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Zeus and the Dodecahedron

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Zeus and the Dodecahedron

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:42 am

We know that Philolaus associated Zeus with the angle of the dodecagon.  Plato states that the dodecahedron was used to fashion the constellations, and for Plato (and many others, myself included), Zeus is demiurgos.  Zeus is associated in both cases with the dodecad (12), and if we add up the letters of his name we get 612.  Twelve we associate with the Twelve Olympians, of course, as well as with the twelve signs of the zodiac.  That being said, check out this article on the discovery of a dodecahedral crystal die found in the Idaean cave (where the infant Zeus was hidden from Cronus):

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I wonder why Chanotis did not make the geometric and arithmological connections between Zeus and 12?  He hints at the possibility that it may be Pythagorean.  It is interesting-- though I am not jumping to any conclusions regarding this particular find-- that Zeus is also said by Diodorus Siculus to have made Ida and Adrasteia into constellations (Ursa Major and Minor) in return for their nurturing him when he was hidden from Cronus...  
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Re: Zeus and the Dodecahedron

Post  Erodius on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:49 am

An excellent article; thank you for making this available.

Ida and Adrasteia into constellations (Ursa Major and Minor) in return for their nurturing him when he was hidden from Cronus...

Both quite important figures in our (Orphics') cosmogony. Wink 

A variety of details in this situation suggest clear allusions to certain elements in particular of Orphic cosmo-theology as associated with Crete.

[Drop me a PM if you would be interested in discussing more what I am talking about — if you do not already know. I would feel uneasy discussing the specifics in a public space, out of respect to the sanctity of the Holy Logos.]

PS- strictly speaking, it is the Dictaean Cave — even scholars mess this up all the time. There is no Idaean cave. Ida and Dicte are both sites in the Cretan infancy narrative of Jove, but they are on different sides of Crete. Even in Antiquity, however, there was much confusion, and authors wrote of 'Mt. Dicte' and of the 'Idaean Cave', made only more complex by the identical name of Phrygian/Anatolian Ida, which also comes to be associated with Jove through Sabazius.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Zeus and the Dodecahedron

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:52 pm

Erodius wrote:PS- strictly speaking, it is the Dictaean Cave — even scholars mess this up all the time. There is no Idaean cave. Ida and Dicte are both sites in the Cretan infancy narrative of Jove, but they are on different sides of Crete. Even in Antiquity, however, there was much confusion, and authors wrote of 'Mt. Dicte' and of the 'Idaean Cave', made only more complex by the identical name of Phrygian/Anatolian Ida, which also comes to be associated with Jove through Sabazius.

Ah, I see. It is also easy to see how the immediate association of with the Dictaean Cave we read of in Hesiod would be associated with Zeus if it later became a specific cave site for an oracle. My question is, if the fallacy of the merging of Dictaean/Idaean is so broad in scholarship, where on earth did this artifact in the article come from? The actual Dictaean Cave? Every time the author mentions its origins he merely says Idaean Cave...
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Re: Zeus and the Dodecahedron

Post  Erodius on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:30 pm

My question is, if the fallacy of the merging of Dictaean/Idaean is so broad in scholarship, where on earth did this artifact in the article come from? The actual Dictaean Cave? Every time the author mentions its origins he merely says Idaean Cave...

Well, I obviously don't know personally. But if I had to guess, I would almost guarantee it is from Dicte, where there is a 'Jovian Cave' that was a cultic site in Antiquity. To my knowledge, and as far as I have been taught in classes and in reading (M.L. West's Orphic Poems, I believe, discusses this confusion), there is no cave on Mt. Ida. The 'Idæan Cave' is almost certainly the Dictæan Cave.

The confusion probably comes from similar narratives told about both Dicte and Ida (though in the Orphic forms, they refer to different instances and different gods — Dicte to Cronian Jove, and Ida to Avernal Jove/Idæus/Zagreus. Further, in our cosmotheogonies, it is a cave at Dicte, but a glade/plain/grove at Ida.

However, there are likely numerous small grottoes and other sorts of cavities on Ida, and being as Ida was likewise a cultic site, it is possible that it was found somewhere on Ida. However, Dicte is the large, enterable cavern that is usually meant by the 'Idæan Cave', even though it is, technically, miles away from Ida.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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