This article argues for a new way of reading Hellenistic “literary” hymns, one that situates them in contemporary religious and cultural discourse through the notions of “textualization” and the “cultural archive.” I apply this framework to Callimachus’ Hymn to Delos and show how this hymn became an important part of the articulation of Ptolemaic religion in the context of ritual politics in the third-century Aegean, as well as how it had a lasting impact on the way that the ritual geography of the Cyclades was imagined. Specifically, the analysis spotlights how the hymn successfully links historical and contemporary theoric choral activity with the etymologization of the Cyclades; how it textualizes the island of Kos within the ritual nexus of Delos; and, finally, how it becomes an important part of Greek cultural memory about Delos.

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