded with the greatest confidence from all that has been said, that he alluded to the Hymn to Justice, which is one of the Orphic hymns, and to the following lines in that hymn:
Oμμα Δικης μελπω παλιδερκεος, αγλαομορφου,
Ουρανοθεν καθορωσα βιον θνητων πολυφυλων. i. e. “I sing the all-seeing eye of splendid Justice, who sits by the throne of king Jupiter, and from her celestial abode beholds the life of multiform mortals.”
The Eleusinian mysteries also, as is well known, were celebrated at night'; the principal reason of which appears to be this, that the greater mysteries pertained to Ceres, and the less to Proserpine,' and the latter preceded the former. But the rape
of Proserpine, which was exhibited in these mysteries, signifies, as we are informed by Sallust,” the descent of souls. And the descent of souls into the realms of generation is said, by Plato in the tenth book of his Republic, to take place at midnight, indicating by this the union of the soul with the darkness of a corporeal nature. This too, I suppose, is what Clemens Alexandri. nus' means when he says, " that the mysteries were especially performed by night, thus signifying that the compression [i. e. confinement) of the soul by the body was effected at night." "And that the sacrifices enjoined in the Orphic Hymns were performed by night, is evident from the hymn to Silenus, Satyrus, &c. in which Silenus, together with the Naiads, Bacchic Nymphs, and Satyrs, are implored to be present at the nocturnal orgies :
Οργια νυκτιφαη τελεταίς αγιαις αναφαιγων. From all which I think it may be safely concluded, that these
And what is asserted in the eighty-fourth hymn, wbich is to Vesta, is particularly remarkable : for in the third line the poet says:
Τους δε συ εν τελεταις οσιους μυστας αναδειξαις. i. e. You have appointed these holy mystics in the teleta.”
Ησαν τα μεν μεγαλα της Δημητρος τα δε μικρα Περσεφονης της αυτης θυγατρος. Interp. Græc. ad Plut. Aristophanes.
2 De Diis et Mundo, cap. iv.
3 Αι τελεται γινονται νυκτος μαλιστα, σημαινουσαι την εν νυκτι της ψυχής συστολης 470 TOV OWMATOS. Clem. Alex. Stroma. lib. iv. p. 530, Sylburg.
Hymns not only pertain to mysteries, but that they were used in the celebration of the Eleusinian, which by way of eminence (var' etoxnv) were called the mysteries, without any other note of dis-, tinction.
In the last place, it is requisite to speak of the author of these. hymns, and in addition to the evidence already adduced of their genuine antiquity, to vindicate them against those who contend that they are spurious, and were not written by Orpheus, but either by Onomacritus, or some poet who lived in the decline and fall of the Roman empire. And first, with respect to the dialect of these hymns, Gesner observes," that it ought to be no objection to their antiquity. For though according to Iamblichus,' the Thracian Orpheus, who is more ancient than those noble poets Homer and Hesiod, used the Doric dialect; yet the Athenian Onomacritus, who according to the general opinion of antiquity is the author of all the works now extant ascribed to Orpheus, might either, preserving the sentences and a great part of the words, only change the dialect, and teach the ancient Orpheus to speak Homerically, or as I may say, Solonically; or might arbitrarily add or take away what he thought proper, which, as we are informed by Herodotus, was his practice with respect to the Oracles.” Gesner adds, “ that it does not appear probable to him, that Onomacritus would dare to invent all that he wrote, since Orpheus must necessarily, at that time, have been much celebrated, and a great variety of his verses must have been in circulation. And he concludes with observing, “ that the objection of the Doric dialect ought to be of no more weight against the antiquity of the present works than the Pelasgic letters, which Orpheus, according to Diodorus Siculus, used.”
In this extract, Gesner is certainly right in asserting that Onomacritus would not dare to invent all that he wrote, and afterwards publish it as Orphic; but I add, that it is unreasonable in the extreme to suppose that he in the least interpolated or altered the genuine works of Orpheus, though he might change the dialect in which they were originally written. For is it to be sup
osed that the Orphic Hymns would have been used in the Eleusinian mysteries, as we have demonstrated they were, if they had been spurious productions; or that the fraud would not have been long ago discovered by some of the many learned and wise men that flourished after Onomacritus; and that the detection of this fraud would not have been transmitted so as to reach even the present times? Or, indeed, is it probable that such a forgery could have existed at all, at a period when other learned men, as
'De Vita Pythag. cap. xxxiv. p. 169. Kust.
2 These letters are the old Etrurian or Eolian, and are perhaps more ancient than the Cadmian or Ionic.
well as Onomacritus, had access to the genuine writings of Orpheus, and were equally capable with himself of changing them from one dialect into another ? Even at a late period of antiquity, will any man who is at all familiar with the writings of Proclus, Hermias, and Olympiodorus, for a moment believe that men of such learning, profundity, and sagacity, would have trans. mitted to us so many verses as Orphic, though not in the Doric dialect, when at the same time they were the productions of Onomacritus ? We may, therefore, I think, confidently conclude, that though Onomacritus altered the dialect, he did not either add to, or diminish, or in any respect adulterate the works of Orpheus ; for it is impossible he should have committed such a fraud without
a being ultimately, if not immediately, detected.
With respect to those who contend that the works which are at present extant under the name of Orpheus were written during the decline and fall of the Roman empire, I trust every intelligent reader will deem it almost needless to say, in confutation of such an opinion, that it is an insult to the understanding of all the celebrated men of that period, by whom their writings have been quoted as genuine productions, and particularly to such among them as rank among the most learned, the most sagacious, and wisest of mankind. So infatuated, however, by this stupid opinion was Tyrwhitt, that in his edition of the Orphic poem lepe Acowy (On Stones), he says in a note (p. 22), “ there is nothing in the hymos peculiarly adapted to the person of Orpheus, except his speech to Musæus." ' This speech or address to Musæus is the
. exordium to the hymns. But so far is this from being true, that the author of this work expressly calls himself in two of the hymns, the son of Calliope. Thus, in the conclusion of the Hymn to the Nereids, the poet says,
Υμας γαρ πρωται τελετην ανεδειξατε σεμνην
Καλλιοπη συν μητρι, και Απολλωνι ανακτι.
Of holy Bacchus, and of Proserpine,
And of Apollo bright, the Muses' king." And in the Hymn to the Muses, he celebrates Calliope as his mother, in the very same words as in the Hymn to the Nereids, Καλλιοπη συν μητρι. This blunder of Tyrwhitt is certainly a most egregious specimen of the folly of pervicacious adherence to an opinion which had ignorance and prejudice only for its source,
I“ In Hymnis nihil est ad personam Orphei peculiariter accommodatum, nisi allocutio ad Museum."