Axon | 2 | 1 | 2018
Orphic Lamina from Hipponion
Submitted 05 Mar 2017
Accepted 28 Apr 2018
The lamina of Ipponio (the modern city of Vibo Valentia) was found in 1969 in a necropolis located in the lower part of the city; it is supposed to be dated between the 5th and the 4th centuries BC. The inscription is made on a sheet of gold, which was found folded four times, probably to avoid prying eyes from reading the sacred text contained in it. The document presents a progressive from left to right writing and consists of sixteen verses. The content is about the Orphic-Pythagorean initiation, focused on the instructions on the after-death journey to the Underworld for the deceased. The main guide that is revealed from the very first verse is the female deity Mnemosine, mother of the Muses, which plays a purely saving function because the initiates can find salvation exclusively by quenching their thirst at her fount. The text provides instructions to explore the Underworld, in order to help the initiate to liberate himself from the cycle of reincarnations, which is the doom of those people who had not been introduced into the Orphic-Pythagorean mysteries.
Ipponio. Necropoli. Lamina. Iniziazione orfico-pitagorica. Oltretomba. Mnemosine. Muse. Misteri. Salvezza.