Poetry and Hymnography (2): The Greek World

John A. McGuckin

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199271566
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Poetry and Hymnography (2): The Greek World

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Religion
  • Christianity
  • Religious Studies
  • Religion in the Ancient World


Show Summary Details


Greek Christian hymns are a massive part of the surviving literary record of the early church, but have rarely attracted the level of scholarly attention that they deserve. This article discusses Greek hymnody; the classical origins of the Greek Christian hymns; the Bible and the ancient liturgy; stages of Syrian influence on Byzantine hymnography; hymns of the heterodox–orthodox Struggles; littérateur poets in Greek late antiquity; and the flowering of Byzantine hymnography in the sixth to eleventh Centuries. In Greek hymnody, one can see creed, antiphon, poem, prayer, song, and sacrament welded to form a seamless unity: here Byzantine theology, mysticism, and liturgical chant merge into a profound symbiosis in a programme that already consciously understood itself to be a theology of beauty and of culture. The ancient hymn is thus a potent symbol, still awaiting its full articulation.

Keywords: Greek hymnody; Greek Christian hymns; Bible; ancient liturgy; Byzantine hymnography; liturgical chant

Article.  7215 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies ; Religion in the Ancient World

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.