Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and CollegesMachine readable text

Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges
Edited by: J. B. Greenough
G. L. Kittredge
A. A. Howard
Benj. L. D'Ooge

Perseus Documents Collection Table of Contents

   The Four Conjugations
   Forms of Conjugation



Funded by The Annenberg CPB/Project

  [p. 401]




The poetry of the Indo-European people seems originally to have been somewhat like our own, depending on accent for its metre and disregarding the natural quantity of syllables. The Greeks, however, developed a form of poetry which, like music, pays close attention to the natural quantity of syllables; and the Romans borrowed their metrical forms in classical times from the Greeks. Hence Latin poetry does not depend, like ours, upon accent and rhyme; but is measured, like musical strains, by the length of syllables. Especially does it differ from our verse in not regarding the prose accent of the words, but substituting for that an entirely different system of metrical accent or ictus (see 611. a). This depends upon the character of the measure used, falling at regular intervals of time on a long syllable or its equivalent. Each syllable is counted as either long or short in Quantity; and a long syllable is generally reckoned equal in length to two short ones (for exceptions, see 608. c-e).

The quantity of radical (or stem) syllablesas of short a in pter or of long a in mtercan be learned only by observation and practice, unless determined by the general rules of quantity. Most of these rules are only arbitrary formulas devised to assist the memory; the syllables being long or short because the ancients pronounced them so. The actual practice of the Romans in regard to the quantity of syllables is ascertained chiefly from the usage of the poets; but the ancient grammarians give some assistance, and in some inscriptions long vowels are distinguished in various ways, by the apex, for instance, or by doubling ( 10. e. N.).

Since Roman poets borrow very largely from the poetry and mythology of the Greeks, numerous Greek words, especially proper names, make an important part of Latin poetry. These words are generally employed in accordance with the Greek, and not the Latin, laws of quantity. Where these laws vary in any important point, the variations will be noticed in the rules below.


The following are General Rules of Quantity (cf. 9-11):

Quantity of Vowels

Vowels. A vowel before another vowel or h is short: as, va, trh.

Exceptions.1. In the genitive form -ius, is long: as, utrus, nllus. It is, however, sometimes short in verse ( 113. c).

2. In the genitive and dative singular of the fifth declension, e is long between two vowels: as, di; otherwise usually short, as in fid, r, sp.

NOTE.It was once long in these also: as, plnus fid (Ennius, at the end of a hexameter). A is also long before in the old genitive of the first declension: as, aul.

3. In the conjugation of f, i is long except when followed by er. Thus, f, fbam, fam, but fer, ferem; so also ft ( 606. a. 3).

4. In many Greek words the vowel in Latin represents a long vowel or diphthong, and retains its original long quantity: as, Tres (Τρῶες), Thala (Θαλεῖα). hras (ἥρωας), r (ἄηρ). [p. 402]

NOTE.But many Greek words are more or less Latinized in this respect: as, Acadma, chora, Mala, plata.

5. In dus, in heu usually, and sometimes in Dna and he, the first vowel is long.

Diphthongs. A Diphthong is long: as, foedus, cui, 266 aula.

Exception.The preposition prae in compounds is generally shortened before a vowel: as, pra-usts (Aen. 7.524), pra-eunte (id. 5.186).

NOTE.U following q, s, or g, does not make a diphthong with a following vowel (see 5. N. 2). For -i, m-ior, p-ior, etc., see 11. d and N.

Contraction. A vowel formed by contraction (crasis) is long: as, nl, from nihil; cg for co-ag; ml for m-vol.

NOTE.Two vowels of different syllables may be run together without full contraction (synizsis, 642): as, deinde (for deinde), mes (for mes); and often two syllables are united by Synresis ( 642) without contraction: as when prtbs is pronounced parytbus.

A vowel before ns, nf, gn, is long: as, nst, nfns, sgnum.

Quantity of Syllables

A syllable is long if it contains a long vowel or a diphthong: as, c-rus, -men, foe-dus.

Position. A syllable is long by position if its vowel, though short, is followed by two consonants or a double consonant: as, adventus, cortex.

But if the two consonants are a mute followed by 1 or r the syllable may be either long or short (common); as, alacris or alcris; patris or ptris.

Vowels should be pronounced long or short in accordance with their natural quantity without regard to the length of the syllable by position.

NOTE 1.The rules of Position do not, in general, apply to final vowels before a word beginning with two consonants.

NOTE 2.A syllable is long if its vowel is followed by consonant i (except in biugis, quadriugis): see 11. d.

NOTE 3.Compounds of iaci, though written with one i, commonly retain the long vowel of the prepositions with which they are compounded, as if before a consonant, and, if the vowel of the preposition is short, the first syllable is long by position on the principle of 11. e.
obicis host (at the end of a hexameter, Aen. 4.549).
inicit et salt (at the beginning of a hexameter, Aen. 9.552).
price tla man (at the beginning of a hexameter, Aen. 6.836).

Later poets sometimes shorten the preposition in trisyllabic forms, and prepositions ending in a vowel are sometimes contracted as if the verb began with a vowel.
(1) cr anns bcis (Claud. iv C. H. 264).
(2) rec cpells (Ecl. 3.96, at end).

NOTE 4.The y or w sound resulting from synresis ( 642) has the effect of a consonant in making position: as, abietis (abyetis), fluvirum (fluvyrum). Conversely. when the semivowel becomes a vowel, position is lost: as, slae, for silvae. [p. 403]


The Quantity of Final Syllables is as follows:

Monosyllables ending in a vowel are long: as, m, t, h, n.

1. The attached particles -n, -qu, -v, -c, -pt, and r- (rd-) are short; s- (sd-) and d- are long. Thus, scdit, sditi, exercitumqu rdcit, dmitt. But re- is often long in rligi (relligi), rtul (rettul), rpul (reppul).

Nouns and adjectives of one syllable are long: as, sl, s (ris), bs, pr, vs (vsis), vr, vs., fl, lc, ml, s (ossis), vs (vdis), vr, tt, qut.

Most monosyllabic Particles are short: as, n, n, cs, nc. But crs, cr, n, nn, qun, snwith adverbs in c: as, hc, hc, scare long.

Final a in words declined by cases is short, except in the ablative sin gular of the first declension; in all other words final a is long. Thus, e stell (nominative), cum e stell (ablative); frstr, voc (imperative), poste, trgint.

Exceptions.i, it, qui, put (suppose); and, in late use, trgint etc.

Final e is short: as in nb, dcit, saep.

Exceptions.Final e is long1. In adverbs formed from adjectives of the first and second declension, with others of like form: as, alt, long, miser, apert, saepissim. So fer, ferm.

But it is short in ben, mal; nfern, supern.

2. In nouns of the fifth declension: as, fid (also fam), faci, hodi, qur (qu r).

3. In Greek neuters plural of the second declension: as, ct; and in some other Greek words: Phoeb, Circ, Andromach, etc.

4. In the imperative singular of the second conjugation: as, vid.

But sometimes cav, hab, tac, val, vid (cf. 629. b. 1).

Final i is long: as in turr, fl, aud.

Exceptions.Final i is common in mihi, tibi, sibi, ibi, ubi; and short in nis, quas, scut, cu (when making two syllables), and in Greek vocatives: as, Alex.

Final o is common: but long in datives and ablatives; also in nouns of the third declension. It is almost invariably long in verbs before the time of Ovid.

Exceptions.cit, mod (dummod), imm, profect, eg, du, ced (the imperative); so sometimes oct, lic, etc., particularly in later writers.

Final u is long. Final y is short

Final as, es, os, are long; final is, as, ys, are short: as, nefs, rps, servs (accusative), hons; hosts, amcs, Teths. [p. 404]

Exceptions.1. as is short in Greek plural accusatives: as, lampads; and in ans.

2. es is short in the nominative of nouns of the third declension (lingual) having a short vowel in the stem 267 : as, mls (-tis), obss (-dis),except abis,aris, paris, ps; in the present of esse (s, ads); in the preposition pens, and in the plural of Greek nouns: as, hrs, lampads.

3. os is short in comps, imps; in the Greek nominative ending: as, barbits; in the old nominative of the second declension: as, servs (later servus).

4. is in plural cases is long: as in bons, nbs, vbs, omns (accusative plural).

