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Scansion yet again

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Scansion yet again

Postby nigeldavies » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:13 pm

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I'm working through Aeneid II using RH Jordan's edition, and am puzzled by his note to line 217, viz. "Note the interweaving of the metre in this line with dactyl followed by spondee twice over and then the sudden arresting pair of monosyllables at the end indicating that all three are tightly tied up by the snakes".

I scan this line as follows:

 -   u u|-    -|-  u   u| -  -| -  u u|  u   u |
corripiunt spirisque ligant ingentibus; et iam

Can anyone explain his note to me?

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Re: Scansion yet again

Postby adrianus » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:30 pm

-   u u|-    -|-  u   u| -  -| -  u u|  -   - |
corripiunt spirisque ligant ingentibus; et jam
dactyl = long + short + short syllables in a foot; spondee = long + long syllables in a foot.

dactyl | spondee | dactyl | spondee | dactyl | spondee
= six feet divided into three pairs (of dactyl | spondee) signifying a triplet (three people, Laocoon and sons, being tied up one after the other).
Words flow across (span the divisions between) the first five feet like a snake, but "et jam" sounds like a conclusive thump thump to put the lid on, i.e., "all done", according to Jordan.

Dactylus est pes in quo duae syllabae longae unam longam sequuntur; spondeus qui duas breves continet.
Sex pedes dividuntur in juga tria,—quod indicet tres (Laocontem filiosque) invicem alternum ligari. Vocabula sicut serpens divisiones inter pedes transeunt usquè ad ultimum in quo pede duae monosyllabae modo emphatico (secundum Jordanum) pensum finitum afferunt.
Last edited by adrianus on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Scansion yet again

Postby furrykef » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:34 am

adrianus wrote:but "et jam" sounds like a conclusive thump thump to put the lid on

To put the lid on the jam jar? :mrgreen:
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Re: Scansion yet again

Postby adrianus » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:18 pm

Yes, to put the lid on the jam jar indeed, furrykef. Nice one. :)
Ità quidem, furrykef, ut operculum in seriolâ pultis reponatur. Benè dictum.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Scansion yet again

Postby cantator » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:07 pm

adrianus wrote:dactyl | spondee | dactyl | spondee | dactyl | spondee
= six feet divided into three pairs (of dactyl | spondee) signifying a triplet (three people, Laocoon and sons, being tied up one after the other).
Words flow across (span the divisions between) the first five feet like a snake, but "et jam" sounds like a conclusive thump thump to put the lid on, i.e., "all done", according to Jordan.


Funny thing, I had observed the same "snaking" effect of the verses but missed the triplet organization. Nice catch.

However, I don't read 'et iam' as a tub-thumping end-stop. The literal sense and the impetus in the recitation continues into the following line. Nothing kills Latin poetry faster than reading end-stops to every line. I hear/read 'et iam' as rhythmic pick-up beats that emphasize the first 'bis', the second of which receives further emphasis by position

How I set out this passage for recitation :

Post ipsum auxilio subeuntem ac tela ferentem corripiunt,
spirisque ligant ingentibus,
et iam bis medium amplexi,
bis collo squamea cirum terga dati,
superant capite et cervicibus altis.

Note which words receive emphasis by position in the recitation. Caesura and elision are un-noted above but observed in the reading, and the play of quantity, accent, enjambment, and other effects illustrate Vergil's mastery. This passage is a good example of why I love to read Latin poetry.

Best,

dp
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Re: Scansion yet again

Postby adrianus » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:57 pm

That's why I said "according to Jordan". I agree that the grammatical syntax works against the idea of the knot, but that's the beauty of tensions on different levels. And the interweaving applies to many more lines than those about snakes. However both notions can be supported rather nicely here!

Istâ ratione tuâ, "secundum Jordanum" addidi. Sic concurro,— dedicit syntaxis seu compositura sententiarum imaginem nodi à prosodiâ. Dilectissimum autem est : intensiones simul inter variis conditionibus constare. Et rarò in versibus non transeunt vocabula divisiones inter pedes. At aptiores hîc sint tales notiones!
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