ORPHIC HYMN POSEIDÓHN
Poseidóhn (Poseidôn or Neptune / Gr. Ποσειδῶν)
Neptune, ruler of the sea profound, whose liquid grasp begirts the solid
Who, at the bottom of the stormy main, dark and deep-bosom'd, hold'st thy wat'ry reign;
Thy awful hand the brazen trident bears, and ocean's utmost bound, thy will reveres: thee I invoke, whose steeds the foam divide, from whose dark locks the briny waters glide;
Whose voice loud founding thro' the roaring deep, drives all its billows, in a raging heap;
When fiercely riding thro' the boiling sea, thy hoarse command the trembling waves obey.
Earth shaking, dark-hair'd God, the liquid plains
(The third division) Fate to thee ordains, 'tis thine, cærulian dæmon, to survey well pleas'd the monsters of the ocean play, confirm earth's basis, and with prosp'rous gales waft ships along, and swell the spacious sails;
Add gentle Peace, and fair-hair'd Health beside, and pour abundance in a blameless tide.)
- During the
invocation of Poseidon, through his Orphic Hymn, the Fumigation was from from
- Poseidon was a major civic god of several cities: in Athens, he was second only to Athena in importance, while in Corinth and many cities of Magna Graecia he was the chief god of the polis.
- In his benign aspect, Poseidon was seen as creating new islands and offering calm seas. When offended or ignored, he supposedly struck the ground with his trident and caused chaotic springs, earthquakes, drownings and shipwrecks.
- In the Odyssey, Poseidon is notable for his hatred of Odysseus who blinded the god's son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. The enmity of Poseidon prevents Odysseus's return home to Ithaca for many years. Odysseus is even told, notwithstanding his ultimate safe return, that to placate the wrath of Poseidon will require one more voyage on his part.
- Sailors prayed to Poseidon for a safe voyage, sometimes drowning horses as a sacrifice.
- According to Pausanias (Greek traveler and geographer / 2nd century AD), Poseidon was one of the caretakers of the oracle at Delphi before Olympian Apollo took it over.
Apollo and Poseidon worked closely in many realms: in colonization, for example, Delphic Apollo provided the authorization to go out and settle, while Poseidon watched over the colonists on their way, and provided the lustral water for the foundation-sacrifice.
- Xenophon's Anabasis (Athenian historian, philosopher, and soldier / 430 - 354 BC) describes a group of Spartan soldiers in 400-399 BC singing to Poseidon a paean - a kind of hymn normally sung for Apollo.
- Like Dionysus, who inflamed the maenads, Poseidon also caused certain forms of mental disturbance. A Hippocratic text of ca 400 BC, on the Sacred Disease says that he was blamed for certain types of epilepsy.