5. is is long in the verb forms fs, ss, vs (with quvs etc.), vels, mls, nls, eds; in the second person singular of the present indicative active in the fourth conjugation: as, auds; and sometimes in the forms in -eris (future perfect indicative or perfect subjunctive).

6. us is long in the genitive singular and nominative, accusative, and vocative plural of the fourth declension; and in nouns of the third declension having (long) in the stem: as, virts (-tis), incs (-dis). But pecs, -dis.

Of other final syllables, those ending in a single consonant are short Thus, amt, amtr; dnc, fc, procl, iubr.

Exceptions.hc (also hc); allc; the ablatives illc, etc.; certain adverbs in -c: as, illc, istc; lin, and some Greek nouns: as, r, aethr, crtr.

Perfects and Perfect Participles

Perfects and Perfect Participles of two syllables have the first syllable long: as, iv, itum (iv), vd, vsum (vde); fg (fgi); vn (vni)., dd, fd, scd, stt, stt, tl; ctum, dtum,tum, ltum, qutum, rtum, rtum, stum, stum, sttum. In some compounds of st, sttum is found (long), as praesttum.

In reduplicated perfects the vowel of the reduplication is short; the vowel of the following syllable is, also, usually short: as, ccd (cd), ddc (disc), ppg (pung), ccrr (curr), ttnd (tend),mmrd (morde). But ccd from caed, pepd from pd.


Rules for the Quantity of Derivatives are:

Forms from the same stem have the same quantity: as, m, mvist; gnus, gneris.

Exceptions.1. bs, lr, ms, pr, ps, sl,also arbs,have a long vowel in the nominative, though the stem-vowel is short (cf. genitive bvis etc.). [p. 405]

2. Nouns in -or, genitive -ris, have the vowel shortened before the final r: as, honr. (But this shortening is comparatively late, so that in early Latin these nominatives are often found long.)

3. Verb-forms with vowel originally long regularly shorten it before final m, r, or t: as, amm, amr, dcerr, amt (compare ammus), dcert, audt, ft.

NOTE.The final syllable in t of the perfect was long in old Latin, but is short in the classic period.

4. A few long stem-syllables are shortened: as, cer, cerbus. So d-ir and p-ir, weakened from ir.

Forms from the same root often show inherited variations of vowel quantity (see 17): as, dc (cf. maledcus); dc (dx, dcis); fd (perfdus) vx, vcis (vc); lx, lgis (lg).

Compounds retain the quantity of the words which compose them as, oc-cd (cd), oc-cd (caed), in-quus (aequus).

NOTE.Greek words compounded with πρό have o short: as, prphta, prlgus. Some Latin compounds of pr have o short: as, prficscor, prfiteor. Compounds with ne vary: as, nfs, ng, nque, nquam.



The essence of Rhythm in poetry is the regular recurrence of syllables pronounced with more stress than those intervening. To produce this effect in its perfection, precisely equal times should occur between the recurrences of the stress. But, in the application of rhythm to words, the exactness of these intervals is sacrificed somewhat to the necessary length of the words; and, on the other hand, the words are forced somewhat in their pronunciation, to produce more nearly the proper intervals of time. In different languages these adaptations take place in different degrees; one language disregarding more the intervals of time, another the pronunciation of the words.

The Greek language early developed a very strict rhythmical form of poetry, in which the intervals of time were all-important. The earliest Latin, on the other hand, as in the Saturnian and Fescennine verse,was not so restricted. But the purely metrical forms were afterwards adopted from the Greek, and supplanted the native forms of verse. Thus the Latin poetry with which we have to do follows for the most part Greek rules, which require the formal division of words (like music) into measures of equal times, technically called Feet. The strict rhythm was doubtless more closely followed in poetry that was sung than in that which was declaimed or intoned. In neither language, however, is the time perfectly preserved, even in single measures: and there are some cases in which the regularity of the time between the ictuses is disturbed.

The Greeks and Romans distinguished syllables of two kinds in regard to the time required for their pronunciation, a long syllable having twice the metrical value of a short one. But it must not be supposed that all long syllables were of equal length, or even that in a given passage each long had just twice the length of the contiguous shorts. The ratio was only approximate at best, though necessarily more exact in singing than in recitation. Nor are longs and shorts the only forms of syllables that are found. In some cases a long syllable was protracted, so as to have the time of three or even of four shorts, and often one long or two shorts were pronounced in less than their proper time, though they were perhaps distinguishable in time from one [p. 406]

short (see 608. c, d). Sometimes a syllable naturally short seems to have been slightly prolonged, so as to represent a long, though in most (not all) cases the apparent irregularity can be otherwise explained. In a few cases, also, a pause takes the place of one or more syllables to fill out the required length of the measure. This could, of course, take place only at the end of a word: hence the importance of Csura and Diresis in prosody ( 611. b, c).


Rhythm consists of the division of musical sound into equal intervals of time called Measures or Feet.

The most natural division of musical time is into measures consisting of either two or three equal parts. But the ancients also distinguished measures of five equal parts.

NOTE.The divisions of musical time are marked by a stress of voice on one or the other part of the measure. This stress is called the Ictus (beat), or metrical accent (see 611. a).

The unit of length in Prosody is one short syllable. This is called a Mora. It is represented by the sign , or in musical notation by the eighth note or quaver ([figure in text]).

A long syllable is regularly equal to two mor, and is represented by the sign , or by the quarter note or crotchet ([figure in text]).

A long syllable may be protracted, so as to occupy the time of three or four mor. Such a syllable, if equal to three mor, is represented by the sign [figure in text] (or dotted quarter [figure in text]); if equal to four, by [figure in text] (or the half note or minim, [figure in text]).

A long syllable may be contracted, so as to take practically the time of a short one. Such a syllable is sometimes represented by the sign >.

A short syllable may be contracted so as to occupy less than one mora.

A pause sometimes occurs at the end of a verse or a series of verses, to fill up the time. A pause of one mora in a measure is indicated by the sign ; one of two mor by the sign .

One or more syllables are sometimes placed before the proper beginning of the measure. Such syllables are called an Anacrsis or prelude. 268

The anacrusis is regularly equal to the unaccented part of the measure. [p. 407]

The feet most frequently employed in Latin verse, to gether with their musical notation, are the following:


1. Trochee ([figure in text]): as, rgs.

2. Iambus ([figure in text]): as, dcs.

3. Tribrach 270 ([figure in text]): as, hmns.


1. Dactyl ([figure in text]): as, cnsls.

2. Anapst ([figure in text]): as, mnts.

3. Spondee ([figure in text]): as, rgs.


1. Ionic mire ([figure in text]): as, cnfcrt.

2. Ionic minre ([figure in text]): as, rtlissent.

3. Choriambus ([figure in text]): as, contlrant.


1. Cretic ([figure in text]): as, cnsls.

2. Pon prmus ([figure in text]): as, cnslbs.

3. Pon qurtus ([figure in text]): as, tnr.

4. Bacchus ([figure in text]): as, mcs. [p. 408]

NOTE.Several compound feet are mentioned by the grammarians, viz. Pyrrhic ( ); Amphibrach ( ); Antibacchus ( ); Proceleusmatic ( ); the Molossus ( ); the 2d and 3d Pon, having a long syllable in the 2d or 3d place, with three short ones; 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th Epitrtus, having a short syllable in the 1st, 2d, 3d, or 4th place, with three long ones.

Irrational Feet

Feet with these apparent quantities do not always occupy equal time, but may be contracted or prolonged to suit the series in which they occur. They are then called irrational, because the thesis and arsis do not have their normal ratio. 272 Such are:

Irrational Spondee: (in place of a Trochee) > (in place of an Iambus) > [figure in text]

Cyclic Dactyl (in place of a Trochee): [figure in text]

Cyclic Anapst (in place of an Iambus): [figure in text]

The apparent dactyl > , as a substitute for an iambus, and the apparent anapst >, as a substitute for a trochee, occur frequently in the dramatic writers.

NOTE.Narrative poetry was written for rhythmical recitation, or chant, with instrumental accompaniment; and Lyrical poetry for rhythmical melody, or singing. It must be borne in mind that in ancient musicwhich in this differs widely from modernthe rhythm of the melody was identical with the rhythm of the text. The lyric poetry was to be sung; the poet was musician and composer, as well as author. To this day a poet is said conventionally to sing.

