Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
General Editors: David G. HUNTER, University of Kentucky, United States, Paul J.J. van GEEST, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity focuses on the history of early Christian texts, authors, ideas. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. The BEEC aims to provide a critical review of the methods used in Early Christian Studies and to update the historiography.

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Hymnography (Greek)

(2,665 words)

Author(s): Holmsgaard Eriksen, Uffe
The earliest non-Christian evidence about Christian hymn singing claims: “They met on a fixed day and sang a hymn to Christ as if a God” (Plin. Y. Ep. 10.96.7). The “fixed day” was probably Sunday, and the letter from the governor of Bithynia, Pliny the Younger, to the emperor Trajan, dated around year 112 CE, reveals that Christians began writing hymns early on. However, there are also several passages in the New Testament that mention hymn singing. For instance, according to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn (ὑμνήσαντες/ hymnēsantes) before going to the Mount of …
Date: 2020-04-14

Hymnography (Latin)

(3,013 words)

Author(s): Dunkle, Brian
Augustine of Hippo’s famous definition of a hymn ( hymnus) as “praise sung to God” (Aug. Enarrat. Ps. 72.1 and 148.17) applies to much of the Latin material surviving from the 3rd to the 7th centuries CE. Hymn texts, composed in a variety of meters and verse forms, appear initially in scattered sources before prominent Latin-speaking church leaders, including Hilary of Poitiers, Augustine of Hippo, and, most importantly, Ambrose of Milan, developed new models of sung praise to meet the liturgical and catechetica…
Date: 2020-04-14