I was doing some scansion exercises on hexameter.co and this line (Ovid's Metamorphoses IX: Line 274) was brought up:

"solverat Eurystheus, odiumque in prole paternum"

I scanned the first 4 feet as DDDS (the last two was DS as usual 'prole pa/ternum'; and took into account the elision between odiumque and in); however, I was found incorrect. The correct answer was DSDS. I'm confused by this given the number of syllables. I scanned the verse like this:

SOL.ve.rat / EU.rys.the/US o.di/UM.quIN / PRO.le pa/TER.NUM

I think the greek name is the culprit, but not sure how there is a spondee there.

  • 1
    Is the -theus portion of the name just one syllable via gliding yod? Commented Apr 4 at 2:08
  • 2
    If you want to ask a short follow-up, please ask under the answer rather than under your question. I'm not sure why you'd need to stipulate any glide when it's a diphthong.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 4 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


The second syllable of Eurystheus is heavy (it's followed by two consonants), and because ευ is a diphthong in Greek -theus is a single syllable:

 –́  ⏑ ⏑  –́  –   –́   ⏑ ⏑–́     –    –́ ⏑  ⏑ –́  ⏑
solverat Eurystheus odiumqu' in prole paternum
  • I can't get the scansion to line up properly (I'm sure it's a font issue) and I'm definitely not making a table for this but I hope it's clear enough.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Apr 4 at 2:22
  • 1
    So is the eu in -theus a diphthong or acting as synizesis, in other words prevocalic e acting as a glide? Commented Apr 4 at 20:17
  • 2
    @VivatLinguaLatina It's definitely a diphthong. If it were synizesis the resulting syllable would be light.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Apr 4 at 23:17

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