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Scansion of Martial 3.5

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Scansion of Martial 3.5

Postby furrykef » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:11 am

I'm very new to Latin poetry, particularly trying to actually scan it, so forgive me if this question seems a bit ignorant. But Martial 3.5 doesn't seem to be using an elegaic couplet (I thought epigrams always did...) and I'm trying to figure out what it is, in fact, I'm looking at.

This is Martial 3.5:
Dum dōnās, Mācer, ānulōs puellīs
dēsistī, Mācer, ānulōs habēre.

(I assume the "a" in Mācer is long due to the apparent scansion.)

To me, this scans like this:
- - / - - / - - / u - u /- -
- - / - - / - - / u - u /- -
[the last syllable is short, but that's just a case of brevis in longo, right?]

In other words, it appears to be some kind of pentameter, each line consisting of spondees except for an amphibrach in the penultimate foot. So what form is this?
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Re: Scansion of Martial 3.5

Postby rkday » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:48 am

furrykef wrote:This is Martial 3.5:
Dum dōnās, Mācer, ānulōs puellīs
dēsistī, Mācer, ānulōs habēre.

To me, this scans like this:
- - / - - / - - / u - u /- -
- - / - - / - - / u - u /- -
[the last syllable is short, but that's just a case of brevis in longo, right?]


How do you get that scansion? I scan (taking both syllables of Macer as short*):

Dum dō nās Ma ce nu lōs pu el līs
dē sis tī, Ma ce nu lōs ha bē re

- - - u u - u - u - -
- - - u u - u - u - -

Which fits Phalaecian hendecasyllabic (the eleven syllables are a bit of a clue):

x x / - u u / - u / - u / - x

I could be wrong, though - this is my first foray outside hexameter!

* in order to make it fit hendecasyllabic
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Re: Scansion of Martial 3.5

Postby furrykef » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:23 am

Ah. As I said, I'm new to scanning poetry, so it's not surprising if I've misscanned it. I was thinking the "er" in "Macer" was heavy because it ended in a consonant; I'd forgotten that such syllables are only heavy when followed by another consonant.

It's nice to know we've found a form that fits. Interesting that it's still not an elegaic couplet, too...
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Re: Scansion of Martial 3.5

Postby cantator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:20 pm

Greetings,

It scans as Phalaecian hendecasyllabic verse, a favorite form of Catullus and Martial.

Best,

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Re: Scansion of Martial 3.5

Postby furrykef » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:23 pm

OK, thanks for the confirmation.
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