Thus a correct understanding of the rhythmical structure of the verse gives us the time, though not the tune, to which it was actually sung. The exact time, however, as indicated by the succession of long and short syllables, was varied according to certain laws of so-called Rhythmic, as will be explained below. In reading ancient verse it is necessary to bear in mind not only the variations in the relative length of syllables, but the occasional pause necessary to fill out the measure; and to remember that the rhythmical accent is the only one of importance, though the words should be distinguished carefully, and the sense preserved. Poetry should not be scanned, but read metrically. [p. 409]


In many cases measures of the same time may be substituted for each other, a long syllable taking the place of two short ones, or two short syllables the place of a long one.

In the former case the measure is said to be contracted; in the latter, to be resolved:

A Spondee ( ) may take the place of a Dactyl ( ) or an Anapst ( ); and a Tribrach ( ) may take the place of a Trochee ( ) or an Iambus ( ). The optional substitution of one long syllable for two short ones is represented by the sign .

When a long syllable having the Ictus ( 611. a) is resolved, the ictus properly belongs to both the resulting short syllables; but for convenience the mark of accent is placed on the first:

nnc exprar stne ct tb cr crein pctr.Pl. Bac. 405.[figure in text]

The Musical Accent

That part of the measure which receives the stress of voice (the musical accent) is called the Thesis; the unaccented part is called the Arsis. 273

The stress of voice laid upon the Thesis is called the Ictus (beat). It is marked thus: .

The ending of a word within a measure is called Csura. When this coincides with a rhetorical pause, it is called the Csura of the verse, and is of main importance as affecting the melody or rhythm.

The coincidence of the end of a word with that of a measure is called Diresis. [p. 410]



A single line of poetrythat is, a series of feet set in a recognized orderis called a Verse. 274

NOTE.Most of the common verses originally consisted of two series (hemistichs), but the joint between them is often obscured. It is marked in Iambic and Trochaie Tetrameter by the Diresis, in Dactylic Hexameter by the Csura.

A verse lacking a syllable at the end is called Catalectic, that is, having a pause to fill the measure; when the end syllable is not lacking, the verse is called Acatalectic, and has no such pause.

A final syllable, regularly short, is sometimes lengthened before a pause: 275 it is then said to be long by Diastole:
nostrrum obruimur,oriturque miserrima caeds.Aen. 2.411.

The last syllable of any verse may be indifferently long or short (syllaba anceps).

Scansion and Elision

To divide the verse into its appropriate measures, according to the rules of quantity and versification, is called scanning or scansion (scnsi, a climbing or advance by steps, from scand).

NOTE.In reading verse rhythmically, care should be taken to preserve the measure or time of the syllables, but at the same time not to destroy or confuse the words themselves, as is often done m scanning.

In scanning, a vowel or diphthong at the end of a word (unless an interjection) is partially suppressed when the next word begins with a vowel or with h. This is called Elision (bruising). 276

In reading it is usual entirely to suppress elided syllables. Strictly, however, they should be sounded lightly.

In early Latin poetry a final syllable ending in s often loses this letter even before a consonant (cf. 15.7):
seni cnfectus quiscit.Enn. (Cat. M. 14). [p. 411]

NOTE.Elision is sometimes called by the Greek name Synalpha (smearing). Rarely a syllable is elided at the end of a verse when the next verse begins with a vowel: this is called Synapheia (binding).

A final m, with the preceding vowel, is suppressed in like manner when the next word begins with a vowel or h: this is called Ecthlipsis (squeezing out):
mnstrum horrendum, nforme, ingns, cui lmen admptum.
Aen. 3.658.

NOTE 1.Final m has a feeble nasal sound, so that its partial suppression before the initial vowel of the following word was easy.

NOTE 2.The monosyllables d, dem, sp, spem, sim, st, stem, qu (plural), and monosyllabic interjections are never elided; nor is an iambic word elided in dactylic verse. Elision is often evaded by skilful collocation of words.

Elision is sometimes omitted when a word ending in a vowel has a special emphasis, or is succeeded by a pause. This omission is called Hiatus (gaping).

NOTE.The final vowel is sometimes shortened in such cases.



A verse receives its name from its dominant or fundamental foot: as, Dactylic, Iambic, Trochaic, Anapstic; and from the number of measures (single or double) which it contains: as, Hexameter, Tetrameter, Trimeter, Dimeter.

NOTE.Trochaic, Iambic, and Anapstic verses are measured not by single feet, but by pairs (dipodia), so that six Iambi make a Trimeter.


A Stanza, or Strophe, consists of a definite number of verses ranged in a fixed order.

Many stanzas are named after some eminent poet: as, Sapphic (from Sappho), Alcaic (from Alcus), Archilochian (from Archilochus), Horatian (from Horace), and so on.


Dactylic Hexameter

The Dactylic Hexameter, or Heroic Verse, consists theoretically of six dactyls. It may be represented thus:[figure in text] [p. 412]

NOTE.The last foot is usually said to be a spondee, but is in reality a trochee standing for a dactyl, since the final syllable is not measured.

For any foot, except the fifth, a spondee may be substituted.

Rarely a spondee is found in the fifth foot; the verse is then called spondaic and usually ends with a word of four syllables.

Thus in Ecl. 4.49the verse ends with incrmentum.

The hexameter has regularly one principal csurasometimes two almost always accompanied by a pause in the sense.

1. The principal csura is usually after the thesis (less commonly in the arsis) of the third foot, dividing the verse into two parts in sense and rhythm. See examples in d.

2. It may also be after the thesis (less commonly in the arsis) of the fourth foot. In this case there is often another csura in the second foot, so that the verse is divided into three parts:
prt frx rdnsque cls et sbl cll.Aen. 5.277.

NOTE.Often the only indication of the principal among a number of csuras is the break in the sense.

A csura occurring after the first syllable of a foot is called masculine. A csura occurring after the second syllable of a foot is called feminine (as in the fifth foot of the third and fourth verses in d). A csura may also be found in any foot of the verse, but a proper csural pause could hardly occur in the first or sixth.

When the fourth foot ends a word, the break (properly a diresis) is sometimes improperly called bucolic csura, from its frequency in pastoral poetry.

The first seven verses of the neid, divided according to the foregoing rules, will appear as follows. The principal csura in each verse is marked by double lines:
Arm vrumqu cn Triae qu prms b rs
tlam ft prfgus Lvniqu vnt
ltr, multum ille et terrs iactts t alt
v sprum saevae mmrem Inns b rm;
mult quque et bell passus dum condrt urbm,
nferretqu ds Lt, gns und Ltnum,
Albnqu ptrs, atque altae moen Rmae.

1. The feminine csura is seen in the following:

Ds gnt ptr: tnent mda omn silvae.Aen. 6.131.

NOTE.The Hexameter is thus illustrated in English verse:
Over the sea, past Crete, on the Syrian shore to the southward,
Dwells in the well-tilled lowland a dark-haired thiop people,
Skilful with needle and loom, and the arts of the dyer and carver,
Skilful, but feeble of heart; for they know not the lords of Olympus,
Lovers of men; neither broad-browed Zeus, nor Pallas Athen,
Teacher of wisdom to heroes, bestower of might in the battle;
Share not the cunning of Hermes, nor list to the songs of Apollo,
Fearing the stars of the sky, and the roll of the blue salt water.
Kingsley's Andromeda. [p. 413]

Elegiac Stanza

The Elegiac Stanza consists of two verses,a Hexameter followed by a Pentameter. 277

The Pentameter verse is the same as the Hexameter, except that it omits the last half of the third foot and of the sixth foot:[figure in text]

The Pentameter verse is therefore to be scanned as two half-verses, the second of which always consists of two dactyls followed by a single syllable.

The Pentameter has no regular Csura; but the first half-verse must always end with a word (diresis, 611. c), which is followed by a pause to complete the measure. 278

The following verses will illustrate the forms of the Elegiac Stanza:
cum sbt illus trstissm nocts mg qu mn suprmum temps n urb ft,
cum rpt noctem qu tot mh cr rlqu, lbtr ex cls nunc ququ gutt ms.
iam prp lx drat qu m discdr Caesar fnbs extrmae iussrt Ausnae.
Ov. Trist. 1.3.

NOTE.The Elegiac Stanza differs widely in character from hexameter verse (of which it is a mere modification) by its division into Distichs, each of which must have its own sense complete. It is employed in a great variety of compositions,epistolary, amatory, and mournful,and was especially a favorite of the poet Ovid. It has been illustrated in English verse, imitated from the German:
In the Hexameter rises the fountain's silvery column;
In the Pentameter aye falling in melody back.

