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Section POEMATA

Familiar with classical conventions Gregory sets out to extend them to include Christian material. Writing in his retirement Gregory has been criticized for antiquarianism, but Sykes rather sees him as writing contemporary verse in a carefully stylized form for a restricted number of readers.

Not Accepted

By his inclusion of Christian themes he would be original, not antiquarian. The translations, wisely, are in prose form.


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For the cultured Christian intellectual standing in the line of classical Greek authors, biblical revelation offers a new way of knowing. God the revealer accommodates himself to our limited level of understanding.

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In the Eunomian atmosphere of his period Gregory had to rescue human ability to attain genuine knowledge of God while criticizing those who saw this knowledge as complete and adequate. So he searches out analogies of the Trinity in the world, such as the practice of threefold baptism. His treatment of the Son is of course to be related to Theological Orations 3 and 4 as well as to the anti-Apollinarian letters.


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When he comes to write of the cosmos, Gregory engages in anti-Manichean polemic, as both Basil and Gregory of Nyssa had done. To answer Platonists Gregory states that the Forms were established by God; they are in his mind.

Paulinus of Nola: Poems

A poem on Providence had to evaluate the thinking of the philosophers on the subject. Gregory is knowledgeable of the [End Page ] many discussions on Providence and finds them erroneous or inadequate. Astrology was a contemporary topic, as Julian the Apostate had promoted it, and the Christian poet had to refute it because it denied human freedom. In the same way Gregory considers the various opinions of the philosophers on the subject of the soul.

Poemata omnia.

This biblical view confronts the various forms of belief in reincarnation that were a mark of Greek schools of thought. The cycle of birth signifies futility for Gregory. In his commentary Sykes refers to the philosophers and their wide acceptance of the idea, as well as the negative reaction of Christian authors.

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Petrus Scriverius as the publisher of the Poemata of Janus Dousa

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. The first piece is, of course, a parody of Virgil, Ec. By James Philip Alexander D. Library catalogue record. Alexander Drimmie [Editor] T. Constable [Printer]. To find similar items, select the checkboxes next to the characteristics you are interested in, then select the 'Find similar' button. Over volumes, published by the Scottish History Society, containing original sources on Scotland's history and people.

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