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Questions tagged [metre]

For questions about poetic metres, like the dactylic hexameter.

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15 votes
1 answer
485 views

Where does our knowledge of the ancient poetic meters come from?

I have seen several accounts of ancient poetic meters, but it just occurred to me that none of them discussed the origin of the information. Where does our knowledge of the ancient poetic meters come ...
3 votes
1 answer
317 views

How would "Eurystheus" be scanned in Ovid's Metamorphoses?

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 ...
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Lack of gender agreement in Aeneid iv.169-70

I was thrown by the lack of gender agreement in line iv.169 of the Aeneidː Ille dies primus leti primusque malorum // causa fuit; I translate: “That was the first day of death, and was the first ...
4 votes
1 answer
200 views

Principal caesura in unus erat toto line I.6 of Ovid's Metamorphoses

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
190 views

Unexpected long vowels in Plautus before a word-final T

In a comment to my answer on a vowel length question, Vincent Krebs pointed out that Plautus does not follow the classical rules that I laid out: Plautus does not always shorten the vowel before -t. ...
3 votes
1 answer
296 views

Dactylic hexameter: can we tell on the run if it is long truning to short or vice versa

In Latin poetry it is sometimes the case that a long vowel should be taken as short, and sometimes a short should be taken as long. For example in the third verse of De Rerum Natura, we have: ...
11 votes
1 answer
687 views

What exactly is brevis brevians?

I have come across the term brevis brevians a couple of times on this site. Unfortunately Google does not provide me with a clear definition with examples, so I am still not entire sure what it means. ...
3 votes
1 answer
179 views

Sapphic metre in Catullus 51.10

I am trying to understand the metre of Catullus 51, and this line has me baffled: tintinant aurēs, gemina teguntur The standard sapphic eleven-foot metre is – ⏑ – ⏓ – ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – –, that is 𝅘𝅥 𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥 (𝅘𝅥...
5 votes
2 answers
806 views

Is it possible that elision is sometimes just attraction?

I'm sorry for the improper use of notation and lack of terminology, but I know very little about meters. There is this famous hymn in Catholic liturgy called Veni Creator [Spiritus]. AFAIK, it follows ...
5 votes
1 answer
173 views

What is the behaviour of liaisons and elisions over a caesura?

I'm currently composing a Latin poem, which I'm writing in Alcmanian strophes. The dactylic tetrameter is not usually thought of as having a caesura, so my question pertains mostly to the hexameter ...
5 votes
1 answer
176 views

How does one pronounce a circumflex accent on a short (correpted) vowel?

From Iliad 18.333: νῦν δ' ἐπεὶ οὖν, Πάτροκλε, σεῦ ὕστερος εἶμ' ὑπὸ γαῖαν As best I can tell from the scansion, the σεῦ here is shortened by correption, letting it be the final syllable of a dactyl. ...
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

Scansion of lines in Homer involving εἰνὶ θρόνῳ

Scanning Homeric verse is something I'm not very experienced at yet, and I have a question about these two lines involving the phrase εἰνὶ θρόνῳ: σείσατο δ’ εἰνὶ θρόνῳ, ἐλέλιξε δὲ μακρὸν Ὄλυμπον, (...
7 votes
1 answer
112 views

Initial digamma / long diphthong in plupf. ᾔδη?

In Homer, the form ᾔδη "he knew" (3sg. pluperfect of οἶδα) scans as if it began with digamma. This is most evident in Iliad 1.70, where the first syllable scans heavy: ὃς ᾔδη τά τ᾽ ἐόντα τά ...
3 votes
3 answers
582 views

How does the caesura work on this line?

sed leve pondus erat nec quod cognoscere possent Solis equi, solitaque iugum gravitate carebat (Ovid Metamorphoses book 2) At first I thought it might be like this, as my first explorations of Ovid ...
5 votes
1 answer
162 views

Which words never elide?

I know the vocative ō doesn't elide with a following word in Latin, though it can elide with a preceding one. For example, Catullus LXI.39: dicite "o Hymenaee Hymen…" For metrical reasons, this ...
6 votes
2 answers
487 views

How to scan "nempe tenens, quod amo, gremioque in Iasonis haerens"

Ovid's Metamorphoses 7.66, here I marked my attempt: nempĕ tĕ/nens, quŏd ă/mo, grĕmĭ/oqu(e) in/ Iasŏnĭ/s haerens That makes the 3 first feet dactyls and the fourth one a spondee, but the ...
4 votes
1 answer
123 views

How can I learn more about Latin scansion?

