Do I understand Caesura?

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jeidsath
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Do I understand Caesura?

Post by jeidsath » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:01 pm

Here I am simply breaking on the third foot every time.

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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by Hylander » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:35 pm

These are correct.

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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by jeidsath » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:24 pm

Will I run into any issues if I simply continue to break every line on the third foot?
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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by Scribo » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:31 pm

Potentially. The caesura on the third foot can be masculine (as post Θεά) or feminine (post μυρί') and I'm sure you can see the difference. Statistically the latter is more common. Together these make up something silly like 97/8% of caesurae in Homer and there is a small remainder in the fourth foot after its first syllable (is there one before Agamemnon admonishes Kalkhas? maybe I'm misremembering/misperforming μαντι κακων ου πω ποτε μοι...) so I guess look out for that.

I mean that's pretty much all you need to know, worry about bridges, diaeresis etc later.
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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by mwh » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:17 pm

Yes these are the 3rd-foot caesuras all right, but note that in some of them you wouldn’t want to break at that point in reading or performing. You couldn’t very well break after μυρι’ in 2 (and you’d ruin the meter if you didn’t elide), nor between αναξ and ανδρων in 7.

You might take a look at the latter part of Peitho’s thread, http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... 22&t=65194.

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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by jeidsath » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:14 pm

I don't know about αναξ ανδρων. There doesn't have to be a lack of pause there any more than there has to be a pause on line 52 at βαλλ αιει.

μυρι αχαιοις is much more convincing to me, and I've been thinking about it, along with examples of correption that cross the caesura like in lines 17 and 30. However correption is prevented at the caesura in line 24.

I'm not sure yet about pauses around caesuras. For one thing, it wouldn't have to be a stop -- a slowdown around that point in the line followed by an extra emphasis on the next ictus might be enough signal it. Something like that could also presumably be going on at line 52.

I'm going to write some code up so that I can have more of a statistical grasp of what's actually going on. There is a rule against lengthening a syllable by position at the beginning of the fourth foot?

I have also been thinking about this response to Daitz's article "On Reading Homer Aloud," where Daitz claimed that the only pause is at line's end.
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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:54 pm

mwh wrote:Yes these are the 3rd-foot caesuras all right, but note that in some of them you wouldn’t want to break at that point in reading or performing. You couldn’t very well break after μυρι’ in 2 (and you’d ruin the meter if you didn’t elide), nor between αναξ and ανδρων in 7.

You might take a look at the latter part of Peitho’s thread, http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... 22&t=65194.
But surely the caesura on line 2 can't be at the "bucolic diaresis", between the 4th and 5th foot?

On line 7 the caesure is probably after ανδρων.

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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by mwh » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:12 am

Joel, I don’t think that bit by Wyatt amounts to much. He seems to think that a bard couldn’t possibly compose a line without having every word planned ahead (and how about the one after that?). He has a rather rigid view of “composition in performance.” And Nicanor’s elaborate 8-grade(!) system of punctuation had nothing to do with pronunciation. It was all about grammar and linguistics, and nobody used it anyway. As to pause within the line, well, about all we can know is that nothing could be allowed to break the ongoing dactylic rhythm of the line. I’ve tried to explain in previous posts, including that recent one I referred you to. He’s right about tension between metrical form and syntactic structure, as enjambments like 51-2 are enough to show.

I’m glad he mentions Seymour Chatman. His Theory of Meter book was revelatory to me when I read it many years ago.

Paul, Line 2 has the usual 3rd-foot caesura, but it’s minimal. The bucolic diaeresis could also be considered a caesura (not “the” caesura).
Again in line 7, the 3rd-ft. caesura is minimal, but it’s there. Some would analyze the line as Ατρειδης τε | αναξ ανδρων | και διος Οδυσσευς. This is how it lexically articulates itself, but such analysis downgrades or even negates the 3rd-foot caesura that routinely divides hexameters in two, and so oversimplifies the relationship between meter and syntax, which often clash somewhat as here.

Hope this makes sense.

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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by jeidsath » Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:12 pm

Line 179 seems to be irregular:

οἴκαδ’ ἰὼν σὺν νηυσί τε σῇς καὶ σοῖς ἑτάροισι

It seems wrong to break before an enclitic like τε. On the other hand it seems easy to imagine "τε σῇς καὶ σοῖς ἑτάροισι" as a completion of "οἴκαδ’ ἰὼν σὺν νηυσί"
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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by mwh » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:48 pm

Yes. συν νηυσι regularly occurs in this position, which ordinarily results in a regular 3rd-foot feminine caesura. So here we could possibly (1) regard the enclitic τε as not preventing caesura; it would be an extremely weak one. But I think we’d do better to (2) regard συν νηυσι τε σῃς as forming a self-contained phrase, effectively a single long word that runs over the normal 3rd-foot caesura and results in a 4th-foot masculine caesura, as always happens when the 3rd-foot caesura is overrun. What we must not do is (3) break after the τε: you never get a break of any kind after the 3rd foot: that would mean starting off both halves of the line from the longum.

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Re: Do I understand Caesura?

Post by jeidsath » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:43 pm

1.218 seems to be an example for the 4th foot masculine caesura that you are talking about:

ὅς κε θεοῖς ἐπιπείθηται μάλα τ’ ἔκλυον αὐτοῦ.
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