On the gods and their functions in the world

Empedotimos: Notes on Orphic-Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy, Athens: Anichti Poli, 2009, greek. Excerpt translated by Stilian K. Ariston.

HERMES is the giver of philosophy, he elevates the soul through philosophy, and with the powers of dialectics he raises the universal and individual souls to the Good (agathon). He is characterized by symmetry.

APHRODITE is the cause of erotic inspiration and she familiarizes the elevated lives with beauty (kallos). She is characterized by beauty.

APOLLON perfects everything with music, he returns everything by moving them all together („omopolon“ = the mover together), and moving them with harmony and rhythm to the noeric (intellectual) truth. He is characterized by truth. (See Proclus, The Platonic Theology, book 6, 97.8, Philebos 64c1-3)

DEMETER gives birth to the inner-cosmic, to the intellectual and the psychic life, and to that one which is inseparable from the bodies.

HERA holds the middle, causing the birth of the soul.

ARTEMIS induces natural conditions to work and perfects the imperfection of matter. That is why she is also called sergeant (Λοχία), because she oversees physical progress and birth. (See Proclus, The Platonic Theology, book 6, 97.8)

HESTIA keeps existence and the essence of things pure.

ATHENA keeps the intermediate lives unshaken through the intellect (noesis*), lifting them out of matter. This process is described by the Gigantomachy. The de-symbolization of the Gigantomachy is mentioned by Proclus in his Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 692.19

ARES radiates power, strength and solidity into the somatic natures. (See Proclus, The Platonic Theology, book 6, 97.8)

ZEUS directs the souls and the bodies and takes care of everything

POSEIDON governs the psychic class and is responsible for the movement and the birth.

HEPHAISTOS blows nature into the bodies and creates the inner-cosmic places of the gods. (See Proclus, The Platonic Theology, book 6, 97.8)


* the exercise of reason