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a question re: Horace's hexameters

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a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby cantator » Tue May 04, 2010 1:01 pm

Greetings,

I've been reading Horace's Satires, and I must say that I'm having a terrific time with them. I've found some helpful explanatory material on the Web, some pretty hilarious bowdlerized translations too.

Anyway, I have a question regarding the Horatian hexameter. We're a *long* way from the rolling cadences of Vergil, and reading the Satires aloud emphasizes the conversational quality of the rhythm. My problem is with moments like this line ending so :

... retinere velis servareque amicos

(Satirarum Liber I,1,89)

Okay, I know the rule of accent here, but how would you read those feet ? Does the elision nullify the accent displaced by the enclitic and replace it to the strong accent on the long penultimate of servare ? Do the ancient or other grammarians address the accent rule in this sort of instance ? A&G just ignore it in their grammar.

Horace does a lot of funky stuff during those last two feet. Reading his hexameters after reading his lyric poetry is like moving from Ovid to Plautus. A bit unfamiliar at first but a lot of fun once you get the hang of the versification.

Best,

dp
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Re: a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby Tertius Robertus » Wed May 05, 2010 2:29 pm

...|nere ve|lis ser|várequ' a|mícos


... -uu --

Does the elision nullify the accent displaced by the enclitic and replace it to the strong accent on the long penultimate of servare ?


Am I missing something? :?: :? :(

Why would the accent be displaced, since the e vowel in servare is short at the ending?
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Re: a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby cantator » Thu May 06, 2010 11:12 am

Tertius Robertus wrote:Am I missing something? Why would the accent be displaced, since the e vowel in servare is short at the ending?


From A&G, 12.a :

"When an enclitic is joined to a word, the accent falls on the syllable next before the enclitic, whether long or short..." Examples follow, all of which indicate that the accent is shifted out of its natural position. However, the elision effectively reduces the short e, so is the accent still placed over that syllable (the elision, actually) or is it replaced to the long a in servare ?

If the question still doesn't make sense, read the passage aloud. You'll have two choices of accent. I'm looking for an explanation or rule why one would be chosen over the other.
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Re: a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby furrykef » Thu May 06, 2010 1:38 pm

I have no idea about elision (that's well beyond my level of knowledge at the moment -- the Catullus excerpts towards the final chapters of Wheelock are giving me enough headaches as it is ;)), but that's not quite the rule I had learned from "A Latin Grammar" by Charles Bennett (available here at Textkit) for attaching clitics. That rule was this:

1. If, after attaching the clitic, the stress falls naturally on the syllable before the clitic, then that syllable is stressed. Example: discipulōque (stress on 'ō')
2. If, before attaching the clitic, stress was on the antepenult, it is moved to the syllable before the clitic. Example: discipulaque (stress on 'a')
3. Otherwise, stress does not change. Example: portaque (stress on first syllable, not second). By this rule, your 'servāreque' has no displacement at all!

I checked A&G, too, and it does indeed provide the rule that you gave, and given the examples in the book, it would indeed choose 'portáque', not 'pórtaque'. So it seems that nobody is fully sure how clitics affect stress, or at least, nobody was sure at the beginning of the 20th century. Maybe that's not the case now, but we'd probably have to venture into the world of academia to be sure.

Sadly, Wheelock doesn't explain how clitics affect stress at all, as far as I could find, which is unfortunate since it's one of the most popular Latin books, and the one I'm currently using.

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Re: a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby adrianus » Thu May 06, 2010 5:44 pm

Elision doesn't change or nullify accent, cantator. Just as [pitch] accent doesn't alter the vowel length and draw the ictus away from the preceding long syllable in speaking the foot.

Elisio, cantator, accentum nec mutat nec abrogat. Nec item mutat accentum tempus vocalis, nec in pede cantando id ictum abducit à syllabâ longâ et praecedenti.
Last edited by adrianus on Thu May 06, 2010 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby furrykef » Thu May 06, 2010 6:41 pm

That doesn't change the fact that it's not clear to us what the stress on 'servāreque' is in the first place... :lol:
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Re: a question re: Horace's hexameters

Postby adrianus » Thu May 06, 2010 7:02 pm

Nor will it ever be clear academically. There is a continual debate. For the ancient grammarians in Keil, it is servāréque. That is clear. :lol:

Nec erit unquàm scholasticis clarum. Continuò disputant. Grammatici antiqui apud Keil servāréque dicunt. Id clarum est.
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