Other Dactylic Verses

Other dactylic verses or half-verses are occasionally used by the lyric poets. [p. 414]

The Dactylic Tetrameter alternates with the hexameter, forming the Alcmanian Strophe, as follows:
forts pirqu pass
mcum saep vr, nunc vn pellt crs;
crs ingns trbms aequr.
Hor. Od. 1.7(so 28; Ep. 12).

The Dactylic Penthemim (five half-feet) consists of half a pentameter verse. It is used in combination with the Hexameter to form the First Archilochian Strophe:
diffgr nvs, rdunt iam grmn camps,
arbrbusqu cmae;
mtat terr vcs et dcrscent rps
flmn praetrunt.Hor. Od. 4.7.

For the Fourth Archilochian Strophe (Archilochian heptameter, alternating with iambic trimeter catalectic), see 626. 11.


Iambic Trimeter

The Iambic Trimeter is the ordinary verse of dramatic dialogue. It consists of three measures, each containing a double Iambus (iambic dipody). The csura is usually in the third foot.[figure in text]

NOTE.The sign denotes possible substitution of an irrational spondee (>) for an iambus ().

The Iambic Trimeter is often used in lyric poetry (1) as an independent system, or (2) alternating with the Dimeter to form the Iambic Strophe, as follows:
(1) iam iam ffcc d mns scnta
supplx t r rgn pr Prsrpna,
pr t Dnae nn mvnd nmn,
pr tqu lbrs crmnm vlntm
dfx cal dvcr sdr,
Cndi, prc vcbs tandm scrs,
ctmqu rtr rtr slv trbnm.Hor. Epod. 17.

The last two lines may be thus translated, to show the movement in English:
Oh! stay, Canidia, stay thy rites of sorcery,
Thy charm unbinding backward let thy swift wheel fly! [p. 415]
(2) bts ll qu prcl ngts,
ut prsc gns mortlm,
ptrn rr bbs xerct ss,
slts mn fnr;
nque xcttur clssc mls trc,
nque hrrt rtm mr.Hor. Epod. 2.

In the stricter form of Iambic Trimeter an irrational spondee (> ) or its equivalent (a cyclic anapst or an apparent dactyl > 609. e) may be regularly substituted for the first iambus of any dipody A tribrach ( ) may stand for an iambus anywhere except in the last place. In the comic poets any of these forms or the proceleusmatic ( ) may be substituted in any foot except the last: 279
lcs lm rctr t cael dcs!
qu altrn crr spt flmmfr mbns,
illstr lats xsrs terrs cpt.
Sen. Herc. Fur. 592-94.
quid quars? nns sxgnt nts s.
Ter. Haut. 62.
hm sum: hmn nl m lnm pt.
vel m mnre hc vl percntr pt.
id. 77, 78.

The Choliambic (lame Iambic) substitutes a trochee for the last iambus:[figure in text]
aequ st bts c pm cm scrbt:
tam gadt n s, tmqu s ps mrtr.
Catul. 23.15, 16.

NOTE.The verse may also be regarded as trochaic with anacrusis: as,[figure in text]

The Iambic Trimeter Catalectic is represented as follows:[figure in text]

It is used in combination with other measures (see 626. 11), and is shown in the following:
Vulcns rdns rt ffcns.Hor. Od. 1.4.

or in English:
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending.Scott. [p. 416]

Other Iambic Measures

Other forms of Iambic verse are the following:

The Iambic Tetrameter Catalectic (Septnrius). This consists of seven and a half iambic feet, with diresis after the fourth and with the same substitutions as in Iambic Trimeter:
nam idcrc arcssor, npts quod m dprr snst.
qubus qudm quam fcl ptrt qusc s hc qusst !
Ter. And. 690, 691.

The metrical scheme of these two verses may be represented as follows:[figure in text]

Its movement is like the following:

In god king Chrles's glden das, when lyalt no hrm meant.
Vicar of Bray.

The Iambic Tetrameter Acatalectic (Octnrius). This consists of right full iambic feet with the same substitutions as in Iambic Trimeter. Like the Septenarius it is used in lively dialogue:
dct am dr ns Phrmn nptum n suscnst;
et mgs esse llum dnm, qu ips sitfmlrr.
Ter. Ph. 720, 721.

The metrical scheme of these two verses may be represented as follows:[figure in text]

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:
qunm crnt Mans,
praecps mr sav,
rptr qud mptnt
fcns prt frr?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.). [p. 417]


The most common form of Trochaic verse is the Tetrameter Catalectic (Septnrius), consisting of four dipodies, the last of which lacks a syllable. There is regularly diresis after the fourth foot:[figure in text]

In musical notation:[figure in text] d t advn, spm, sltem, conslum, axlum xptns.
Ter. And. 319.

In English verse:

Tll me nt in mornful nmbers lfe is bt an mpty drem.

In the stricter form of the Septenarius substitutions are allowed only in the even feet, but in comedy the tribrach , or an irrational spondee >, cyclic dactyl , or apparent anapst >, may be substituted for any of the first six feet; a tribrach for the seventh:
<*>tdem hbt ptsum c vesttum: tmcnsmlist tque g.
sr, ps, sttr, tnss, cl, nsum, vl lbr,
mlae, mntum, brb, cllus; ttus! qud verbs pst?
s tergm cctrcsum, nihl hc smlist smls.
Pl. Am. 443-446.

The metrical scheme of these four verses is as follows:[figure in text]

The Trochaic Tetrameter Acatalectic (Octnrius), consisting of four complete dipodies, occurs in the lyrical parts of comedy.

Substitutions as in the Septenarius are allowed except in the last foot.

Some other forms of trochaic verse are found in the lyric poets, in eombination with other feet, either as whole lines or parts of lines:
nn br nque arm. [Dimeter Catalectic.]
m rndt n dm lcnr. [Iambic Trimeter Catalectic.]
Hor Od. 2.18.[p. 418]


Different measures may be combined in the same verse in two different ways. Either (1) a series of one kind is simply joined to a series of another kind (compare the changes of rhythm not uncommon in modern music); or (2) single feet of other measures are combined with the prevailing measures, in which case these odd feet are adapted by changing their quantity so that they become irrational (see 609.e).

When enough measures of one kind occur to form a series, we may suppose a change of rhythm; when they are isolated, we must suppose adaptation. Of the indefinite number of possible combinations but few are found in Latin poetry.

The following verses, combining different rhythmical series, are found in Latin lyrical poetry:

1. Greater Archilochian (Dactylic Tetrameter; Trochaic Tripody):[figure in text] slvtr crs hms grt vc vrs tFvn.Hor. Od. 1.4.

NOTE.It is possible that the dactyls were cyclic; but the change of measure seems more probable.

2. Verse consisting of Dactylic Trimeter catalectic (Dactylic Penthemim); Iambic Dimeter:[figure in text] scrbr vrscls mr prculsm grv.Hor. Epod. 11.2.


Trochaic verses, containing in regular prescribed positions irrational measures or irrational feet (cf. 609. e), are called Logadic. The principal logadic forms are

1. Logadic Tetrapody (four feet): GLYCONIC.

2. Logadic Tripody (three feet): PHERECRATIC (often treated as a syncopated Tetrapody Catalectic).

3. Logadic Dipody (two feet): this may be regarded as a short Pherecratic.

NOTE.This mixture of irrational measures gives an effect approaching that of prose: hence the name Logadic (λόγος, ἀοιδή). These measures originated in the Greek lyric poetry, and were adopted by the Romans. All the Roman lyric metres not belonging to the regular iambic, trochaic, dactylic, or Ionic systems, were constructed on the basis of the three forms given above: viz., Logadic systems consisting respectively of four, three, and two feet. The so-called Logadic Pentapody consists of five feet but is to be regarded as composed of two of the others. [p. 419]

Each logadic form contains a single dactyl, 280 which may be either in the first, second, or third place. The verse may be catalectic or acatalectic:

Glyconic Pherecratic [figure in text]

NOTE.The shorter Pherecratic (dipody) ( ), if catalectic, appears t<*> be a simple Choriambus ( ); and, in general, the effect of the logadi<*> 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 logadic measures; and that course is followed here.

