Questions tagged [poetry]

Questions related to aspects of Latin as used in poetry.

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14
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2answers
429 views

What does “quibus intemptata nites” (Odes 1.5.10–11) mean?

I'm currently reading Horace's Odes 1.5, and on lines 10–11 there's an odd construction: ...Miseri, quibus intemptata nites... Now, as far as I can tell, this literally means "Wretched people, ...
14
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1answer
506 views

Omnia vincit amor: vincere or vincire?

The phrase omnia vincit amor (from Vergilius' tenth Ecloga; see full text in Latin and English) is typically translated as "love conquers everything". However, vincit can come from either vincere (to ...
13
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1answer
86 views

Why “impressa” in Æneid IV.659–60?

So Dido's almost finished her long, drawn-out suicide scene, and we get the lines Dīxit, et ōs impressa torō, "Moriēmur inultae, sed moriāmur," ait. It seems like impressa is being used here as ...
13
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1answer
403 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 ...
12
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1answer
554 views

Was elision specific to verse in classical Latin?

The rigid poetic meters used by ancient poets strongly indicate that elision is done (almost) every time one word ends in a vowel and the next one begins with another — with the usual exceptions ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What do “hic” and “ille” refer to in this passage from Ovid's Tristia?

In Ovid's Tristia, 1.2.23–4: ...Nihil est, nisi pontus et aer, Nubibus hic tumidus, fluctibus ille minax... As far as I can tell, this means ...There is nothing, unless the sea and air ...
11
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2answers
453 views

Is -um (instead of -ōrum) a typical genitive plural ending outside of poetry?

I understand that Vergil often uses the -um genitive plural ending for some second declension nouns, instead of -ōrum. For example: huc delecta virum sortiti corpora furtim (Aeneid, Book II, line ...
11
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1answer
126 views

Allecto's cerulean hair in *Æneid* VII.346-7

In VII.346-7 of the Æneid, when Juno sics Allecto on Amata, we have Hic dea cæruleís únum dé crínibus anguem Conjicit inque sinum præcordia ad intima subdit. Allecto's … blue hair? Hunh?...
9
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2answers
243 views

How to translate these few lines? Met. 1.94–96

I came across a passage that is quite difficult to understand. Unlike most passages that I ask about, it is hard for me to make an attempt. nondum caesa suis, peregrinum ut viseret orbem, ...
9
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1answer
397 views

A poem that works in both Latin and Italian

Years ago an old colleague showed me a poem which had a miraculous feature: it was perfectly valid Latin and perfectly valid Italian. With clever choices of words one can make that happen, but it also ...
9
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2answers
120 views

Latin quote about a million doggerel verses

I distinctly remember from a class at some point a disparaging remark by a Latin poet about other less accomplished poets who churned out "a million hexameters a year", obviously implying terrible ...
9
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1answer
1k views

When can I perform an elision?

I've been reading poetry lately and sometimes, the meter just doesn't make sense. Now, I know that elision is a thing, but I don't know the rules. When can I elide letters? Are there any hard-and-fast ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Rhyming in Classical Latin Poetry

There are many Ecclesiastical Latin hymns that incorporate a rhyming scheme that sounds very satisfying to an English ear. One common example: Tantum ergo sacramentum veneremur cernui et ...
8
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3answers
187 views

Do shorter words tend to come before longer ones in verse?

The Finnish national epic Kalevala was written in a certain poetic meter, which in some respects resembles the classical Greek and Roman meters. In addition to rules regarding syllable length and ...
8
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1answer
653 views

How do we know the quantity of vowels followed by several consonants?

