ABSTRACT

As a hymnic poet praising the gods and their deeds Callimachus revives an old genre and adjusts it to a changed world, to different religious expectations and to a new poetics. Much has been written about the Religion’, the ‘religiosity’ and even the ‘theology’ of Callimachus, and more recently about the ‘troubled religious perception’ suggested by his Hymns 1 . But more attention needs to be paid to Callimachus’ poetic construction of divinity before we can attempt to answer questions about religious meaning. Instead of asking, What do the gods in Callimachus mean?, I propose to inquire what they do.