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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Other Iambic Measures

619. Other forms of Iambic verse are the following:—

a. The Iambic Tetrameter Catalectic ( Septēnārius ). This consists of seven and a half iambic feet, with diæresis after the fourth and with the same substitutions as in Iambic Trimeter:—

    nam idcírcō arcés|sor, nū´ptĭā´s || quod mī ádpărā´|rī sē´nsĭt.

    quĭbus quĭ´dĕm quam fă´cĭ|lĕ pŏ´tŭĕrát || quĭē´scī sī hī´c |quĭē´ssĕt!

    — Ter. And. 690, 691.

The metrical scheme of these two verses may be represented as follows:—

Its movement is like the following:—

    In góod king Chárles's gólden daýs, when lóyaltý no hárm meant.

    Vicar of Bray.

b. The Iambic Tetrameter Acatalectic (Octōnārius). This consists of right full iambic feet with the same substitutions as in Iambic Trimeter. Like the Septenarius it is used in lively dialogue:—

    dīcă´t ĕam dă´rĕ | nōs Phórmĭō´||| nū´ptum nē´ | suscē´nsĕă´t;

    et mă´gĭs esse íl|lum ĭdō´nĕúm, || quī ipsī´ sitfă´mĭ|lĭā´rĭō´r.

    — Ter. Ph. 720, 721.

The metrical scheme of these two verses may be represented as follows:—

c. The Iambic Dimeter. This may be either acatalectic or catalectic.

  1. The Iambic Dimeter Acatalectic consists of four iambic feet. It is used in combination with some longer verse (see § 618. a).
  2. The Iambic Dimeter Catalectic consists of three and a half iambic feet. It is used only in choruses:—

      quōnám crŭén|tă Maénās,

      praecéps ămō´|rĕ saévō,

      răpĭtúr quŏd ím|pŏténtī

      făcĭnús părát | fŭrō´rĕ?— Sen. Med. 850-853.

Note— Owing to the fact that in modern music each measure begins with a downward beat, some scholars regard all these forms of Iambic verse as Trochaic verse with anacrusis (§ 618 . c. N.).

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