Judging by dictionaries and grammars, we seem to know the length of almost every vowel in classical Latin. For word-final vowels and those followed by a single consonant, the length can be figured out ...
8
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2answers
127 views

“exoritur” in Ennius' dactylic hexameter

I'm stuck while reading Ennius' "Cūrantēs magnā cum cūrā", written in dactylic hexameters. I added to the text some macrons and caesuras that are of my own. I scrupulously respected what little I ...
8
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1answer
411 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. ...
8
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1answer
177 views

Ovid: “nimis ex vero nunc tibi nomen erit”

In Ovid Amores 3.9, the elegy for Tibullus, we read: flebilis indignos, Elegeiia, solve capillos! a! nimis ex vero nunc tibi nomen erit My literal translation: "Tearful, loosen your undeserving ...
8
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1answer
128 views

About Sappho Edmonds 89 Campbell 48

General background What I gather from Edmonds is that the fragment at hand is found in a letter written by Iulianus (Julian the Apostate?) to Iamblichus, and the "offending" part of the letter reads ...
8
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1answer
172 views

Did P.Oxy. 2288 contribute in any way to our knowledge of Sappho's hymn to Aphrodite?

From what I gather, we alrady have the text of Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite (alias Sappho 1, the only poem we have complete) complete and uncontroversial (save for the bit in cruces, τίνα δηὖτε πείθω / ...
7
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2answers
134 views

Vergil Book XII, Line 756 | Meter Question

"tum vero exoritur clamor ripaeque lacusque" When you do the meter for this line, if you do the elision it does not work out, having 6 feet and all. So, to make it work what I had to do was not do ...
7
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3answers
234 views

Can one recreate the ambiguity of the (incorrect) sentence “You can learn writing.” in Latin?

It seems (to me at least) that with regard to the English sentence You can learn writing. the following is true: Strictly speaking, the sentence is grammatically incorrect w.r.t. standard modern ...
7
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1answer
68 views

Translation of Samuel Garth's Harveian oration

On this website there is an excerpt from Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets, quoting Samuel Garth (who was later to become personal physician to King George I) in his address to the Royal College of ...
7
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2answers
250 views

Alternative translation of poem 4 from Catullus

It is not clear to me why in the translation of Phaeselus ille quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullius natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis ...
7
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1answer
63 views

What are the most complete unattributed classical works?

There are various fragments of Greek and Latin poetry whose provenance is unknown, such as quotations in other works whose source hasn't survived. Are there any known fragments longer than a couple ...
7
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1answer
142 views

Scanning the inscription of The Classical High School of Tampere

I strolled around Tampere today, and I noticed an inscription in the wall of The Classical High School of Tampere: FENNIA VOS GENUIT GREMIO VOS INTIMA FOVIT. ARBORIS AUSCULTET MURMURA QUISQUE ...
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1answer
123 views

About Sappho's epigram for the little girl Aithopia: first line (manuscript tradition and experts' take), and authorship

Cross-post notice A week ago, I asked the exact same question on Literature. It was met with an uproar of upvotes (alliteration casual, 7 upvotes), but not answers. I discussed the matter with ...
6
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3answers
354 views

Where does this (Sappho?) fragment come from

In my file of Sappho translations, the next-to-last fragment reads: [–u–x κ]αδδέκεται μέλαινα [–u– πόλλ]ων ἀχέων ἐπαύσθη [–u–x] Ἀτρεϊδαι τελέσθη[ν –uu–x] Sooner or later, it's going to end ...
6
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2answers
99 views

How to make sense of this standalone infinitive? (Metamorphoses 1.601—603)

For starters, I haven't finished translating this short passage yet, so I would be grateful if you refrain from giving the full translation. (And if it's hard to answer the question without doing so, ...
6
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2answers
394 views

Choosing -ter or -iter for adverbs from third declension adjectives

The typical suffix to derive an adverb from a third declension adjective is -iter, but sometimes the -i- is dropped: dulciter but audacter. I am not asking for a rule for choosing -iter or -ter —...
6
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1answer
125 views

Who are Maecenas' atavi?

The first verse of the first ode in the first book of odes by Horatius is Maecenas atavis edite regibus You Maecenas, who descend from great-great-great-grandfathers that were kings Who are ...
6
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1answer
137 views

Does the letter “X” at the end of a line make that syllable long?

