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Opinions about Saturnian poetry

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Opinions about Saturnian poetry

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:46 pm


What are your opinons about scansion of Saturnian poetry?

I am tempted to suggest:
Accentual, but count of syllables, or count of morae, mattered.
Stress accent on the first syllables of words as in Old Latin.
Usually 5, sometimes 4, stressed syllables placed at about equal time intervals through the line.
Each line is somewhere around 20 morae, plus or minus a few.
Not certain whether Saturnian poetry elided like in classical meters imitated from Greek.
Tendency for stressed syllables in the same line to alliterate, but not as rigidly as in Germanic poetry: see

If Saturnian verse was accentual by the Old Latin initial accent, that would explain why Saturnian verse was mostly forgotten, as it would no longer scan properly when read out with the well-known classically-placed accent.

Saturnian poetry may have been designed to be sung to some sort of music with a strong regular rhythm.
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Re: Opinions about Saturnian poetry

Postby adrianus » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:00 pm

I'm a total novice on this so my opinion is worth nothing. Maybe you'll like these references.
De hac re, tyro ego et taceo. Forsit hae res tibi placebunt:
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: Opinions about Saturnian poetry

Postby Scribo » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:04 pm

Have you seen Thomas Cole's YCS article on Saturnian? I'm tempted to agree. Also, Habinek (?) or Goldberg (?) has a chapter on Saturnian Poetics in the book "Epic in Republican Rome" which is actually pretty interesting too.
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Latin Historical Prose
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