Metre in Horace's Carmen I:9

By Linnaeus59, in 'Latin Culture', Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Linnaeus59 Member

    I'm reading Horace, as best I can, and I don't quite get the metre. His Carmen I:9 begins
    V[i-long:2nw93sw8][/i-long:2nw93sw8]d[e-long:2nw93sw8][/e-long:2nw93sw8]s, [u-short:2nw93sw8][/u-short:2nw93sw8]t alt[a-long:2nw93sw8][/a-long:2nw93sw8] st[e-long:2nw93sw8][/e-long:2nw93sw8]t n[i-short:2nw93sw8][/i-short:2nw93sw8]v[e-short:2nw93sw8][/e-short:2nw93sw8] cand[i-short:2nw93sw8][/i-short:2nw93sw8]dum
    S[o-long:2nw93sw8][/o-long:2nw93sw8]ract[e-short:2nw93sw8][/e-short:2nw93sw8], nec iam sust[i-short:2nw93sw8][/i-short:2nw93sw8]n[e-short:2nw93sw8][/e-short:2nw93sw8]ant [o-short:2nw93sw8][/o-short:2nw93sw8]nus
    silvae l[a-short:2nw93sw8][/a-short:2nw93sw8]b[o-long:2nw93sw8][/o-long:2nw93sw8]rant[e-long:2nw93sw8][/e-long:2nw93sw8]s, g[e-short:2nw93sw8][/e-short:2nw93sw8]l[u-long:2nw93sw8][/u-long:2nw93sw8]que
    fl[u-long:2nw93sw8][/u-long:2nw93sw8]m[i-short:2nw93sw8][/i-short:2nw93sw8]n[a-short:2nw93sw8][/a-short:2nw93sw8] const[i-short:2nw93sw8][/i-short:2nw93sw8]t[e-short:2nw93sw8][/e-short:2nw93sw8]rint [a-short:2nw93sw8][/a-short:2nw93sw8]c[u-long:2nw93sw8][/u-long:2nw93sw8]to.

    (You see how Soracte stands white from deep snow,
    how its trees can no longer bear the burden
    and how its rivers freeze with sharp frost.)

    So the metre is

    From my own language (Swedish) I'm used to thinking metre in terms of feet (iambs, anapests and so on), but in this pattern I can't see where one foot ends and the next one begins. It just looks chaotic to me. So: does it have feet, and if so, what feet?
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
  3. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    btw. there is an error in the translation. videre ut (+ subj) = to see to it that
  4. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    Also, shouldn't it be v[i-short:i4gziv74][/i-short:i4gziv74]d[e-long:i4gziv74][/e-long:i4gziv74]s?
  5. socratidion Civis Illustris

    No, it's correct: it's an indirect question introduced by 'ut' meaning 'how'
  6. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    Oh. I'm sorry!
  7. Linnaeus59 Member

    I'm asking mainly to know which syllables I should stress. I think there is something called ictus, which is a stressed syllable within each verse foot, like the stressed note in a bar of music.
  8. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    I don't stress the ictus, but I instead use it to tell whether I have left out a word when reciting by memory. Some people stress the ictus, but it doesn't seem natural to me to have to change the pronunciations of the words.
  9. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    if you want to read it with ictus it should be

    vidés ut álta stét nive cándidum
    Sorácte néc iam sústineánt onus
    silv labórantés gelúque
    flúmina cónstiterínt acúto

    do you need a voice sample?
  10. Linnaeus59 Member

    Yes please. And tell me, how do I figure out where the ictus is?

    Maybe a good idea. Swedish is a highly stress-oriented language (like English and German), so I feel sort of lost without fixed points for stress, at least for a start. Once I feel comfortable I might handle it more freely.
  11. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    Yeah, that's fine. I started out stressing the ictus - I think it helps to develop a feel for the meter - and plenty of good Latinists always stress the ictus. I personally don't like to do it now, but that doesn't have to apply to everyone. As Bitmap once pointed out to me, we barbarians are probably butchering the poetry no matter what, and stressing the ictus might be the best way to make the meter as apparent to us as it was to the Romans.
  12. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    that's how I would read it with ictus

    You look it up somewhere ... or ask somebody

    nothing wrong with that in my opinion

    Attached Files:

  13. socratidion Civis Illustris

    Hey, I liked that. That's a new experience for me, hearing someone do the final 'm' like that, convincingly. Course, I don't get out much...
  14. Manus Correctrix QVAE CORRIGIT

    Does that player actually work for anyone? I always have to download the file. Using a compressed format is probably easier on the creaking old server.

    What’s with final [e-short:gmbvaxwd][/e-short:gmbvaxwd] pronounced as schwa like in German, and the extremely close pronunciation of [e-long:gmbvaxwd][/e-long:gmbvaxwd] (sounds more like i)?
  15. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    I saved it as .wav because I always have to download your .ogg formats... but for some reason, I have to download .wav as well. No idea why not even this basic format is compatible with the palyer. Looks like some technical deficit that came with a recent update.

    hey, I never said it was an perfect example of how Latin should be pronounced. It's just a sample of stress-timed reading in Latin poetry. I try to get as close to the restituta as possible, but I'm well aware that I have some short-comings. Apart from the vowels, I suppose I also have a problem with unaspired plosives ... and probably other things as well.

    I don't think the long e sounds like an i, but it's true that I pronounce it as a closed e. I'm really ignorant regarding this issue. Did the Romans pronounce it openly?

    I pronounce it as a closed e because the open alternative sounds like a German ä, and that's how people in this country usually pronounce ae - so the distinction between caedere and cedere would be open vs closed e. :/

    I don't really know how convincing it is, but that's how I do it. As I said, I'm aiming for approximation. I can't claim to be very good at pronouncing Latin, although I think that the majority of German classicists do much worse than I.
  16. Manus Correctrix QVAE CORRIGIT

    Allen argues that we shouldn’t worry too much about the unaspirated plosives.

    The evidence from Romance is that [e-short:1g1475ok][/e-short:1g1475ok] was open and [e-long:1g1475ok][/e-long:1g1475ok] was closed, but your [e-long:1g1475ok][/e-long:1g1475ok] sounded extreme to me.

    I actually have trouble making [e-short:1g1475ok][/e-short:1g1475ok] open enough. You see, my native English is an awful starting-point for pronouncing Latin, so I mainly work from a Romance (usually Spanish) starting-point and modify it from there. But e is closed in all open syllables in Spanish, and in all unstressed syllables in Italian. So, -que ends up being not as open as it should, unless I concentrate.

    You pronounce them like Portuguese nasals, which I understand is essentially correct.
  17. socratidion Civis Illustris

    Yes, for sure, there were infelicities, but it somehow didn't bother me. Anyway, it's better than I can do. Nice.
  18. Linnaeus59 Member

    Impressive reading!
    Thanks all for good advice

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