Classical Quarterly 42 (02):384- (1992)

The hymns of Callimachus are generally divided into two groups: the ‘mimetic’ hymns , which seem to be enactments of ritual scenes, and the ‘nonmimetic’ hymns , which seem to follow the pattern of the Homeric hymns. Occasionally this distinction has been challenged, for instance by pointing to an' element of mimesis in H. 1, but on the whole the division into two groups has been 1 adhered to rather rigidly. A drawback of this distinction is that it seems to prevent further insight into an important aspect of Callimachus' poetic technique. I think that there is in fact a subtle play with various aspects of diegesis and mimesis which pervades the whole collection of hymns and gives it a certain unity, because it draws attention to the way in which narratives or descriptions are presented in the hymns. Although the emphasis on mimesis or diegesis may vary, none of the hymns can be regarded as diegetic in all its aspects and there is a great deal of fluctuation between, the two modes of presentation both within the collection and within the individual hymns
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838800016013
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