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Lagaroi: Le temps de la re-rythmisation de l'hexamètre

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image of Mnemosyne

According to many metricians, the original structure of the hexameter is based on the connection of two cola, not the recurrence of six dactyls. The time of the development of the first form into the second is, however, uncertain. The main evidence in favour of a pre-homeric rerhythmisation seems to consist in the fact that most of Homer can be read as metron-shaped verses. Although this seems certain, this certainty could result from a normalizing transmission of the 'Homeric' text. The history of irregular verses, such as the so-called lagaroi, offers some evidence that there were more irregular, i.e. colon-based, verses in Homer before the long scholarly tradition corrected them into metron-based schemas.


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