We know that meter existed because Aristotle in his Poetics flatly tells us so. Moreover, we have quite a bit of testimony from ancient grammarians like Quintilian and Victorinus, whose work on meters is most informative.
We also have poets' own words about their meters, such as Catullus mentioning his hendecasyllabi or Ovid writing aobut how Cupid stole a ...
There is a little-known rule of epic scansion in which, optionally, a word-initial sonorant (the nasals μ ν and the liquids ρ λ) may cause a preceding short vowel to scan long. Here's another example, Odyssey 18.399:
μνηστῆρες δ᾽ ὁμάδησαν ἀνὰ μέγαρα σκιόεντα
-- where the second syllable of ἀνά scans long because of the following μ-.
The explanation for ...
The C is a -que.
It is quite common to abbreviate neque (= ne+que) as nec.
I see two ways to parse that verse and interpret the C:
And he noticed the goddess and said: "Don't go further!"
And he noticed the goddess, said: "And don't go further!"
(I didn't read around that verse, so the translation may not be optimal. But that's beside the point.)
Ah, the joys of scansion! My understanding of the subject is solid but very basic, so I'll give you what I know, in the hope that somebody else can elaborate.
The Caesura in Ancient Poetry
The basic unit of Latin poetry is the foot: iamb, trochee, dactyl, anapest, spondee, amphibrach. A line of dactylic hexameter is obviously made up of six dactyls (a long ...
Latin does not have any monosyllabic words that end in a short vowel when pronounced in isolation. This is my formulation of a fact given by Diana Apoussidou and Paul Boersma in "The Learnability of Latin Stress", p. 115.
Monosyllabic words in Latin may scan as light syllables when followed by another word in certain contexts.
The most commonly ...
Some names were indeed adapted to the meter. For example, in Homer, Achilles' name can be spelled with one or two λ depending on whether a heavy or light syllable is necessary.
The first line of the Iliad spells the name as Ἀχιλῆος (genitive of Ἀχιλεύς) in order to fit a meter of uu--:
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
A few lines later (Iliad 1.7), ...
iambus: light + heavy
pyrrhicus: light + light
creticus: heavy + light + heavy
dactylus: heavy + light + light
Brevis Brevians is a tendency in early Latin, first attested in early metric poetry, to reduce the length of the second syllable of iambic words, resulting in a pyrrhic word. The same principle applies if the word is a cretic, which ...
There's not much literature on this subject -- maybe because synizesis is so rare. Aside from the obvious answer of "whenever the meter requires it", I couldn't find any hard-and-fast rules, just hints.
However, from what I could find, it's particularly common in...
the initial ea- and -eo of eadem and eodem.
words ending in -ea and -eo
the eu, ei and ea ...
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 ...
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.
The o in annos is long by position, because it is followed by two consonants. Same with the u in virumque.
qui is elided before ab.
The a in probationem is long, as is the second o. The makes the ...
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 the first syllable has a coda consonant, despite the next syllable being headless.
That's different from the account that I've heard. According to Alex B.'s ...
Hoc is always scanned long in classical poetry, because it is the same as *hocc (from *hocce < *hodce). I give only a couple of examples, but you can check by yourself using http://www.pedecerto.eu/ricerca/forma. It is the same for the other words formed with the intensifying particle -ce, like istuc (from *istucce < *istudce) or illuc (from *illucce &...
The Saturnian was (probably) stress-based, not weight-based.
To borrow from another answer of mine:
In a question about Old Latin meters, an anonymous user brought
up Mercado's convincing argument that the Saturnian was based on
accent. The idea isn't new, but Mercado backs it up with some nice
information-theoretical analysis: basically, the ...
Lobel and Page (1963) include fragments 92-99 into ΜΕΛΩΝ Ε - note the question marks throughout pp. 74-83 for all those fragments though.
Greek metrics could give you a strong headache (see e.g. West 1982); luckily, Eva-Maria Voigt did all the work for us - see her Conspectus Metrum for Book 5 below (Voigt 1971: 20):
Asynarteton (plural: asynarteta) is ...
To me the most natural positions for caesuras in hendecasyllabic verse are before either of the consequent short syllables: - - - | u | u - u - u - u.
This is similar to how caesuras work in hexameter, never coinciding with with the start of a metron.
My preference for reading caesuras like this may have well been influenced by reading hexameter.
But, more ...