In scansion, a vowel is long by position if there are two or more consonants between it and the next vowel. Can a vowel be long by position if it ends a line and there is no next vowel? E.g. is the "...
6
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2answers
159 views

Identifying corrupted Sappho fragment or mention of Sappho found in just-newly-found-online Spanish edition of Sappho

OK, so this question is perhaps somewhat weird, but I have no idea where to start, so here I am. Let me give some introduction. Me, languages, and Greek Let's start very far back. As my blog ...
6
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1answer
151 views

Two unfindable words from Sappho Edmonds 12, Edmonds' version

Edmonds' edition of Sappho has great eagerness to fill gaps in papyrus texts. One example of this is fragment 12 (in Edmonds' numbering), which in Edmonds reads: [Αἰ δέ μοι γάλακτο]ς ἐπ̣ά̣β̣ολ’ ἦσ̣[...
6
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1answer
137 views

Short vowels in lucubrando

I came across a poem from 1621 written in Sapphic stanza. It contains this line: pervigil Christi, lucubrando sudans To scan that, the third word must be lŭcŭbrandŏ. L&S ...
6
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1answer
200 views

Material for learning new poetic meters

I like metric poetry, and sometimes I want to broaden my horizons by learning a new poetic meter. This has proven quite difficult, because the descriptions in many guides are quite terse. For example, ...
6
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1answer
142 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 ...
6
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1answer
115 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 ...
6
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1answer
77 views

Omission of elision in Aeneis I.405?

I ran into this hexameter verse by Vergilius when researching for an answer to another question: et vera incessu patuit dea. Ille ubi matrem (Aeneis I.405) The only way I can scan that verse is ...
6
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1answer
125 views

Synizesis in perfect tense 'ui'

Can synizesis happen when the perfect stem ends in 'u' and the ending starts with a short 'i'? For example, can the 'ui' in fuisti be synizesized1 into a diphthong? In my understanding the two vowels ...
6
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1answer
316 views

Why is elision more common than synizesis?

In classical poetry, if two vowels are next to each other (without a consonant in between), there are two ways to avoid the collision: Elision removes one of the vowels when the vowels meet at a word ...
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0answers
56 views

What is this extra source for Sappho 31 Campbell / 2 Edmonds?

I just noticed that Campbell, listing sources for Sappho 31 Campbell / 2 Edmonds, besides Longinus, mentions also P.S.I. (v. fr. 213B). I looked on PSI online, but nothing with the number 213 in its ...
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0answers
71 views

How common was synizesis in classical poetry?

In synizesis two vowels that would normally be pronounced separately are pronounced as one without any change in spelling. This happens sometimes in Latin poetry and it can be recognized from the ...
5
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3answers
201 views

Does scansion ever require synizesis of two similar vowels?

Does scansion ever require a synizesis like ŭŭ > ū or with u replaced by another vowel? I am not sure if this should be called synizesis when the two joined vowels have the same ...
5
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2answers
205 views

When did rhyme enter Latin poetry or song?

Judging by this question on rhyming in classical poetry, it seems that rhyme did not make its way to Latin poetry in the classical era. As far as I know, even hymns intended for singing (like Carmen ...
5
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1answer
98 views

What are our sources for Longinus' De sublimitate?

What I am interested in is the part where he quotes Sappho, or, even more specifically, l. 3 of the second stanza of the quoted poem, and in particular the verb in that line. This starts from this ...
5
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1answer
59 views

how to interpret the diminutive-suffixed adj. **lacteolus**

I read the following content in the Oxford Latin Dictionary: lacteolus = lacteus+ -olus, where -olus is a diminutive suffix. The ‘normal’ form lacteus and the diminutive form lacteolus share ...
5
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0answers
118 views

Is there a difference between prose stress and metric stress?

According to an earlier question, we do not know how stress was realized on classical Latin. It may have been dynamic (stressed syllables are louder), tonal (stress changes pitch), or a combination, ...
5
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0answers
72 views

Does Latin offer a single word referring back to the preceding *two* names mentioned?

Background. The following is correct standard English: (0) He read the poems of Catullus, Juvenal, Horace, and Virgil. He intentionally memorized only poems of the latter two. The following uses ...
4
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1answer
104 views

Pentheus as “Divine Suffering”

Q: Can the etymology of Πενθεύς truly be divorced from divinity? Here's a name that even Graves translates merely as "grief". But as a student of Graves, this is one his translation may be too ...