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should end preferably with a word of either two or three syllables; harsh elisions should be avoided. In the pentameter the end of a word should always coincide with the end of the first half of the verse; the last half of the verse must always consist of two dactyls followed by a single syllable; elisions should be sparingly employed, and at any rate harsh ones avoided.
But besides such few simple principles for the government of the meter, we find that in practice there grew up various other rules, and many refinements came into vogue, so that we can trace a very interesting progress in the mode of the verse from Catullus to Ovid and can see many indications of individuality in its treatment by the various authors. The subject is too large to be discussed exhaustively here; but the student may be referred to a large body of studies, which is constantly growing, with reference to it, and encouraged to pursue his own investigations along this line.
The growth of new conventional usages in this verse is seen especially in the endings of the hexameter and of the pentameter, the treatment of the verse caesura, the relative proportion of dactyls and spondees and their arrangement, in care in avoiding harsh elisions, especially those of a long vowel before a short one,' middle and end rime in both hexameter and pentameter, in alliteration, repeated sounds and syllables, and other euphonic embellishments, and in the tendency, culminating in Ovid, to make each distich a complete thought in itself. Some of the results of studies along some of these various lines are given below, virtually in the form in which they were published in PAPA., Vol. 34 (1903), pp. xxviii-xxx.
1 Cf. the exhaustive studies in Hosius, p. 180. Ovid avoids eliding monosyllables almost entirely; cf. Winboldt, Latin Hexameter Verse, p. 177.
2 Cf. the richly illustrated article of B. 0. Foster “On Certain Euphonic Embellishments in the Verse of Propertius " in TAPA., Vol. 40 (1909), pp. 31-62.
(1) Monosyllabic endings: Catullus and Propertius employ them frequently ; Tibullus and Ovid, very rarely.
(a) Catullus has 13 examples, including pronouns, forms of esse, and forms of res. Four times his verse ends in two monosyllables.
(6) Of the 31 cases in Propertius, 20 are a singular form of the first or second personal pronoun, 5 are forms of qui; 4, forms of esse ; fles .occurs once, and iam once.
(c) Ovid in the Amores (which are used for these tests) has 4 cases, viz. a form of esse, and me, twice each.
(d) Tibullus (Bks. I and 2, which are the only safe ground for an investigation of his usage) has sint once. No instance occurs in the book of Lygdamus.
(2) Polysyllabic endings. These are more rare. They are occasional in Catullus; twice Ovid uses a quadrisyllabic proper name; Propertius has similar instances; Tibullus has none.
(3) Spondees still play an important part in the hexameters of Catullus, whose taste is like that of Ennius.
This appears most strikingly at the end of the verse. He has 13 spondaic verses out of 322 ; of these one ends in a monosyllable, one in a trisyllable, the other 11 in words of not less than four syllables. 68,87 has 5 spondees; 116, 3 is worthy of Ennius himself, being composed entirely of spondees.
In the other elegists, however, the proportion of dactyls and spondees is not unlike that of the other Augustan writers.
Tibullus employs the dactylic beginning of the hexameter in the proportion of about four of these to one beginning with a spondee.
(4) Rime. A species of middle, or Leonine, rime begins to be noted in Catullus, and continues throughout the whole group of writers, being apparently an extension, or an echo, of the very common similar rime in the pentameter. In the hexameter this rime occurs between the last syllable of the verse and that pre
1 Cf. Hennig, Untersuchungen zu Tibull (1905), p. 19.
ceding the verse caesura, i.e. between the endings of the two parts of the verse. Not less than 41 examples of this may be found even in Catullus, e.g. 96, 1: Si quicquam mutis || gratum acceptumve sepulcris. The percentage of such cases increases in Tibullus, reaches a maximum in Propertius, and decreases again in Ovid.
When this is combined with the common pentameter middle rime, and is at the same time an end rime, we have a still greater refinement, as in Tibullus, 1, 9, 25-26:— .
ipse deus tacito-
libera verba mero.1 In many cases, though the rime is imperfect, the similarity of sounds, as of a long vowel to a diphthong, or of one vowel followed by s to another vowel and s, produces a pleasing effect, which was frequently sought by these poets, e.g. Tibullus, 2, 5, 69–70:
quasque Aniena sacras
pertuleritque sinu. The variety of these effects is countless.
