Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Quae Non Habet Intellectum: The Disappearance Of Fifth-Foot Spondees From Dactylic Hexameter Verse

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The dactylic hexameter was the most frequently used of the classical Greek and Roman metres. It was praised by ancient and medieval authors alike for its versatility, being suited to both loft y and common subjects. This chapter investigates Anglo-Saxons' attitudes to spondaic verses, contextualising them within the earlier history of Latin hexameter verse before investigating the ideas and influence of the Anglo-Saxon authors Aldhelm and Bede. Spondaic verses have a very distinctive character: they lack the "dum-di-di-dum-dum" cadence that for most people, presumably even in antiquity, is the most recognisable part of the hexameter line. The roots of the dactylic hexameter extend as far back as the oral epic traditions of the Greeks, and possibly even earlier. There was, however, one prominent exception to the tendency of Latin hexameter poetry to be more spondaic than Greek - the fifth foot of the hexameter.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon; dactylic hexameter; Greeks; Latin hexameter



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Interfaces between Language and Culture in Medieval England — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation