Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Charles Kamm

Reader 2

YouYoung Kang

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Jordan Lippert


Spanning the first seven centuries of Christianity, this paper explores how Eastern Christian and Byzantine hymn chant was developed alongside pagan and Jewish worship traditions around the Near East. Comparison of hymns by Christian composers such as St. Romanos the Melodist and pagan poetry reveals many similarities in the types of metaphorical imagery used in both religious expressions. Common in Christian hymn texts, well-known metaphors, like the “Light of God,” are juxtaposed with pagan mythological gods, such as Apollo and Helios. This paper attempts to explain how and why Christians appropriated and adopted ancient pagan imagery into the burgeoning musical tradition of Christian hymn singing.