(5) Verse caesura. This depends, of course, upon the individual taste of the different authors.
(a) Catullus is fairly orthodox, with 267 out of 318 hexameters exhibiting the penthemimeral caesura, 30. the hephthemimeral, 16 the feminine caesura in the third foot, and 5 the so-called “bucolic" diaeresis. One or two verses have no verse caesura at all.
(6) But Tibullus, with nearly double the number of verses, shows his fondness for the hephthemimeral caesura by using it five times as often, 152 times in all, 32 times without the customary accompanying trithemimeral. A frequent added refine
1 Cf. Ovid, Am. 3, 2, 17–18; Prop. 1, 6, 17-18.
ment is a rime subsisting between the syllables preceding the two caesuras; e.g. 1, 1, 47 : –
In still other cases there is a similar sound, but not a perfect rime.
Tibullus employs an even smaller proportion of feminine caesuras, 19 in all, but has also 19 bucolic diaereses, which looks as if he did not regard these as blemishes.
(c) Lygdamus is so orthodox as to be positively dull, having but 10 of his 145 hexameters that are not of the penthemimeral type. Of these, 7 are perfect trithemimeral-hephthemimeral cases, 1 is a feminine, and 3 are bucolics.
All the elegists show in these rather more care than in the hexameters.
(1) Monosyllabic endings. Catullus has one instance; Tibullus, Lygdamus, and Ovid, none; Propertius, with characteristic independence, 4, all being of the same form, viz. sat est.
(2) Verse endings longer than a dissyllable. Catullus has 83 trisyllabic endings, Tibullus but 22 out of twice as many verses, Lygdamus but 3. Of polysyllabic endings Catullus has 92 (18 pentasyllabic, and ı heptasyllabic), Tibullus 23, Lygdamus but 7. Indeed, Lygdamus in such matters of formal comparison usually more than holds his own. In Ovid the law of a uniformly dissyllabic ending is thoroughly established.
(3) Endings of first half of pentameter. The tendency toward the dissyllable here is not so completely followed. Catullus has 36 monosyllabic endings, Tibullus 7. Almost as many trisyllables as dissyllables appear in Tibullus; but Ovid holds closely to the dissyllable.
ROM. EL. TOETS – 5
(4) The separation of the two halves of the pentameter becomes increasingly careful. In Catullus there are 18 cases where they are run together by elision; e.g. 67, 44:
speraret nec linguam esse nec auriculam. (5) The preference for dactyls or spondees in the first half varies. Catullus seems slightly to prefer verses of the form, dactyl, spondee, long syllable ; but the form, spondee, spondee, long syllable (i.e. 5 successive long syllables) is a close second, which can hardly be true of any
of his successors.
Next comes the form, spondee, dactyl, long syllable; last, dactyl, dactyl, long syllable.
In Tibullus, however, there is an overwhelming preference for opening the verse with a dactyl.
(6) Middle rime. 22 per cent of the pentameters of Catullus exhibit this, and 17 per cent have similar endings. In the later writers the proportion frequently far exceeds this. Often, too, this rime is combined with the same phenomenon in adjacent hexameters, to a noteworthy extent. In Propertius, 2, 34 (a poem of 94 vv.), there are 38 instances of the middle rime, and the 6 consecutive vv., 85-90, have it throughout.
(7) End rime. There are over 200 cases in Catullus, Tibullus, and Lygdamus, fewest of all in Lygdamus. Propertius has i in every 14 verses. Sometimes they occur in triplets. Pro pertius has one quadruplet rime.
43. The studies of Haupt, a half century ago, showed that Catullus was relatively careless in allowing the elision of a long syllable before a short one. The recent elaborate studies of Siedow 2 show that Ovid was more careful than either of the other three elegists in avoiding elision, as well as in avoiding a plurality of elisions in a single verse and the elision of long syllables or diphthongs; that Catullus is most free of them all in
1 Cf. Haupt, Opuscula, Vol. 1, pp.
sqq. 2 De elisionis aphaeresis hiatus usu in hexametris Latinis ab Ennii usque ad Ovidii tempora, 1911, with valuable bibliography and tabular statements.