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Re: Morae (was: Re: Lurkers, poetic forms)

From:Ed Heil <edh@...>
Date:Monday, May 8, 2000, 4:30

In reading Latin verse I have noticed the 'contrapuntal effects' you
mention and find them fascinating.  They're what makes the verse

When I first started reading Greek hexameters (used to Latin
hexameters) I was trying to read with a pitch accent.  (Surely every
classicist who's had access to _Vox Graeca_ or the bizarre cassette
tape by Dietz about Greek pronunciation has tried this, if only in the
privacy of their own homes?)

I found the apparently random position of pitch-accents in the verses
to be extremely bizarre and disorienting, being used to the Latin
hexameters, where, as you say, the stress-accents tend to dance
cleverly in and out of the ictus.

It was for that reason that I found Allen's idea about a "secondary
stress accent" which informed Greek poetry kind of convincing, though,
having enough trouble with the pitch accents, I was by no means ready
to consider letting it inform my reading of the poetry.

Reading Greek and Latin poetry in my best reconstructed-pronunciation
voice (knowing full well that it would probably caused a real Roman or
Greek to bust a gut laughing "haehaehae"...) was probably the greatest
joy of my three years in graduate school at the University of North
Carolina classics department.  I can not think of anything that
compares to it.

Perhaps I should bust out the books and try it again someday.


On Sun, May 07, 2000 at 08:25:22PM +0100, Raymond Brown wrote:
> > But in the Classical period something odd happened; the Romans adopted the > time-base Greek rhythms, without regard to the Latin word stressed - or, at > least, that's what we were taught at school. Yes, they did borrow the > Greek time-based rhythms; yes, they apparently have nothing to do with the > Latin word stress. But if one looks closer one sees something very > interesting going on.