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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
11 votes
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Pronunciation of "quoniam"

Metric evidence is surprisingly hard to find. According to my corpus searches, almost all examples of quoniam in Vergil, Horace, and Catullus are in hexameter and not in the second last foot. I don't ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes

How do I scan the hexameter "faunique satyrique et monticolae silvani"? (From Metamorphoses I, 193)

You're right, the -e in the first enclitic is long. The reason is obscure, but is accessible in Allan and Greenough's (rev. Fowler 1890) student commentary on the Metamorphoses: faunique : the ...
cmw's user avatar
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9 votes
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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 more than two consonants between it and the next vowel. This is the usual way of putting it, but it's inacccurate/misleading in a couple of ways. ...
TKR's user avatar
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8 votes
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Pes ultimus insanus cuiusdam versus Lucretii?

The last syllable in proinde is short but the first one is not split in two. Correcting this makes the rest of the line scan naturally: Proindĕ, lĭ/cet quam/vīs ex / ūn&...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes
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Can anyone explain what I did wrong scanning this line of Argonautica?

Your scansion is entirely correct! There's just a misinterpretation of the answer. In this shorthand, "S" means a spondee (long-long) and "D" means a dactyl (long-short-short). So &...
Draconis's user avatar
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8 votes
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What are the ways in which Greek print might indicate diaeresis?

One option, as you say, is putting a diacritic on the first vowel. Since diacritics are always put on the second vowel of a diphthong, and breathings are always put on the first vowel of a word, αἰ ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes

Vergil Book XII, Line 756 | Meter Question

First, let us check all vowel lengths: tŭm vērō ĕxŏrĭtŭr clāmŏr rīpaequĕ lăcūsquĕ A syllable with a short vowel ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
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"exoritur" in Ennius' dactylic hexameter

My source for this answer is A. Ernout, Morphologie historique du latin, Paris 1974. 1. orĭtur/orītur Verbs in -iō (originated by a well-known indo-european -ye/o- suffix attached directly to the ...
Dario'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

Scanning a sotadean verse in Petronius

The reason you weren't able to scan it has to do with using the wrong feet. Feet are the basic building blocks of a metrical line, and it looks like you're trying to scan it using both iambic (u –) ...
Unbrutal_Russian'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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7 votes
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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
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Short vowels in lucubrando

I don't know any reason why the first vowel of "lucubrando" would be short; I'd guess it might be an error. However, I was able to find some references that describe final o as often being treated as ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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6 votes

Material for learning new poetic meters

It takes a long time to master Latin poetry, and a lot of practice in reading before you can attempt to write it. The metrical schemes are not hard to follow, but declaiming the poems as the classical ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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6 votes
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Fifth spondee in Aeneis I.690

The name Ĭūlus is trisyllabic. It's listed as such in dictionaries, e.g. L&S, and there's ample metrical evidence for this, though much of it is indirect. A search for forms of Iūlus in the ...
TKR's user avatar
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6 votes

Does scansion ever require synizesis of two similar vowels?

The word "sŭŭs" is always counted as a sequence of two distinct vowels in latin hexameter, as you can see, for example, in Verg. georg. 4,190: In noctem, fessosque sopōr sŭŭs ōccŭpăt artus in Ov. ...
qwertxyz's user avatar
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6 votes
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Does scansion ever require synizesis of two similar vowels?

Here's an example from Lucan's Bellum civile (8.321) where īt is used and ĭĭt would break the meter: nomen abit aut unde redi maiore triumpho? (8.321) The form abiit would produce three short ...
cnread's user avatar
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6 votes
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How does "flavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella" scan?

The first option is correct. Together, they scan like so: –⏑⏑/––/–‖–/–⏑⏑/–⏑⏑/–– –⏑⏑/–⏑⏑/–‖–/––/–⏑⏑/–x And applying that to the lines themselves, they look like this when broken up into metrical feet. ...
cmw'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
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Syllabifying S into an onset?

The standard analysis of this phenomenon, which shows up in Early or Old Latin poets such as Lucilius and Plautus, is that word-final s was not resyllabified, but rather prone to elision when followed ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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6 votes
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Having trouble understanding the scansion for the second line of the Aeneid

This is a tricky one, when you're just starting out with scansion! You're right that Lāvīnia would normally be four syllables: Lā-vī-ni-a. However, there's a process in poetry known as synizesis (from ...
Draconis'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

Variation between syllabic and non-syllabic V: in what contexts is it possible?

An interesting discussion. Re aqua, it is a thorny problem. There are two (indirectly three) cases in Lucretius (and, save for an anonymous tragic line and an anonymous inscription, in Lucretius alone)...
DJB'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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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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More on the 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' citation

As a supplement to the above answer, here is a full transcription and translation of the dictionary entry: Haec honorificabilitas -tatis, et haec honorificabilitudinitas -tatis: Et haec est ...
brianpck's user avatar
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5 votes

Syllabification of "anhelo"

Partial answer. As you say, -nh- is quite a rare letter sequence within a word. The word's metrical behavior suggests the division a-nhe-lo The only perspective I can speak from confidently is a ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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