The verses constructed upon the several Logadic form or models are the following:

1. Glyconic (Second Glyconic, catalectic):[figure in text] Rmae prncps rbm.

In English:
Frms more ral than lving mn.Shelley.

NOTE.In this and most of the succeeding forms the foot preceding the dactyl is always irrational in Horace, consisting of an irrational spondee (>).

2. Aristophanic (First Pherecratic):[figure in text] tmprt r frns.Hor. Od. 1.8.

NOTE.It is very likely that this was made equal in time to the preceding <*> protracting the last two syllables:[figure in text] [p. 420]

3. Adonic (First Pherecratic, shortened):[figure in text] Trrt rbm.Hor.

Or perhaps:[figure in text]

4. Pherecratic (Second Pherecratic):[figure in text] crs dnbrs had.Hor.

Often scanned as follows:[figure in text]

5. Lesser Asclepiadic (Second Pherecratic with syncope and First Pherecratic catalectic):[figure in text] Macns tvs dt rgbs.Hor.

6. Greater Asclepiadic (the same as 5, with a syncopated Logadic Dipody interposed):[figure in text] t n quasrsscr nfsqum mh, qum tb.Hor.

7. Lesser Sapphic (Logadic Pentapody, with dactyl in the third place):[figure in text] ntgr vta sclrsqu prs.Hor.

Or in English:
Brlliant hpes, all wven in grgeous tsses.Longfellow.

8. Greater Sapphic (Third Glyconic; First Pherecratic):[figure in text] t ds r Sbrn cr prprs mnd.Hor.

9. Lesser Alcaic (Logadic Tetrapody, two irrational dactyls, two trochees):[figure in text] vrgnbs prsqu cnt.Hor. [p. 421]

10. Greater Alcaic (Logadic Pentapody, catalectic, with anacrusis, and dactyl in the third place,compare Lesser Sapphic):[figure in text] istum t tncem prpst vrm.Hor.

NOTE.Only the above logadic forms are employed by Horace.

11. Phalcean (Logadic Pentapody, with dactyl in the second place):[figure in text] quanam t ml mns, msll Ruid, git pracptem n ms mbs?Catull. xl.

In English:
Grgeous floerets n the snlight shning.Longfellow.

12. Glyconic Pherecratic (Second Glyconic with syncope, and Second Pherecratic):[figure in text] Cln qua cps pnt ldr lng.Catull. xvii.


The Odes of Horace include nineteen varieties of stanza. These are:

1. Alcaic, consisting of two Greater Alcaics (10), one Trochaic Dimeter with anacrusis, and one Lesser Alcaic (9) 281 :
istum t tencem prposit virm
nn cvium rdor prva iubntim,
nn vltus nstants tyrnn
mnte quatt solid, neque Aster.Od. 3.3.

(Found in Od. i. 9, 16, 17, 26, 27, 29, 31, 34, 35, 37; ii. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20; iii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 17, 21, 23, 26, 29; iv. 4, 9, 14, 15.)

NOTE.The Alcaic Strophe is named after the Greek poet Alcus of Lesbos, and was a special favorite with Horace, of whose Odes thirty-seven are in this form. It is sometimes called the Horatian Stanza.

2. Sapphic (minor), consisting of three Lesser Sapphics (7) and one Adonic (3):
im sats terrs nivis tque drae
grndins mst pater t rubnte
dxter sacrs iacultus rcs
trruit rbem.Od. 1.2.

(Found in Od. i. 2, 10, 12, 20, 22, 25, 30, 32, 38; ii. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 16; iii. 8, 11, 141820, 22, 27; iv. 2, 6, 11; Carm. Saec.) [p. 422]

NOTE.The Sapphic Stanza is named after the poetess Sappho of Lesbos, and was a great favorite with the ancients. It is used by Horace in twenty-five Odes more frequently than any other except the Alcaic.

3. Sapphic (major), consisting of one Aristophanic (2) and one Greater Sapphic (8):
Ldia dc, per mns
t des r, Sybarn cr propers amnd.Od. 1.8.

4. Asclepiadean I (minor), consisting of Lesser Asclepiadics (5):
xg monumntum are pernnis
rglque sit pramidum ltis.Od. 3.30.
(Found in Od. i. 1; 3.30; 4.8.)

5. Asclepiadean II, consisting of one Glyconic (1) and one Lesser Asclepiadic (5):
nvis qua tibi crditm
dbs Vrgilim, fnibus ttics
rdds ncolumm, precr,
t servs anima dmidim mea.Od. 1.3.
(Found in Od. i. 3, 13, 19, 36; iii. 9, 15, 19, 24, 25, 28; iv. i, 3.)

6. Asclepiadean III, consisting of three Lesser Asclepiadics (5) and one Glyconic (1):
qus dsderi st pudor at mods
tm cr capits? pracipe lgubrs
cnts, Mlpomen, cu liquidm patr
vcem cm cithar dedt.Od. 1.24.
(Found in Od. i. 6, 15, 24, 33; 2.12; 3.10, 16; iv. 5, 12.)

7. Asclepiadean IV, consisting of two Lesser Asclepiadics (5), one Pherecratic (4), and one Glyconic (1):
fns Bndusia splndidir vitr,
dlc dgne mer, nn sine flribs,
crs dnberis had
cu frns trgida crnibs.Od. 3.13.
(Found in Od. i. 5, 14, 21, 23; iii. 7, 13; 4.13.)

8. Asclepiadean V (major), consisting of Greater Asclepiadics (6):
t n quasiers, scre nefs! qum mihi, qum tib
fnem d dedernt, Lecono, nc Babylnis
tntrs numers.Od. 1.11.
(Found in Od. 1.11, 18; 4.10.)

9. Alcmanian, consisting of Dactylic Hexameter ( 615) alternating with Tetrameter ( 617. a). (Od. i. 7, 28; Epod. 12.) [p. 423]

10. Archilochian I, consisting of a Dactylic Hexameter alternating with a Dactylic Penthemim (see 617. b). (Od. 4.7.)

11. Archilochian IV, consisting of a Greater Archilochian (heptameter, 622. 1), followed by Iambic Trimeter Catalectic ( 618. d). The stanza consists of two pairs of verses:
slvitur cris hims grt vice Vris t Favn,
trahntque sccs mchina carns;
c neque im stabuls gaudt pecus, at artor gn,
nec prta cns lbicnt pruns.Od. 1.4.

12. Iambic Trimeter alone (see 618). (Epod. 17.)

13. Iambic Strophe (see 618. a). (Epod. 1-10.)

14. Dactylic Hexameter alternating with Iambic Dimeter:
nx erat, t cael fulgbat lna sern
intr minra sder,
cm t, mgnrm nmn laesra derum,
in vrba irbs me.Epod. 15. (So in Epod. 14.)

15. Dactylic Hexameter with Iambic Trimeter ( 618):
ltera im teritr bells cvlibus ats,
sus et psa Rma vribs rut.Epod. 16.

16. Verse of Four Lesser Ionics ( 609. c. 2):
miserrum est neque amr dare ldum neque dulc
mala vn lavere aut exanimr metuents.Od. 3.12.

17. Iambic Trimeter ( 618); Dactylic Penthemim ( 617. b); Iambic Dimeter:
Pett, nihl m scut nte iuvt
scrbere vrsiculs amre prculsm grav.Epod. 11.

18. Dactylic Hexameter; Iambic Dimeter; Dactylic Penthemim ( 617. b):
hrrida tmpests caelm contrxit, et mbrs
nivsque ddcnt Iovm; nnc mare, nnc sila ...
Epod. 13.

19. Trochaic Dimeter, Iambic Trimeter, each catalectic (see 620. c).



1. Maecns atavs: 4.

2. Iam satis terrs: 2.

3. Sc t dva: 5.

4. Solvitur cris hiems: 11.

5. Quis mult: 7.

6. Scrbris Vari: 6.

7. Laudbunt ali: 9.

8. Ldia dc: 3.

9. Vids ut alt: 1.

10. Mercur fcunde neps: 2.

11. T n quaesieris: 8.

12. Quem virum: 2.

13. Cum t Ldia: 5.

14. nvis: 7. [p. 424]

15. Pstor cum traheret: 6.

16. mtre pulchr: 1.

