In Babrius fable 20 it says:

θεῶν ἀληθῶς προσεκύνει τε κἀτίμα.

The piece is written in Choliambic style, and I can't figure out how to scan this line. The problem is that there are two consecutive short syllables on "προσεκύνει", and I don't know where the long syllable should be marked on this word, in a way that does not "ruin" the whole rhyme. Can someone help me scan this line?

1 Answer 1


In many Greek meters there's a rule by which a long syllable can be replaced with two shorts ("resolution"). This is what has happened with προσεκύνει in this line: the first two short syllables count as one long. Dividing the line into feet we get

θεῶν ἀλη|θῶς προσεκύνει | τε κἀτίμα

where the metrical scheme is

˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ | ¯ ˘˘ ˘ ¯ | ˘ ¯ ¯ ¯

The second syllable of the second foot has been "resolved", from ¯ ¯ ˘ ¯ to ¯ ˘˘ ˘ ¯.

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