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Dative Pronouns in Limping Iambic

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Dative Pronouns in Limping Iambic

Postby cdm2003 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:39 pm


I've recently been looking at Catullus VIII. In lines 3, 8, and 15, "tibi" interrupts the technical flow of the meter. I'm aware that interrupting the flow of the meter is a poetic device in and of itself. However, I wanted to check with all of you to make sure I'm not missing some special poetic circumstance that would lengthen the final "i" of "tibi." In each case "tibi" is followed by a single consonant ("soles" or "manet") and in lines 3 and 8, "tibi" appears in the fifth foot (fourth foot in line 15).

My questions are: 1) Is there some circumstance which would lengthen the final "i" to force "tibi" to fit the meter? 2) If there is not, would one read this poem aloud so as to allow "tibi" to interrupt the limping iambic, or would one allow a small pause to preserve the rigidity of the meter?

In regards to the last question, I've listened to a sample of this poem read aloud online (it's on Latinum now but it was on another site not too long ago) and the reader sounds as if he's allowing "tibi" to be read as an iamb.

Thanks for any help in advance. Below is the text of the poem.

Catullus wrote:MISER Catulle, desinas ineptire,
et quod uides perisse perditum ducas.
fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles,
cum uentitabas quo puella ducebat
amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla.
ibi illa multa cum iocosa fiebant,
quae tu uolebas nec puella nolebat,
fulsere uere candidi tibi soles.
nunc iam illa non uult: tu quoque impotens noli,
nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser uiue,
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
uale puella, iam Catullus obdurat,
nec te requiret nec rogabit inuitam.
at tu dolebis, cum rogaberis nulla.
scelesta, uae te, quae tibi manet uita?
quis nunc te adibit? cui uideberis bella?
quem nunc amabis? cuius esse diceris?
quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis?
at tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura.
Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae
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Postby Twpsyn » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:06 pm

The final syllable of tibi can be long or short. Same goes for mihi.
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Postby Alatius » Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:27 pm

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Postby cdm2003 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:08 am

Thanks for the info. I didn't realize that brevis brevians was responsible for the forms (the *only* forms, I thought) of "tibi" and "mihi" with a final, short "i." This explains away all my problems of scanning this poem, which, I may add, is one of my personal favorites.

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