Question on convention of long vowels in poetry

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
There was a lot of accentual poetry in the Middle Ages. That genre probably makes up most of medieval poetry. But there were also always people who wrote quantitative poetry.
 

Clemens

Civis Illustris
There was a lot of accentual poetry in the Middle Ages. That genre probably makes up most of medieval poetry. But there were also always people who wrote quantitative poetry.
That's my question: I want to see some examples, not because I'm arguing against it, but because I'm curious.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
This is the first thing that comes to mind, because the style is memorable and it contains a no less memorable misogynistic passage:


The style isn't quite classical, but the meter is quantitative. As far as the meter is concerned, it differs from classical dactylic hexameter in the caesura pattern; apart from that it's the same.

For another: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/alanus/alanus1.html

Bede wrote that sort of poetry too. E.g. this was inserted in his prose work Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum:

Alma Deus Trinitas, quae saecula cuncta gubernas,
Adnue iam coeptis, alma Deus Trinitas.
Bella Maro resonet, nos pacis dona canamus;
Munera nos Christi, bella Maro resonet.
Carmina casta mihi, fedae non raptus Helenae;
Luxus erit lubricis, carmina casta mihi.
Dona superna loquar, miserae non proelia Troiae;
Terra quibus gaudet, dona superna loquar.
En Deus altus adit uenerandae uirginis aluum,
Liberet ut homines, en Deus altus adit.
Femina uirgo parit mundi deuota parentem,
Porta Maria Dei, femina uirgo parit.
Gaudet amica cohors de uirgine matre tonantis;
Uirginitate micans gaudet amica cohors.
Huius honor genuit casto de germine plures,
Uirgineos flores huius honor genuit.
Ignibus usta feris, uirgo non cessit Agathe,
Eulalia et perfert, ignibus usta feris.
Kasta feras superat mentis pro culmine Tecla,
Eufemia sacras kasta feras superat.
Laeta ridet gladios ferro robustior Agnes,
Caecilia infestos laeta ridet gladios.
Multus in orbe uiget per sobria corda triumphus,
Sobrietatis amor multus in orbe uiget.
Nostra quoque egregia iam tempora uirgo beauit;
Aedilthryda nitet nostra quoque egregia.
Orta patre eximio, regali et stemmate clara,
Nobilior Domino est, orta patre eximio.
Percipit inde decus reginae, et sceptra sub astris,
Plus super astra manens, percipit inde decus.
Quid petis, alma, uirum, sponso iam dedita summo?
Sponsus adest Christus; quid petis, alma, uirum?
Regis ut aetherei matrem iam credo sequaris,
Tu quoque sis mater regis ut aetherei.
Sponsa dicata Deo bis sex regnauerat annis,
Inque monasterio est sponsa dicata Deo.
Tota sacrata polo celsis ubi floruit actis,
Reddidit atque animam tota sacrata polo.
Uirginis alma caro est tumulata bis octo Nouembres,
Nec putet in tumulo uirginis alma caro.
Xriste, tui est operis, quia uestis et ipsa sepulchro
Inuiolata nitet: Xriste, tui est operis.
Ydros et ater abit sacrae pro uestis honore,
Morbi diffugiunt, ydros et ater abit.
Zelus in hoste furit, quondam qui uicerat Euam;
Uirgo triumphat ouans, zelus in hoste furit.
Aspice, nupta Deo, quae sit tibi gloria terris;
Quae maneat caelis, aspice, nupta Deo.
Munera laeta capis, festiuis fulgida taedis,
Ecce uenit sponsus, munera laeta capis.
Et noua dulcisono modularis carmina plectro,
Sponsa hymno exultas et noua dulcisono.
Nullus ab altithroni comitatu segregat agni,
Quam affectu tulerat nullus ab altithroni.
 
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Clemens

Civis Illustris
Interesting! Did medieval grammars maintain some kind of compendium of vowel length? I'm wondering because the old non-reconstructed pronunciations of Latin ignored vowel length, at least in English and French-speaking areas.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Did medieval grammars maintain some kind of compendium of vowel length?
Unfortunately, I don't know; but I imagine that at least some of them must have.
 

Serenus

Civis Illustris
Interesting! Did medieval grammars maintain some kind of compendium of vowel length? I'm wondering because the old non-reconstructed pronunciations of Latin ignored vowel length, at least in English and French-speaking areas.
And this is exactly where my question comes from. I've looked at some, though not many, manuscripts and printings of lectionaries/readers, grammars and e.g. Isidore's De Vocabulis (book X of the Etymologiae), and I haven't seen anything with vowel length marks until the 18th century comes around...... (Yes, Anbrutal gave a nice link to a 17th-century Gradus above.) (You can find these things in websites of national libraries and those of some universities, and archive.org.)

I'd love to be informed of the (known) existence of any medieval, and even Renaissance-era, "compendium of vowel length"...

That's my question: I want to see some examples, not because I'm arguing against it, but because I'm curious.
Bede, who died in the 8th century, even wrote a book that teaches various metres, De Arte Metrica (clickable link on the left), which curiously uses examples from Christian authors...

In the 10th century, the German historian Liutprand of Cremona would insert this poem in his work Antopodosis (metre: — — | — u u | — u x):

Se primum quatiens strepit
Gallus, cum vigiles facit
Mortales, solito sonat
Et pulsata Deo canit
Iam tunc aenea machina
Invitatque docens bene
Loetheum grave spernere
Laudes huic modo reddere,
Qui vitam tribuit, dedit
Et nobis superam bene
Sanctam quaerere patriam;
...
(I took this text from Harrington Pucci's Medieval Latin reader.)

In the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini is in hexameter, and check out Vitalis of Blois' adaptation of Plautus' Amphitruo and Aulularia into elegiac couplets. Nivardus' Ysengrimus is also in elegiac couplets...

Egrediens silua mane Ysengrimus, ut escam
Ieiunis natis quęreret atque sibi,
Cernit ab obliquo Reinardum currere uulpem,
Qui simili studio ductus agebat iter,
Pręuisusque lupo non uiderat ante uidentem,
Quam nimis admoto perdidit hoste fugam.
...
(source: archive.org)
 
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