I am scanning Ovid's metamorphoses. For the line "unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe," I have - - | - - | - - | - ' ' | - ' ' | - x. There doesn't seem to be an obvious position for the principal caesura in either the third or fourth foot (toto naturae - - | - ' ' ). Suggestions?

Incidentally, this line stuck out to me because of the coincidence of natural stress accents with the thesis of every foot of the hexameter.


1 Answer 1


The line should be scanned:

– u u | – – | – – | – – | – u u | – x ||

The 2nd u of unus is short, as is the e of erat. All three syllables of naturae are long.

The principal caesura is after the first long syllable in the third foot (between the last syllable of toto and the first of naturae).

  • Thank you! I feel dumb, but also less so after reading your answer. The stress/thesis coincidence doesn't appear with proper scansion, but that also makes more sense based on what I understand the line to be conveying.
    – Sura
    Feb 22 at 19:24
  • @Sura If you've found that this answers your question, make sure to click on the check mark to mark it "answered."
    – cmw
    Mar 2 at 3:38

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