58. Ἔρωτος, θυμίαμα ἀρώματα.
To Eros, God of Love
Divine media: aromatics
Κικλήσκω μέγαν, ἁγνόν, ἐράσμιον, ἡδὺν Ἔρωτα,
I call great, pure, beloved, sweet Love,
τοξαλκῆ, πτερόεντα, πυρίδρομον, εὔδρομον ὁρμῆι,
Mighty-archer, whose flying, flaming, swift-coursed assault
συμπαίζοντα θεοῖς ἠδὲ θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποις,
Plays with deities and mortal humans,
εὐπάλαμον, διφυῆ, πάντων κληῖδας ἔχοντα,
Ingenious, dual-natured key to all foundations:
αἰθέρος οὐρανίου, πόντου, χθονός, ἠδ' ὅσα θνητοῖς
To the etherial sky, sea, earth, and so many mortals.
πνεύματα παντογένεθλα θεὰ βόσκει χλοόκαρπος,
Breath of life, all-generative Goddess, nourisher of tender green fruits,
ἠδ' ὅσα Τάρταρος εὐρὺς ἔχει πόντος θ' ἁλίδουπος·
Dear one of broad Tartaros, foundation of the resounding sea,
μοῦνος γὰρ τούτων πάντων οἴηκα κρατύνεις.
You alone bring forth all, then, guiding power.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, καθαραῖς γνώμαις μύσταισι συνέρχου,
Yet, with blessings, let pure knowledge join the mystai,
Φαύλους δ' ἐκτοπίους θὁρμὰς ἀπὸ τῶνδ' ἀπόπεμπε.
Accept a paltry drink of semen from thence send forth.
According to Hesiod’s Theogony (116-124), at the very beginning of time existed Chaos. From Chaos emerged foundational Gaia (earth), then Tartaros (beneath the earth), and then Eros (love).
Eros is the two-natured, that is, bi-sexual deity who sprang from the world’s egg at the beginning of creation.
“Eros was one of the fundamental causes in the formation of the world, inasmuch as [s]he was the uniting power of love, which brought order and harmony among the conflicting elements of which Chaos consisted.”
Eros is the immortal deity of the force that brings things together, in contrast to Eris/Strife, the immortal force that pulls things apart:
Empedocles quotes Hippolytus as saying, “For when the things which come to be by strife’s agency die, love receives them and draws them towards, puts them with, and assimilates them to the universe, so that the universe might remain one, always being organized by love in one manner and form.”
In later characterizations, Eros is a winged deity with a bow and arrow who pierces mortals and immortals with the arrow of love, leading to obsessive, inexplicable longing.
The Greek word “phaulous (Φαύλους)” which means paltry, is a homonym of “phallus.”
Without the apostrophe, δ' ἐκτοπίους reads, “receive a drink.”
 Aristophanes, Birds 695.
 Schmitz, L. (1870). EROS (Ἔρως). In W. Smith (Ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Vol. 2, p. 50). Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.
 Empedocles (circa 450 BCE). The Poem of Empedocles, translated by Brad Inwood (University of Toronto Press, 2001.) 31-32.