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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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&...
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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 &...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7 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. ...
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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 ...
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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 –) ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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

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)...
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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
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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5 votes

Why does οἱ make position?

The dative οἱ, like the other singular inflected forms of this pronoun (acc. ἑ, gen. οὑ), is thought to come not from the PIE demonstrative *so- but from the reflexive *swe, a PIE accusative form ...
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4 votes

More on the 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' citation

I think there is only one hexameter verse: Fulget hon/orifi/cabili/tudini/tatibus / iste. This contains a word even longer than the headword. It would not scan right without the addition of the ...
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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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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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3 votes

Vergil Book XII, Line 756 | Meter Question

The first vowel in vero is long, the second vowel of vero is elided away, and the first syllable of exoritur is long by position (because 'x' counts as two consonants since it's pronounced 'ks'). You ...
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