Some Differences between Speech-Scansion and Narrative-Scansion in Homeric Verse1

Classical Quarterly 2 (2):94-109 (1908)
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If in the various books of the Iliad and Odyssey the speeches or personated lines are separated from the rest, the metrical phenomena will, when tabulated, be found to show a perceptible divergence from those of the narrative verse. The differences are worth some notice. They throw into sharp relief the subtle rules that control the narrative type; and, what is more important, they do to some extent suggest the principle, of which these rules are the necessary outcome. There is also involved another point of considerable interest; for the contrast between narrative- and speech-verse exactly coincides, it must be remembered, with a very remarkable difference in the use of the augment; and the more this coincidence is considered, the less easy it will be found to dismiss it as accidental.



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