17. Vlx amoenum: 1.

18. Nllam Vre: 8.

19. Mter saeva: 5.

20. Vle ptbis: 2.

21. Dnam tenerae: 7.

22. Integer vtae: 2.

23. Vts nule: 7.

24. Quis dsderi: 6.

25. Parcius incts: 2.

26. Mss amcus: 1.

27. Nts in sum: 1.

28. T maris: 9.

29. Icc bets: 1.

30. Venus: 2.

31. Quid ddictum: 1.

32. Poscimur: 2.

33. Alb n doles: 6.

34. Parcus derum: 1.

35. dva: 1.

36. Et tre: 5.

37. Nunc est bibendum: 1.

38. Persics d: 2.


1. Mtum ex Metell: 1.

2. Nllus argent: 2.

3. Aequam mement: 1.

4. N sit ancillae: 2.

5. Nndum subct: 1.

6. Septim Gds: 2.

7. saepe mcum: 1.

8. lla s iris: 2.

9. Nn semper imbrs: 1.

10. Rctius vvs: 2.

11. Quid bellicsus: 1.

12. Nls longa: 6.

13. Ille et nefst: 1.

14. heu fugcs: 1.

15. Iam pauca: 1.

16. tium dvs: 2.

17. Cr m querells: 1.

18. Nn ebur: 19.

19. Bacchum in remts: 1.

20. Nn sitt: 1.


1. d profnum: 1.

2. Angustam amc: 1.

3. Istum et tencem: 1.

4. Dscende cael: 1.

5. Cael tonantem: 1.

6. Dlicta mirum: 1.

7. Quid fls: 7.

8. Mrtis caelebs: 2.

9. Dnec grtus: 5.

10. Extrmum Tanain: 6.

11. Mercur nam t: 2.

12. Miserrum est: 16.

13. fns Bandusiae: 7.

14. Herculis rt: 2.

15. Uxor pauperis: 5.

16. Inclsam Danan: 6.

17. Ael vetust: 1.

18. Faune nymphrum: 2.

19. Quantum dstet: 5.

20. Nn vids: 2.

21. nta mcum: 1.

22. Montium csts: 2.

23. Cael supns: 1.

24. Intcts opulentior: 5.

25. Qu m Bacche: 5.

26. Vx puells: 1.

27. Impis parrae: 2.

28. Fst quid: 5.

29. Tyrrhna rgum: 1.

30. Exg monumentum: 4.


1. Intermissa Venus: 5.

2. Pindarum quisquis: 2.

3. Quem t Melpomen: 5

4. Qulem ministrum: 1.

5. Dvs orte bons: 6.

6. Dve quem prls: 2.

7. Diffgre nivs: 10.

8. Dnrem paters: 4.

9. N forte crds: 1.

10. crdlis adhc: 8.

11. Est mih nnum: 2.

12. Iam vris comits: 6.

13. Audvre Lyc: 7.

14. Quae cra patrum: 1.

15. Phoebus volentem: 1.

Carmen Saeculre: 2. [p. 425]


1. bis Liburns: 13.

2. Betus ille: 13.

3. Parentis lim: 13.

4. Lups et gns: 13.

5. At derum: 13.

6. Quid immerents: 13.

7. Qu qu scelest: 13.

8. Rogre long: 13.

9. Quand repostum: 13.

10. Mal solta: 13.

11. Pett nihil: 17.

12. Quid tibi vs: 9.

13. Horrida tempests: 18.

14. Mollis inertia: 14.

15. Nox erat: 14.

16. Altera iam: 15.

17. Iam iam efficc: 12.

Other lyric poets use other combinations of the abovementioned verses:

a. Glyconics with one Pherecratic (both imperfect):
Dna sms n fd
pellae t pr ntgr:
Dnm, pr ntgr
pellaqu cnms.Catull. xxxiv.

b. Sapphics, in a series of single lines, closing with an Adonic:
n mgs dr trmr Mns
Hrclem? t vsm cns nfrrm
fgt brupts trpds ctns?
fllmr: laet vnt cc vlt,
qum tlt Poes; hmrsqu tl
gstt t nts ppls phrtrs
Hrcls hrs.Sen. Herc. Oet. 1600-1606.

c. Sapphics followed by Glyconics, of indefinite number (id. Herc. Fur. 830-874, 875-894).


Other measures occur in various styles of poetry.

Anapstic ( 609. b. 2) verses of various lengths are found in dramatic poetry. The spondee, dactyl, or proceleusmatic may be substituted for the anapst:
hc hmst omnum hmnum pracps
vlpttbs gadisque ntptns.
t cmmd qua cp vnnt,
qud g sbt, dsc squtr:
t gadium sppdtt.Pl. Trin. 1115-1119.

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 [p. 426]

all measures in early Latin. The long syllables may be resolved, or the molossus (three longs) substituted:
mults rs smt in m cord vrs,
multum n cgtnd dlrem indpscr.
gmt m cg t mcr t dftg;
mgster mhi xerctr nms nnc est.
Pl. Trin. 223-226.

Cretic measures ( 609. d. 1) occur in the same manner as the Bacchiac, with the same substitutions. The last foot is usually incomplete:
mr mcs mh n fs mqum.
hs g d rtbus grtam fc.
nl go ists mror facs 267, 293, 297.

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. 282

1. According to one view the verse is based on quantity, is composed of six feet, and is divided into two parts by a csura 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 csura, is often entirely suppressed, though rarely more than once in the same verse:
dbnt mlm Mtll Nav ptae.

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:
dbunt mlum Metll Navi potae.


The prosody of the earlier poets differs in several respects from that of the later. 283

At the end of words s, being only feebly sounded, does not make position with a following consonant; it sometimes disappeared altogether. This usage continued in all poets till Cicero's time ( 15. 7). [p. 427]

A long syllable immediately preceded or followed by the ictus may be shortened (iambic shortening):

1. In a word of two syllables of which the first is short (this effect remained in a few words like put, cav, val, vid, eg, mod, du 284 ):
b (Ter. Ph. 59); bn (id. 516); hm suvis (id. 411).

2. If it is either a monosyllable or the first syllable of a word which is preceded by a short monosyllable:
sd hs tabells (Pl. Per. 195); qud hc nunc (id. Epid. 157); pr nplvium (Ter. Ph. 707); go stnderem (id. 793).

3. When preceded by a short initial syllable in a word of more than three syllables:
vnsttis (Ter. Hec. 848); sncttem (id. Ph. 434); Srcss (Pl. Merc. 37); mctia (id. Ps. 1263).

In a few isolated words position is often disregarded. 285 Such are lle, mmo, nde, ste, mnis, nmpe, quppe, nde.

The original long quantity of some final syllables is retained.

1. The ending -or is retained long in nouns with long stem-vowel (original r- stems or original s-stems):
mdo quom dcta in m ngerbs dium nn uxr erm (Pl. Asin. 927).
ta m in pctore tque crde fcit amr incndim (id. Merc. 500).
tque qunt nx fust lngir hc prxum; (id. Am. 548).

2. The termination -es (-tis) is sometimes retained long, as in mls, supersts.

3. All verb-endings in -r, -s, and -t may be retained long where the vowel is elsewhere long in inflection:
rgredir audsse m; (Pl. Capt. 1023); tque ut qu fuers et qu nunc (id. 248); m nmint haec (id. Epid. 4.1.8); facit ut smper (id. Poen. 2.42); nfuscbt, amb (cretics, id. Cist. 1.21); qu amt (id. Merc. 1021); ut ft in bll cpitur lter flis (id. Capt. 25); tibi st ad m revss (id. Truc. 2.4.79).

e. Hiatus ( 612. g) is allowed somewhat freely, especially at a pause in the sense, or when there is a change of speaker. 286 [p. 428]


Reckoning of Time

The Roman Year was designated, in earlier times, by the names of the Consuls; but was afterwards reckoned from the building of the City (ab urbe condit, ann urbis conditae), the date of which was assigned by Varro to a period corresponding with B.C. 753. In order, therefore, to reduce Roman dates to those of the Christian era, the year of the city is to be subtracted from 754: e.g. A.U.C. 691 (the year of Cicero's consulship) corresponds to B.C. 63.

