Paideia [Education] through the lens of the words in the poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus

Title: Paideia [Education] through the lens of the words in the poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2016, vol. 21, iss. 1, pp. 5-19
Extent
5-19
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
Language
License: Not specified license
 

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Abstract(s)
The affection for words was an intrinsic part of Saint Gregory of Nazianzus' personality. As a theologian, orator, and poet he was well aware of the nuances and the power words yield. The aim of this article is to examine Gregory's approach to classical education as presented in his poetry, [and] expressed through his praise of words, or eloquence, in general. The motivation for focusing the research on his poetry is the fact that, for Gregory, poetry was his the means of influencing young Christians. Gregory intended to offer them more appealing reading than the austere Christian commandments. For him, logoi and mythoi embracing, inter alia, ancient erudition (i.e. not the knowledge of philosophy and literature alone but also, for example, mythology) were the solid cornerstones to build upon, and which could also be used by young Christians able of critical thinking to choose only the good and beneficial from it. Thus, Gregory's poetry reflects various philosophical motifs, including his striking inspiration by Cynicism, but also his reservations concerning empty formal rhetoric.