I've composed the following two verses in Latin (an allusion to the prooemium of Vergil's Aeneis:

Annos virumque cano Scolae qui ab origine
ad probationem fecit nos inscitis ad sapientos

I would scan them the following way:

- v v - v v - - - -v v - x
- v v - v v - - - v v - v v - x

However, I often mess up the muta cum liquida. Are these verses strict hexameters?

2 Answers 2


No, unfortunately it does not quite scan right. Here are the problems I found:

  • The second syllable of the first line, -nōs, is long for two reasons: the vowel is long and followed by two consonants.
  • The o in sc(h)ola is short, so the first syllable is metrically short even though it has stress in prose.
  • I'm not quite sure how you intended to scan the end of the first line. There is an elision between qui and ab. Did you perhaps intend to elide at the line break, too? The only long syllable in orīgine is the second one.
  • The long syllables of probātiōnem don't quite match your scansion.
  • Frankly, I have trouble seeing how the scansion of the second line is supposed to go. The ending ad sapientos matches your scansion and works well, but I can't quite see how the rest works.

In addition, there is a grammatical problem. If you make someone from ignorant to wise, then aliquem inscitum sapientem facis. (Also, the plural accusative ending is slightly off: it should be sapientes.) Both words are in accusative without prepositions, and there is some possibility of confusion, too. I don't think the English structure of "making someone from something to something" can work as you write in Latin.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I wanted to list the problems honestly. I think the text is good prose apart from the one lapse, but the metric part does not quite work.

Here is my offer (with prose translation):

Tempora cara cano, quae tu schola cara dedisti;
te inscia turba intrans meminit sapiens abitura.

I sing dear times, which you dear school gave;
the ignorant entering crowd remembers you when it is about to exit wise.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot. This wasn't supposed to be prose, just a farewell text to a high school teacher. Thus, my knowledge is quite limited. I simply didn't know that one would put an elision between qui and ab. "quab" sounded so silly I dismissed that idea quickly.
    – Narusan
    Jul 13, 2017 at 13:25
  • 2
    Nice elision: Aeneid often uses elision to create jostling in the crowd.
    – Hugh
    Jul 13, 2017 at 14:23
  • 2
    @Hugh In addition to following metric requirements, I was trying to get a certain feeling of congestion to the uneducated crowd with elisions. I'm glad if it actually worked!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jul 13, 2017 at 16:26

Sorry, but this does not scan correctly.

First, the meter in your first line is missing a beat in your description, though, it's there I see in the line itself.

  1. The o in annos is long by position, because it is followed by two consonants. Same with the u in virumque.

  2. qui is elided before ab.

  3. The a in probationem is long, as is the second o. The makes the first line scan - u - u - - |, since it is also followed by two consonants.

  4. The dative/ablative plural of first/second declension adjectives is long.

  • I agree that there are problems. However, the attempt inspired me to try a little something myself in hexameter, and the original idea is good.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jul 13, 2017 at 12:54

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