Before Csar's reform of the Calendar (B.C. 46), the Roman year consisted of 355 days: March, May, Quntlis (July), and October having each 31 days, February having 28, and each of the remainder 29. As this calendar year was too short for the solar year, the Romans, in alternate years, at the discretion of the pontifics, inserted a month of varying length (mnsis intercalris) after February 23, and omitted the rest of February. The Julian year, by Csar's reformed Calendar, had 365 days, divided into months as at present. Every fourth year the 24th of February (VI. Kal. Mrt.) was counted twice, giving 29 days to that month: hence the year was called bissextlis. The month Quntlis received the name Ilius (July), in honor of Julius Csar; and Sextlis was called Augustus (August), in honor of his successor. The Julian year (see below) remained unchanged till the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar (A.D. 1582), which omits leap-year three times in every four hundred years.

Dates, according to the Roman Calendar, are reckoned as follows:

The first day of the month was called Kalendae (Calends).

NOTE.Kalendae is derived from calre, to call,the Calends being the day on which the pontiffs publicly announced the New Moon in the Comitia Calta. This they did, originally, from actual observation.

On the fifteenth day of March, May, July, and October, but the thirteenth of the other months, were the ds (Ides), the day of Full Moon.

On the seventh day of March, May, July, and October, but the fifth of the other months, were the Nnae (Nones or ninths).

From the three points thus determined, the days of the month were reckoned backwards as so many days before the Nones, the Ides, or the Calends. The point of departure was, by Roman custom, counted in the reckoning, the second day being three days before, etc. This gives the following rule for determining the date:

If the given date be Calends, add two to the number of days in the month preceding,if Nones or Ides, add one to that of the day on which they fall,and from the number thus ascertained subtract the given date. Thus,
VIII. Kal. Feb. (31 + 2 - 8) = Jan. 25.
IV. Nn. Mr. (7 + 1 - 4) = Mar. 4.
IV. d. Sept. (13 + 1 - 4) = Sept. 10. [p. 429]

NOTE.The name of the month appears as an adjective in agreement with Kalendae, Nnae, ds.

For peculiar constructions in dates, see 424. g.

The days of the Roman month by the Julian Calendar, as thus ascertained, are given in the following table:

January February March April
2. IV. Nn. In. IV. Nn. Feb. VI. Nn. Mrt. IV. Nn. Apr.
3. III. Nn. In. III. Nn. Feb. V. Nn. Mrt. III. Nn. Apr.
4. prd. Nn. In. prd. Nn. Feb. IV. Nn. Mrt. prd. Nn. Apr.
5. NN. IN. NN. FEB. III. Nn. Mrt. NN. APRLS
6. VIII. d. In. VIII. d. Feb. prd. Nn. Mrt. VIII. d. Apr.
7. VII. d. In. VII. d. Feb. NN. MRTIAE VII. d. Apr.
8. VI. d. In. VI. d. Feb. VIII. d. Mrt. VI. d. Apr.
9. V. d. In. V. d. Feb. VII. d. Mrt. V. d. Apr.
10. IV. d. In. IV. d. Feb. VI. d. Mrt. IV. d. Apr.
11. III. d. In. III. d. Feb. V. d. Mrt. III. d. Apr.
12. prd. d. In. prd. d. Feb. IV. d. Mrt. prd. d. Apr.
13. IDS IN. DS FEB. III. d. Mrt. DS APRLS.
14. XIX. Kal. Feb. XVI. Kal. Mrtis prd. d. Mrt. XVIII. Kal. Mis.
15. XVIII. Kal. Feb. XV. Kal. Mrtis DS MRTIAE XVII. Kal. Mis.
16. XVII. Kal. Feb. XIV. Kal. Mrtis XVII. Kal. Aprls. XVI. Kal. Mis.
17. XVI. Kal. Feb. XIII. Kal. Mrtis XVI. Kal. Aprls. XV. Kal. Mis.
18. XV. Kal. Feb. XII. Kal. Mrtis XV. Kal. Aprls. XIV. Kal. Mis.
19. XIV. Kal. Feb. XI. Kal. Mrtis XIV. Kal. Aprls. XIII. Kal. Mis.
20. XIII. Kal. Feb. X. Kal. Mrtis XIII. Kal. Aprls. XII. Kal. Mis.
21. XII. Kal. Feb. IX. Kal. Mrtis XII. Kal. Aprls. XI. Kal. Mis.
22. XI. Kal. Feb. VIII. Kal. Mrtis XI. Kal. Aprls. X. Kal. Mis.
23. X. Kal. Feb. VII. Kal. Mrtis X. Kal. Aprls. IX. Kal. Mis.
24. IX. Kal. Feb. VI. Kal. Mrtis IX. Kal. Aprls. VIII. Kal. Mis.
25. VIII. Kal. Feb. V. Kal. Mrtis VIII. Kal. Aprls. VII. Kal. Mis.
26. VII. Kal. Feb. IV. Kal. Mrtis VII. Kal. Aprls. VI. Kal. Mis.
27. VI. Kal. Feb. III. Kal. Mrtis VI. Kal. Aprls. V. Kal. Mis.
28. V. Kal. Feb. prd. Kal. Mrtis V. Kal. Aprls. IV. Kal. Mis.
29. IV. Kal. Feb. [prd. Kal. Mrt. in IV. Kal. Aprls. III. Kal. Mis.
30. III. Kal. Feb. leap-year, the VI. III. Kal. Aprls. prd. Kal. Mis.
31. prd. Kal. Feb. Kal. (24th) being prd. Kal. Aprls. (So June, Sept.,
(So Aug., Dec.) counted twice.] (So May, July, Oct.) Nov.)

NOTE.Observe that a date before the Julian Reform (B.C. 46) is to be found not by the above table, but by taking the earlier reckoning of the number of days in the month.

Measures of Value, etc.

The money of the Romans was in early times wholly of copper. The unit was the as, which was nominally a pound in weight, but actually somewhat less. It was divided into twelve unciae (ounces). [p. 430]

In the third century B.C. the as was gradually reduced to one-half of its original value. In the same century silver coins were introduced,the dnrius and the sstertius. The denarius = 10 asses; the sestertius = 21/2 asses.

The Sestertius was probably introduced at a time when the as had been so far reduced that the value of the new coin (2 1/2 asses) was equivalent to the original value of the as. Hence, the Sestertius (usually abbreviated to HS or HS) came to be used as the unit of value, and nummus, coin, often means simply sstertius. As the reduction of the standard went on, the sestertius became equivalent to 4 asses. Gold was introduced later, the aureus being equal to 100 sesterces. The approximate value of these coins is seen in the following table:
2 1/2 asses = 1 sstertius or nummus, value nearly 5 cents (2 1/2 d.).
10 asses or 4 ssterti = 1 dnarius. value nearly 20 cents (10 d.).
1000 ssterti = 1 sstertium ... value nearly 50.00 (10).

NOTE.The word sstertius is a shortened form of smis-tertius, the third one, a half. The abbreviation <*>S or HS = duo et smis, two and a half.

The sstertium (probably originally the genitive plural of sstertius depending on mlle) was a sum of money, not a coin; the word is inflected regularly as a neuter noun: thus, tria sstertia = 150.00.

When sstertium is combined with a numeral adverb, centna mlia, hundreds of thousands, is to be understood: thus decins sstertium (decins HS) = decins centna mlia sstertium = 50,000. Sstertium in this combination may also be inflected: decins ssterti, ssterti, etc.

In the statement of large sums sstertium is often omitted as well as centna mlia: thus sexgins (Rosc. Am. 2) signifies, sexgins [centna mlia sstertium] = 6,000,000 sesterces=300,000 (nearly).

In the statement of sums of money in Roman numerals, a line above the number indicates thousands; lines above and at the sides also, hundred-thousands. Thus HS DC=600 ssterti; HS DC= 600,000 ssterti, or 600 sstertia; HS DC=60,000,000 ssterti, or 60,000 sstertia.

The Roman Measures of Length are the following:
12 inches (unciae) =1 Roman Foot (ps: 11.65 English inches).
1 1/2 Feet=1 Cubit (cubitum).2 1/2 Feet=1 Step (gradus).
5 Feet=1 Pace (passus).1000 Paces (mlle passuum)= 1 Mile. [p. 431]

The Roman mile was equal to 4850 English feet.

The igerum, or unit of measure of land, was an area of 240 (Roman) feet long and 120 broad; a little less than 2/3 of an English acre.

The Measures of Weight are

12 unciae (ounces) =one pound (libra, about 3/4 lb. avoirdupois).

