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Help scanning a hexameter

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Help scanning a hexameter

Postby gerases » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:45 pm

Just getting into Latin poetry.

Here's a DACTYLIC PENTAMETER:

Vergilium vīdī tantum, neo amāra Tibullō
Tempus amīcitiae fāta dedēre meae.


The first line is supposed to a hexameter. Here's my attempt (unsuccessful) at scanning it:

Ver-gi-li / um vī / tan / tum ne-o / a--ra / Ti-bul-

In the 5th foot, the "a" should be long but it is not. Where did I make a mistake? I'm not even going to the pentameter below, because I'm still stuck with the hexameter.

Thanks!
gerases
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Re: Help scanning a hexameter

Postby gerases » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:56 pm

Turns out "neo" (mistake in Bennett's grammar from Guttenberg) should be "nec", which changes the whole meaning and the scanning!

Ver-gi-li / um vī / tan / tum nec a / -ra Ti- / bul-

On to the pentameter :)
gerases
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Re: Help scanning a hexameter

Postby Sceptra Tenens » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:57 pm

It would have scanned even it were neo; the O would have been elided like this:

Ver-gi-li / um vī / dī tan / tum ne'a / mā-ra Ti- / bul-lō
mihi iussa capessere fas est
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Re: Help scanning a hexameter

Postby gerases » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:26 pm

Ah, good point. Thank you.

Speaking of elision though, I don't quite understand how you can elide something and still keep the meter. In this case, the extra 'o' was removed so the meter would be kept, but I think elision happens a lot on an already conformant line. Can somebody elucidate this for me?
gerases
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Re: Help scanning a hexameter

Postby Sceptra Tenens » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:22 pm

No, elision is a feature of the language that is capitalized on in poetry to force meters to work. If a line had to scan even without elision, then Vergil would have to have been drunk when he wrote litora multum ille et terris iactatus et alto.
mihi iussa capessere fas est
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Re: Help scanning a hexameter

Postby gerases » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:33 pm

Yes, I just had to finish reading the chapter on prosody in my textbook to see that elided vowels are not scanned at all. Thanks for the reply.
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