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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


624. Each logaœdic form contains a single dactyl,1 which may be either in the first, second, or third place. The verse may be catalectic or acatalectic:—

Note— The shorter Pherecratic (dipody) ([acutemacr]˘˘ | [acutemacr]˘), if catalectic, appears to be a simple Choriambus (¯˘˘ | ¯^); and, in general, the effect of the logaœdic forms is Choriambic. In fact, they were so regarded by the later Greek and Latin metricians, and these metres have obtained the general name of Choriambic. But they are not true choriambic, though they may very likely have been felt to be such by the composer, who imitated the forms without much thought of their origin. They may be read (scanned), therefore, on that principle. But it is better to read them as logaœdic measures; and that course is followed here.

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Different Greek poets adopted fixed types in regard to the place of the dactyl and so a large number of verses arose, each following a strict law, which were imitated by the Romans as distinct metres.