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Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

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Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Saesara on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:21 pm

Proclus Diadochus (410-485 AD)
Hymn VI: To Hekate and Janus
(Text: E. Vogt Procli Hymni Weisbaden 1957)

Hail, many-named Mother of the Gods, whose children are fair
Hail, mighty Hekate of the Threshold
And hail to you also Forefather Janus, Imperishable Zeus
Hail to you Zeus most high.
Shape the course of my life with luminous Light
And make it laden with good things,
Drive sickness and evil from my limbs.
And when my soul rages about worldly things,
Deliver me purified by your soul-stirring rituals.
Yes, lend me your hand I pray
And reveal to me the pathways of divine guidance that I long for,
Then shall I gaze upon that precious Light
Whence I can flee the evil of our dark origin.
Yes, lend me your hand I pray,
And when I am weary bring me to the haven of piety with your winds.
Hail, many-named mother of the Gods, whose children are fair
Hail, mighty Hekate of the Threshold
And hail to you also Forefather Janus, Imperishable Zeus,
Hail to you Zeus most high.
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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Erodius on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:20 pm

Few are familiar with the Proclan hymns. Unfortunately, Dv. Proclus' profound works get ignored by many students of philosophy, history, and Classical religion for being too late, too erudite for the common folk to digest, and too Orphic.

I don't think there is any excuse not to read Proclus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Philostratus and the other Late Antique religious philosophers. They represent, after all, the utmost stage of public philosophical development of the Olympian religion before the Edict of Thessalonica.

What's more, they're all in the public domain, and available, in most cases, free of charge to anyone with access to the Internet. study

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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: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Pemphredo on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:51 pm

I agree. I learned about Proklos' hymns very recently (January 2013). I'm using his hymn to all gods in my daily prayers (although still in translation). And I really can recommend R. M. van den Berg's "Proclus' hymns : essays, translations, commentary". I didn't finish it yet (too much other work :'( ) but it's really fascinating! I started to read about myhtology when I was twelve, more then ten years ago now, so I like now to discover the more intellectual and philosophical roles the gods played in neoplatonism and even in gnosis.

Btw... when I try to sing or chant Greek hymns, Homeric, Orphic of Proklic, it always sounds a little like the "kyrie eleison"... Is that bad?
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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Erodius on Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:41 pm

... Is that bad?

Of course not.

Likewise, monophonic recitation of anything has a fairly consistent sound by necessity of its simplicity.

One could set the phone book to chant if one so desired.

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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: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Saesara on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:27 pm

Pemphredo wrote:I agree. I learned about Proklos' hymns very recently (January 2013). I'm using his hymn to all gods in my daily prayers (although still in translation). And I really can recommend R. M. van den Berg's "Proclus' hymns : essays, translations, commentary". I didn't finish it yet (too much other work :'( ) but it's really fascinating! I started to read about myhtology when I was twelve, more then ten years ago now, so I like now to discover the more intellectual and philosophical roles the gods played in neoplatonism and even in gnosis.

Btw... when I try to sing or chant Greek hymns, Homeric, Orphic of Proklic, it always sounds a little like the "kyrie eleison"... Is that bad?

Thank you for the recommendation! And I have a tendency to make up a tune to whatever hymn I'm currently saying, it changes from day to day. I'm not a composer, nor am I much of a singer... your rendition of the hymns to kyrie eleison is probably a welcome change to their ears. lol!

I agree with you, Erodius. Proclus is a favorite of mine, as well as Iamblichus. I haven't had a chance to read Porphyry or Philostratus yet... so much to read, and mundane life has a habit of rearing its pesky head. It’s interesting how we try to base our practice off the oldest source we can find at the risk of clarity. I think people tend to think of Homer and Hesiod as the beginning of the tradition instead of a mark in the middle, just like Proclus or Iamblichus.
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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Pemphredo on Mon May 06, 2013 6:40 pm

My concernings about the Orphic hymns chanted like the Kyrie eleison was totally unnecessary. It seems like people used to greet the rising sun by saying "Kyrie eleison". Pope Leo I was angry when christians in the 5th century still greet the sun this way: http://www.zeitenschrift.com/specials/ZS07_Mithraskult.pdf

Though I'm unaware if "Kyrie eleison" was truly an original pagan greeting formula, or a christian what was used by pagans and christians who still did pagan rituals.

Greetings!

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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Callisto on Mon May 06, 2013 7:46 pm

Though I'm unaware if "Kyrie eleison" was truly an original pagan greeting formula, or a christian what was used by pagans and christians who still did pagan rituals.
IIRC it was lifted from Roman pagans and then sanctified (read: repurposed) by the early Church.

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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Erodius on Mon May 06, 2013 8:50 pm

Callisto wrote:
Though I'm unaware if "Kyrie eleison" was truly an original pagan greeting formula, or a christian what was used by pagans and christians who still did pagan rituals.
IIRC it was lifted from Roman pagans and then sanctified (read: repurposed) by the early Church.

At its earliest stage, the new Christian church lacked any real higher theology, philosophy, ceremony, or general cultus, and for it to grow in popularity, it needed these things. To get them, they adopted practices primarily from the popular Mystery religions of the day (Mithraism, Isidianism, and Orphism, primarily) and popular public cults like that of Sol Invictus, and gave them varying degrees of new explanations to fit them into the Christian framework.

From my studies in the area, I would argue that liturgical Christianity at least (the Catholic, Orthodox and Miaphysite churches) is, in essence, an ideological core of teachings from a Galilean Jewish wisdom teacher, which gradually got blended with popular Orphic and Isidian doctrines that were not originally present in the earliest Christianity, which finally, after it became the state religion, got grafted onto a liturgical framework synthesized from Mithraism, Isidianism and Orphism, combined with the imperial cult (especially in the Eastern Empire), and traditions the Christians themselves had developed over the centuries.

The tumultuous early history of Christianity is fascinating, though often ignored outside of specialized academia until recently, most likely because of contemporary Christian unwillingness to confront the often less-than-apostolic origin of much of Christian religion.

_________________
"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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The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Callisto on Mon May 06, 2013 9:09 pm

So in short, yes it was lifted from pagans and repurposed. Very Happy

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Re: Proclus Hymn to Hekate & Janus

Post  Pemphredo on Tue May 07, 2013 7:10 am

Good to know!


It's just not always easy to know who from who borrowed something, though it's not always that important. The sunday for example was already invented by solar worshippers of late antiquity, but it seems that it truly became an official holiday under Constantine the Great, but no longer in honour to the sungod but to the christian god (though the relationship between Sol-Apollo-Mithras and Jesus was quite complicated).

Another example might be the tutelary deity of the isle of Rügen, were parts of my family lived. The name of the main deity "Svantevit" could have been derived from the christian Saint Vitus (that's what christians say), but it could also be otherwise (St. Vitus < Svantevit). As polytheist I prefer of course the second possibility, but it is also possible, since the cult of Svantevit flourished after Rügen was shortly christianized, that the inhabitants of Rügen gave their deity the name "Svantevit", referring to the christian saint to offend the christians. I'm not saying that they invented a deity named "Svantevit", but they might have given their god the name or title "Svantevit" after that christian saint. But like I said: I prefer the version that the christians replaced the god Svantevit by their Saint Vitus. And actually: now it doesn't matter any longer.

(Svantevit could be equated both to Zeus and the Spartan Apollon, since his main festival shows similarities to Apollon's Pyanepsia: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/rhr_0035-1423_1994_num_211_1_1329. In the interpretatio Romana he could be called "Janus Quadrifrons". )
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