This article explores the extent to which pagan hexameter hymns were a model for St. Gregory of Nazianzus’ so-called Poemata Arcana. Gregory cannot, as has recently been suggested, be said to have modelled the collection of Arcana as a whole after the Homeric Hymns. Nonetheless, echoes of pagan hexameter hymns, in particular those of Callimachus, feature prominently at the beginning of the first three Arcana. These three poems treat the Trinity, a natural subject of hymns, and Gregory’s allusions to earlier pagan hymns suggest a hymnic inception to his collection of Christian didactic poetry, a feature also of pagan didactic poetry.
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