By F.J.E. Raby
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Extra info for A History of Christian-Latin Poetry (Oxford University Press Academic Monograph Reprints)
Benedict of Nursia, in his Rule, gave hymns a prominent place in the divine office by ordaining that at each canonical hour a certain hymn should be sung. But he merely says, 'Sequatur Ambrosianum' or 'hymnus eiusdem horae', leaving for us unsolved the problem of what hymns were actually in use. 3 He begins with the witness of Caesarius, Bishop of Arles, 503-43, who in his Rule for nuns, based for the most part (so he tells us) on the custom of Lérins, ordains the use of 1 Ebert, i. 172; cf. i.
1 The Gloria in Excelsis was at an early date a morning hymn, and in the fifth century the Te Deum was sung at Lauds on Sundays. 2 The Odes of Solomon, which were discovered by Dr. 3 The oriental cults employed elaborate hymns or psalms which were imitated by the 'Christian' Gnostics in their effort to capture the inheritance of the Church. 5 Greek hymnody never wholly escaped the influence of this mystical and sensuous poetry which finds its fitting culmination in the cadences of the Akathistos Hymn;6 but in the West the beginnings of Latin hymnody are associated with the sober sense of a Hilary and an Ambrose.
1, pp. 1 sqq. The Lucis largitor splendide, and the Ad caeli clara non sum dignus sidera, often ascribed to Hilary, are not his work. J. T. , v. , vi. 599 sqq. html [01-01-2009 1:27:51] page_43 < previous page page_43 next page > Page 43 credens te populus rogat, hymnorum resonas mitis ut audias voces, quas tibi concinit aetas omnigena, sancte, gregis tui. 1 The third and fourth stanzas show that the hymn was intended for liturgical purposes. The second hymn, also alphabetical, is, perhaps, the confession of the newly baptized soul which has been freed from the dominion of sin renata sum, o vitae laeta exordia!