Questions tagged [scansion]

For questions about scansion, or rhythmic reading of poetry.

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Scanning a sotadean verse in Petronius

I'm not able to figure out what meter this is in this poem by Petronius. In Schmelling's unparalleled commentary on the work he merely says: Four lines of Sotadean verse (used for obscenities) sung ...
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4 votes
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Did Greek ever have long initial consonants?

In this other answer, TKR suggests that the Homeric dative οἱ might have once been something like *ϝϝοι, with initial long [wː]. This makes sense to me, etymologically, since it may have come from a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Why does οἱ make position?

Iliad XXII.307: τό οἱ ὑπὸ λαπάρην τέτατο μέγα τε στιβαρόν τε Since it's at the beginning of a hexameter, τό needs to scan heavy. And since omicron is always short by nature, it must be heavy by ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Cannot scan first part of a poem in the Satyricon

I don't recognize the meter for the first part of this poem found in the Satyricon. I have scanned it as follows. The rest of the poem however seems to be in tetrameters as is shown at this website ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Syllabification of "anhelo"

I'm setting some writing of St. Augustine to music, and it includes the word anhelo ("I long for"). I'm wondering whether an-he-lo or a-nhe-lo is the preferred way to divide it into ...
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4 votes
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69 views

Syllabifying S into an onset?

Someone recently called my attention to a hexameter by Lucilius: Jānus, Quirīnus "pater" siet ac dicātur ad ūnum. Janus or Quirinus may be "father"; every single [god] is called ...
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3 votes
3 answers
415 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 ...
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5 votes
0 answers
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Can a same poet use both U/V (vowel/consonant) variants of the same stem?

There are some words that poets use in more than one way. For example the word deorsum, usually 3 syllables (dĕ-or-sum), but sometimes the poets allowed themselves some freedom, and had it as 2 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
424 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 ...
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4 votes
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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....
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How does "flavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella" scan?

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....
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Can anyone explain what I did wrong scanning this line of Argonautica?

I was looking over some practice tests and came across this question: What is the scansion of the first four feet of "Atque haec impressō gemuit miseranda cubīlī" Based on my knowledge, I ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is there a dictionary for pronunciation explanations?

All dictionaries I have seen that state vowel quantities simply state them but do not explain how the quantity of each vowel was determined. The same goes for the distinctions between vocalic and ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Pronunciation of "quoniam"

Is the "i" in "quoniam" a vowel or a consonant? Just based on the spelling it makes sense as a vowel (quo.ni.am), but at the same time etymologically as "quom + iam" it ...
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1 answer
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Variation between syllabic and non-syllabic V: in what contexts is it possible?

Allen's Vox Latina, 2nd edition (1988) metions that there is occasional "poetic interchange" in Latin of syllabic [u] and non-syllabic [w], mentioning trisyllabic silua and disyllabic genva ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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!
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7 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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6 votes
0 answers
108 views

What is the etymology of Ἁμαδρυάς (Hamadryas)? Is the second alpha actually long?

I am trying to find more information about the formation and pronunciation of the Greek noun Ἁμαδρυάς, taken into Latin as Hamadryas. L&S transcribes the second a of the Latin form with a macron: ...
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8 votes
2 answers
140 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
418 views

More on the 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' citation

An early dictionary fits the longest word in Latin into a hexameter. In a previous question Expedito Bipes introduced this astonishing dictionary entry (1286), (and then later gave an alternative ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
234 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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4 votes
2 answers
283 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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
658 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
275 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
280 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 ...
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14 votes
1 answer
435 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
171 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
177 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 ...
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9 votes
4 answers
345 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, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
208 views

Fifth spondee in Aeneis I.690

I ran into this hexameter verse by Vergilius when researching for an answer to another question: exuit, et gressu gaudens incedit Iuli. (Aeneis I.690) The only way I seem to able to scan this ...
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6 votes
1 answer
97 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
227 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 "...
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5 votes
1 answer
254 views

Pes ultimus insanus cuiusdam versus Lucretii?

How do you scan line 621 of De Rerum Natura, book VI, shown in bold below? Praeterea, magnam sol partem detrahit æstu. Quippe videmus enim vestes humore madentes Exsiccare suis radiis ardentibu’...
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