Rebeginner here (I studied Latin decades ago at school). I was just wondering whether there were any sources where you can find some Latin classical poetry texts with scansion added by people who know....
3 votes
1 answer
59 views

Scansion of a Greek line from Babrius 20

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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
272 views

How do I know if there's an "invisible yod"?

I've been told that the first syllable of abiciō is long by position, because it's actually an underlying *abjiciō, which causes it to be syllabified as *ab-ji-ci-ō before the *ji simplifies to i. So ...
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

When does caesura occur in a dactylic hexameter?

Wikipaedia says this: In dactylic hexameter, a caesura occurs any time the ending of a word does not coincide with the beginning or the end of a metrical foot; in modern prosody, however, it is ...
5 votes
1 answer
64 views

Why does ‘lūdīs’ end in a short syllable in Ov. Ep. Sapph. 16?

In Ovid’s Epistulae 16.152–153, the following two lines are found (‘eligiac couplet’, I believe is the term in English): mṓre tuǽ gentī́s nitidā́ dum nū́da palǽstrā̆    lū́dis et és ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there any words in Latin that are "light"?

In Latin, every syllable is either "light" or "heavy". A "heavy" syllable is one that has a long vowel and/or a coda consonant, and a "light" syllable is anything else. This distinction is important ...
9 votes
1 answer
163 views

Did poets elide across consonants?

I have a definite recollection that Plautus, Ennius, or some other early poet had a tendency to elide across a word-final S, as in (made-up examples) domus et → dom'et and domus est → domu'st. If ...
3 votes
1 answer
70 views

Is this the correct metric to Virgils Georgics II, 459?

agrícó/las quíbús /ipsá pró/cul dis/cordíbús/ armis Is this correct? I tried to indicate the short syllables with the accents. I would appreciate your answer very much!
9 votes
1 answer
258 views

Hexametric Greek names

A number of Greek names encountered in hexameter follow the syllable length pattern -vv-; consider for example Penelope, Telemachos, Calliope, Terpsichore. The pattern -v-- is absent as the metric ...
7 votes
1 answer
204 views

How do originally Roman meters differ from Greek inheritance?

I have understood that many poetic meters were inherited to Latin from the Greeks. This includes, for example, the dactylic hexameter and the Sapphic meters. But the Romans did have their own poetic ...
4 votes
1 answer
200 views

Caesuras in Phalaecian verses

In short: I need help to analyse the versification of some verses written by Catullus.13. Theses verses are pure hendecasyllabic Phalaecian, namely - - | - u u | - u | - u | - u . What bothers me is ...
10 votes
1 answer
730 views

What's the deal with Ov. Met. V, 414

I'm writing this Latin verse parser/scanner, and all is fine and dandy until I load up Ov. Met. V. This book features the following verse in my source text, which is usually very good: adgnovitque ...
5 votes
1 answer
285 views

What do we know about the Saturnian for sure?

Some of old Latin poetry was written in Saturnian metre. I am under the impression that use and proper understanding of this poetic form were lost by the classical era, and we do not have a full ...
3 votes
2 answers
213 views

About the Alexandrian edition of Sappho: how were the poems assigned to the books?

I have heard that there was, a long long time ago, an edition of Sappho's poem published (right?) at Alexandria. I know it had at least 8 books (maybe 9, maybe more, that's up for debate) and that the ...
4 votes
2 answers
287 views

Are theses verses strictly hexametric?

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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
100 views

Why is it assumed that Sappho fr. 98 Campbell is missing two lines at the beginning of the first known tercet?

Campbell p. 122 has this poem as fr. 98. The first "wannabe" tercet has only one line in Campbell. Bibliotheca Augustana reports the poem with two "blank" lines at the start, and also offers the image ...
7 votes
1 answer
424 views

How should Odyssey A 56 be scanned?: αἰεὶ δὲ μαλακοῖσι καὶ αἱμυλίοισι λόγοισιν

Odyssey A 56 goes thus: αἰεὶ δὲ μαλακοῖσι καὶ αἱμυλίοισι λόγοισιν I find it difficult to scan this verse. The word μᾰλᾰκός has two short syllables, which must be preceded by a long one; and yet δὲ ...
8 votes
1 answer
327 views

Words that unexpectedly but consistently scan long

I learned from TKR's answer to this question about neuter endings that the neuter pronoun hoc is pronounced like hocc, causing it to be scanned long despite having a short vowel. I had never heard of ...
10 votes
1 answer
200 views

How do I know when there is synizesis in a verse?

Synizesis is the rare phenomenon where two vowels within a word that normally do not form a diphthong are nevertheless pronounced as such, and hence count as a single syllable in the metre. Under ...