I am currently (re)reading Allen and Greenough's Latin Grammar and I am somewhat confused by the end of paragraph 601 on the structure of the Period.

f. The Romans were careful to close a period with an agreeable succession of long and short syllables.

Quod scīs nihil prōdest, quod nescīs multum obest. (Or. 166) What you know is of no use, what you do not know does great harm.

What is "an agreeable succession of long and short syllables"?

1 Answer 1


I assume this is a reference to the concept of a "clausula". I'm not familiar with this topic, but per Wikipedia, research has been done showing that different Latin authors prefer to end their sentences with different rhythms.

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