Fractional parts (weight or coin) are

1/12, uncia. 5/12, quncunx. 3/4, ddrns.
1/6, sextns. 1/2, smis. 5/6, dextns.
1/4, quadrns. 7/12, septunx. 11/12, deunx.
1/3, trins. 2/3, bs or bssis. 12/12, as.

The Talent (talentum) was a Greek weight (τάλαντον) = 60 librae.

The Measures of Capacity are
12 cyath =1 sextrius (nearly a pint).
16 sextri=1 modius (peck).
6 sextri=1 congius (3 quarts, liquid measure).
8 congi = 1 amphora (6 gallons). [p. 432]



Many of these terms are pedantic names given by early grammarians to forms of speech used naturally by writers who were not conscious that they were using figures at allas, indeed, they were not. Thus when one says, It gave me no little pleasure, he is unconsciously using litotes; when he says, John went up the street, James down, antithesis; when he says, High as the sky, hyperbole. Many were given under a mistaken notion of the nature of the usage referred to. Thus md and td ( 143. a. N.) were supposed to owe their d to paragoge, smps its p to epenthesis. Such a sentence as See my coat, how well it fits! was supposed to be an irregularity to be accounted for by prolepsis.

Many of these, however, are convenient designations for phenomena which often occur; and most of them have an historic interest, of one kind or another.


Grammatical Terms

Anacoluthon: a change of construction in the same sentence, leaving the first part broken or unfinished.

Anastrophe: inversion of the usual order of words.

Apodosis: the conclusion of a conditional sentence (see Protasis).

Archaism: an adoption of old or obsolete forms.

Asyndeton: omission of conjunctions ( 323. b).

Barbarism: adoption of foreign or unauthorized forms.

Brachylogy: brevity of expression.

Crasis: contraction of two vowels into one ( 15. 3).

Ellipsis: omission of a word or words necessary to complete the sense.

Enallage: substitution of one word or form for another.

Epenthesis: insertion of a letter or syllable.

Hellenism: use of Greek forms or constructions.

Hendiadys (ἓν διὰ δυοῖν): the use of two nouns, with a conjunction, instead of a single modified noun.

Hypallage: interchange of constructions.

Hysteron proteron: a reversing of the natural order of ideas.

This term was applied to cases where the natural sequence of events is violated in language because the later event is of more importance than the earlier and so comes first to the mind. This was supposed to be an artificial embellishment in Greek, and so was imitated in Latin. It is still found in artless narrative; cf. Bred and Born in a Brier Bush (Uncle Remus).

Metathesis: transposition of letters in a word.

Paragoge: addition of a letter or letters to the end of a word.

Parenthesis: insertion of a phrase interrupting the construction. [p. 433]

Periphrasis: a roundabout way of expression (circumlocution).

Pleonasm: the use of needless words.

Polysyndeton: the use of an unnecessary number of copulative conjunctions.

Prolepsis: the use of a word in the clause preceding the one where it would naturally appear (anticipation).

Protasis: a clause introduced by a conditional expression (if, when, whoever), leading to a conclusion called the Apodosis ( 512).

Syncope: omission of a letter or syllable from the middle of a word.

Synesis (cnstrcti ad snsum): agreement of words according to the sense, and not the grammatical form ( 280. a).

Tmesis: the separation of the two parts of a compound word by other words (cutting).

This term came from the earlier separation of prepositions (originally adverbs) from the verbs with which they were afterwards joined; so in per ecastor sctus puer, a very fine boy, egad! As this was supposed to be intentional, it was ignorantly imitated in Latin; as in cere- comminuit -brum (Ennius).

Zeugma: the use of a verb or an adjective with two different words, to only one of which it strictly applies (yoking).

Rhetorical Figures

Allegory: a narrative in which abstract ideas figure as circumstances, events, or persons, in order to enforce some moral truth.

Alliteration: the use of several words that begin with the same sound.

Analogy: argument from resemblances.

Anaphora: the repetition of a word at the beginning of successive clauses ( 598. f).

Antithesis: opposition, or contrast of parts (for emphasis: 598. f).

Antonomasia: use of a proper for a common noun, or the reverse:
sint Maecnts, nn deerunt, Flacce, Marns, so there be patrons (like Mcenas), poets (like Virgil) will not be lacking, Flaccus (Mart.Mart. 8.56.5 ).
illa furia et pestis, that fury and plague (i.e. Clodius); Homromastx, scourge of Homer (i.e. Zoilus).

Aposiopesis: an abrupt pause for rhetorical effect.

Catachresis: a harsh metaphor (absi, misuse of words).

Chiasmus: a reversing of the order of words in corresponding pairs of phrases ( 598. f).

Climax: a gradual increase of emphasis, or enlargement of meaning.

Euphemism: the mild expression of a painful or repulsive idea:
s quid e acciderit, if anything happens to him (i.e. if he dies).

Euphony: the choice of words for their agreeable sound.

Hyperbaton: violation of the usual order of words. [p. 434]

Hyperbole: exaggeration for rhetorical effect.

Irony: the use of words which naturally convey a sense contrary to what is meant.

Litotes: the affirming of a thing by denying its contrary ( 326. c).

Metaphor: the figurative use of words, indicating an object by some resemblance.

Metonymy: the use of the name of one thing to indicate some kindred thing

Onomatopia: a fitting of sound to sense in the use of words.

Oxymoron: the use of contradictory words in the same phrase:
nsnins sapientia, foolish wisdom.

Paronomasia: the use of words of like sound.

Prosopopia: personification.

Simile: a figurative comparison (usually introduced by like, or as).

Synchysis: the interlocked order ( 598. h).

Synecdoche: the use of the name of a part for the whole, or the reverse.

Terms of Prosody

Acatalectic: complete, as a verse or a series of feet ( 612. a).

Anaclasis: breaking up of rhythm by substituting different measures.

Anacrusis: the unaccented syllable or syllables preceding a verse ( 608. g)

Antistrophe: a series of verses corresponding to one which has gone before (cf. strophe).

Arsis: the unaccented part of a foot ( 611).

Basis: a single foot preceding the regular movement of a verse.

Csura: the ending of a word within a metrical foot ( 611. b).

Catalectic: see Catalexis.

Catalexis: loss of a final syllable (or syllables) making the series catalectic (incomplete, 612. a).

Contraction: the use of one long syllable for two short ( 610).

Correption: shortening of a long syllable, for metrical reasons.

Diresis: the coincidence of the end of a foot with the end of a word within the verse ( 611. c).

Dialysis: the use of i (consonant) and v as vowels (sila = silva, 603. f. N.4).

Diastole: the lengthening of a short syllable by emphasis ( 612. b).

Dimeter: consisting of two like measures.

Dipody: consisting of two like feet.

Distich: a system or series of two verses.

Ecthlipsis: the suppression of a final syllable in -m before a word beginning with a vowel ( 612. f.).

Elision: the cutting off of a final before a following initial vowel ( 612. e).

Heptameter: consisting of seven feet. [p. 435]

Hexameter: consisting of six measures.

Hexapody: consisting of six feet.

Hiatus: the meeting of two vowels without contraction or elision ( 612. g).

Ictus: the metrical accent ( 611. a).

Irrational: not conforming strictly to the unit of time ( 609. e).

Logadic: varying in rhythm, making the effect resemble prose ( 623).

Monometer: consisting of a single measure.

Mora: the unit of time, equal to one short syllable ( 608. a).

Pentameter: consisting of five measures.

Pentapody: consisting of five feet.

Penthemimeris: consisting of five half-feet.

Protraction: extension of a syllable beyond its normal length (608. c).

Resolution: the use of two short syllables for one long ( 610).

Strophe: a series of verses making a recognized metrical whole (stanza), which may be indefinitely repeated.

Synresis: i (vowel) and u becoming consonants before a vowel ( 603. c. N., f. N.4).

Synalpha: the same as elision ( 612. e. N.).

Synapheia: elision between two verses ( 612. e. N.).

Syncope: loss of a short vowel.

Synizesis: the running together of two vowels without full contraction ( 603 c. N.).

Systole: shortening of a syllable regularly long.

Tetrameter: consisting of four measures.

Tetrapody: consisting of four feet.

Tetrastich: a system of four verses.

Thesis: the accented part of a foot ( 611).

Trimeter: consisting of three measures.

Tripody: consisting of three feet.

Tristich: a system of three verses.