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14 votes
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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 ...
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13 votes
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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 ...
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12 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 ...
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, ...
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10 votes
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When does caesura occur in a dactylic hexameter?

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 ...
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 ...
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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) ...
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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).
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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 ...
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8 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...
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6 votes
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How do I know when there is synizesis in a verse?

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 ...
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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/...
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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 ...
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, ...
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5 votes

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, ...
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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, ...
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5 votes

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 ...
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4 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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3 votes
Accepted

How do originally Roman meters differ from Greek inheritance?

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 ...
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3 votes

Which words never elide?

It appears this phenomenon is not unique to the O interjection. The The Elements of Latin Grammar, etc p.175 notes: Ah, O, hei, heu, pro, si, vae, vah, and also most other monosyllables are seldom ...
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3 votes

How does one pronounce a circumflex accent on a short (correpted) vowel?

Your question has two levels: 1. How do we understand the underlying reality of the Attic pitch system recorded in our texts and 2. With that general understanding, what would the system do in this ...
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3 votes

How can I learn more about Latin scansion?

Dickinson has an excellent resource for beginners: https://dcc.dickinson.edu/ovid-amores/scansion They've been hard at work at getting a lot of resources for students on their website, like Allen and ...
3 votes

How does the caesura work on this line?

As a supplement to qwertxyz's answer, which gives the correct scansion, I'll note that this line fits into the scheme described in D.S. Raven, Latin metre §66: The 'weak' third foot caesura is far ...
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