Skip to main content

Proclus-‘Hymn To God’ & ‘Epigram To Dionysus’

Those that have the Light, must transmit it to others.

(Caption translation from the Greek by Lefteris Immanuel Heretakis.)


Another sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, two poetic works by Proclus Lycius, also called Proclus the Successor. ‘Proclus was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, one of the last major classical philosophers of late antiquity. He set forth one of the most elaborate and fully developed systems of Neoplatonism and, through later interpreters and translators, exerted an influence on Byzantine philosophy, Early Islamic philosophy, and Scholastic philosophy‘.(Source: Wikipedia) Both extracts are from ‘The Philosophy of Proclus’, Cosmos, New York_1949, by Laurence Jay Rosan.


Proclus’ ‘Hymn To God’, translation from the original Greek

into English by Laurence Jay Rosan

O, Absolutely Transcendent! (what else is it rightful to call Thee?)

How shall I fittingly hymn Thee, that art of all things most exalted?

How would words speak Thy Splendor? For words cannot name or denote Thee,

Sole Unspeakable Being, since Thou art the cause of all speaking.

How might the mind know Thy Nature? For mind cannot grasp or conceive Thee,

Sole Unknowable Being, since Thou art the cause of all knowing.

All things existing, the speaking and speechless together proclaim Thee.

All things existing, the knowing and nescient together, adore Thee.

All keen desires or lust, all painful passions are yearnings

Only for Thee. Thine is the whole world’s prayer; to Thee all,

Sensing Thy tokens within them, utter a paean of silence.

Everything issues from Thee. Only Thou art dependent on nothing.

Everything nestles within Thee. Everything surges upon Thee.

For Thou art the Goal of all beings. And Thou art One Thing, and All Things,

And yet neither one thing, nor all things.

O, Most-Named, how then shall I name Thee?

That art alone the Unnamable? What even Heaven-born Mind then

Could possibly penetrate Thy distant Shroud? I Pray Thee, be gracious!

O, Absolutely Transcendent, what else is it rightful to call Thee?


Original Greek


Maenad pouring a libation to Dionysos. Side B of an Attic red-figure pelike, ca. 430 BC. Circle of the painter Kleophon. Bavarian State Collection of Antiques.

An Epigram By Proclus-‘Ode to Dionysos’, translated from the French by Via-HYGEIA

See, in the rooms of the Rhegium, Dionysos shouts ‘évohé’!, holding a cup in his right hand, his head’s blond hair tied with shining ivy, holding the thyrse in his left hand, the body wearing tunics tainted with the blood of a shell and wrapped in a spotted coat made of fawn skin! It’s Bacchus himself that you saw inside: The house’s host, standing, rejoicing of the prayers of his benevolent guests.

Note of the Greek>French translator: At first sight, it seems to be the description of a painting observed in Rhegium; but it may also well be the homage given to a house host particularly welcoming during a banquet.


French Translation from the original Greek by Athanase Lynxe

Vois, dans les salles de Rhégium, Dionysos criant « évoé ! », tenant une coupe dans la main droite, la blonde chevelure de sa tête nouée avec du lierre brillant, portant le thyrse dans la main gauche, le corps vêtu de tuniques teintes dans le sang d’un coquillage, et enveloppé d’un manteau tacheté, fabriqué de peaux de faon ! C’est Bacchus en personne que tu as vu à l’intérieur : le maître de maison, debout, se réjouissant des prières de ses bons hôtes.

Translator’s note: À première vue, on pense à la description d’une peinture observée à Rhégium ; mais il peut aussi s’agir de l’hommage rendu à un maître de maison particulièrement accueillant lors d’un banquet.

Original Greek


Source: ‘The Philosophy of Proclus’, Cosmos, New York_1949 by Laurence Jay Rosan. 🌿More about Proclus:
Proclus-‘Hymn To God’ & ‘Epigram To Dionysus’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

all rights reserved Via Hygeia 2022