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

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 ...
cmw's user avatar
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13 votes
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What's the deal with Ov. Met. V, 414

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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
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What exactly is brevis brevians?

For reference: 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 ...
blagae's user avatar
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10 votes

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

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, ...
TKR's user avatar
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10 votes
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How do I know if there's an "invisible yod"?

To my knowledge, the compounds of jaciō are the only words where this complication occurs. And in Imperial Latin, these words frequently scan with a light initial syllable, indicating loss of /j/ and ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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8 votes
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Scansion of lines in Homer involving εἰνὶ θρόνῳ

This is known as correption, and in particular Attic correption, which displays this more frequently than Homeric verse. From Halporn, Ostwald, and Rosenmeyer (a great little student reference guide) ...
cmw's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why does ‘lūdīs’ end in a short syllable in Ov. Ep. Sapph. 16?

It is a second-person singular verb form lūdis, “you play” (lūdō, lūdere).
Asteroides's user avatar
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8 votes
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Are there any words in Latin that are "light"?

quă? After posting the negative answer below, I found one possible example: quă used as the feminine nominative singular or neuter nominative/accusative plural of the indefinite pronoun or determiner ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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Is it possible that elision is sometimes just attraction?

I think hardly anyone uses reconstructed Classical Latin pronunciation for plainchant, so I'm not sure you need the "even" in "even if only in ecclesiastical or medieval Latin". It ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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7 votes
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Hexametric Greek names

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 ...
b a's user avatar
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7 votes
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How to scan "nempe tenens, quod amo, gremioque in Iasonis haerens"

As often with tricky verses, the key is in the name. The only way I can scan that right is reading the name as Ĭ-ā-sŏ-nĭs. The initial I/J of a name can easily vary between vowel and consonant in ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
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Dactylic hexameter: can we tell on the run if it is long truning to short or vice versa

The word "concelebras" never has a long vowel in the third syllable. Its third syllable has a short vowel, but can optionally be scanned as a "heavy" syllable in poetry because the ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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How would "Eurystheus" be scanned in Ovid's Metamorphoses?

The second syllable of Eurystheus is heavy (it's followed by two consonants), and because ευ is a diphthong in Greek -theus is a single syllable: –́ ⏑ ⏑ –́ – –́ ⏑ ⏑–́ – –́ ⏑ ⏑ –́ ⏑ ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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6 votes

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

Just to make it clear what Joonas said explained in his post, here is the line scanned out: nempĕ tĕ/nens, quŏd ă/mo || grĕmĭ/oqu' in ĭ/asŏnĭ/s haerens The reason the initial letter of ...
cmw's user avatar
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6 votes

Lack of gender agreement in Aeneid iv.169-70

Primus (in both instances) is not modifying causa, but is a predicative adjective going with dies. Sentences where the action is modified by words like "first" or "last" generally ...
TKR's user avatar
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5 votes
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Are theses verses strictly hexametric?

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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes

Are theses verses strictly hexametric?

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, ...
cmw's user avatar
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5 votes
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Words that unexpectedly but consistently scan long

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/...
qwertxyz's user avatar
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5 votes
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Did poets elide across consonants?

The literature that I've viewed so far suggests that in Plautine Latin, forms like domust for domus est could be found, but not forms like dom'et for domus et. Terence and the Verb 'To Be' in Latin, ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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Is it possible that elision is sometimes just attraction?

The main modern source I can think of on this topic is Allen's Vox Latina chapter 4, which takes most of its evidence from Sturtevant's Elision and Hiatus in Latin Prose and Verse, so that's what this ...
Draconis's user avatar
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What is the behaviour of liaisons and elisions over a caesura?

Let me discuss your second example first. If I understand it correctly, your question is: “OK, caesura can only happen at the end of a word, but is it admissible that it happens one syllable earlier, ...
Dario's user avatar
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5 votes

Initial digamma / long diphthong in plupf. ᾔδη?

I've found a plausible answer in Chantraine, Grammaire homérique pp. 31-2. He says: La forme ᾔδη peut partout être lue (ϝ)είδη sans augment. That is, the suggestion is that the Homeric form was ...
TKR's user avatar
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Principal caesura in unus erat toto line I.6 of Ovid's Metamorphoses

The line should be scanned: – u u | – – | – – | – – | – u u | – x || The 2nd u of unus is short, as is the e of erat. All three syllables of naturae are long. The principal caesura is after the first ...
cnread's user avatar
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5 votes

Lack of gender agreement in Aeneid iv.169-70

In this case primus agrees with dies and not with causa. According to John Conington, Virgil seems to have mixed up two expressions. Taken from his notes (1876): We might have expected “prima,” ...
piscator's user avatar
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4 votes
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How does the caesura work on this line?

There are really two senses of "caesura", one of them objectively definable, the other not so much. Most basically, a caesura is defined simply as any word break in the line that occurs ...
TKR's user avatar
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4 votes
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Scansion of a Greek line from Babrius 20

In many Greek meters there's a rule by which a long syllable can be replaced with two shorts ("resolution"). This is what has happened with προσεκύνει in this line: the first two short ...
TKR's user avatar
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4 votes
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Sapphic metre in Catullus 51.10

As a first note, the third and fourth lines of a Sapphic stanza tend to be closely connected—it's not uncommon to have a word split between them—so let's add that fourth line in here. tintinant aurēs,...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes

Lack of gender agreement in Aeneid iv.169-70

The word dies can be either feminine or masculine. The gender has an effect on meaning. Consult dictionaries or these questions for details: When is "diēs" masculine, when is it feminine, ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar

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