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Questions tagged [metre]

For questions about poetic metres, like the dactylic hexameter.

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8 votes
1 answer
332 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
259 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
289 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
486 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
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 ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
691 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. ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
191 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
blagae's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
274 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
191 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. ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar