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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

MISCELLANEOUS

628. Other measures occur in various styles of poetry.

a. Anapæstic (§ 609. b. 2) verses of various lengths are found in dramatic poetry. The spondee, dactyl, or proceleusmatic may be substituted for the anapæst:—

    hĭc hŏmō´st | omnĭum hŏ´mĭ|num praé|cĭpŭō´s

    vŏlŭptā´|tĭbŭs gaú|diīsque án|tĕpŏtē´ns.

    ĭtă cóm|mŏdă quaé | cŭpĭō ē´|vĕnĭúnt,

    quŏd ăgō´ | sŭbĭt, ád|sĕcŭē´ | sĕquĭtŭ´r:

    ĭtă gaú|dium súp|pĕdĭtă´t.— Pl. Trin. 1115-1119.

b. Bacchiac (§ 609. d. 4) verses (five-timed) occur in the dramatic poets,— very rarely in Terence, more commonly in Plautus ,—either in verses of two feet (Dimeter) or of four (Tetrameter). They are treated very freely, as are all measures in early Latin. The long syllables may be resolved, or the molossus (three longs) substituted:—

    multā´s rēs | sĭmī´tū in | mĕó cor|dĕ vórsō,

    multum ín cō|gĭtándō | dŏlō´rem in|dĭpī´scŏr.

    ĕgŏmét mē | cōgō ét mā|cĕrō ét dē|fătī´gō;

    măgíster | mĭhi éxer|cĭtō´r ănĭ|mŭs núnc est.

    — Pl. Trin. 223 -226.

c. Cretic measures (§ 609. d. 1) occur in the same manner as the Bacchiac, with the same substitutions. The last foot is usually incomplete:—

    ă´mŏr ămī|cús mĭhī | nē´ fŭās | úmquăm.

    hī´s ĕgō | dē ártĭbus | grā´tĭam | fă´cĭō.

    nī´l ĕgo is|tō´s mŏror | faécĕōs | mō´rēs. — id. 267, 293, 297.

d. Saturnian Verse. In early Latin is found a rude form of verse, not borrowed from the Greek like the others, but as to the precise nature of which scholars are not agreed.1

  1. According to one view the verse is based on quantity, is composed of six feet, and is divided into two parts by a cæsura before the fourth thesis. Each thesis may consist of a long syllable or of two short ones, each arsis of a short syllable, a long syllable, or two short syllables; but the arsis , except at the beginning of the verse and before the cæsura, is often entirely suppressed, though rarely more than once in the same verse:—

      dăbúnt mălúm Mĕtéllī || Naévĭō´ pŏē´tae.

  2. According to another theory the Saturnian is made up, without regard to quantity, of alternating accented and unaccented syllables; but for any unaccented syllable two may be substituted, and regularly are so substituted in the second foot of the verse:—

      dábunt málum Metéllī || Naéviō´ poē´tae.

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Notes
1
The two principal theories only are given. There are numerous variations, particularly of the second theory here stated.