Scanning a line from Brevissima

Sorry if this is the wrong forum, not sure where this should go and saw another post here on poetry.

I am having trouble with the following line from Brevissima: 1001 Tiny Latin Poems
I am expecting dactylic pentameter (from the intro in the book)
Sōlīus est prōprium scīre futūra deī

I see: long long long long long short long long short short long short short long

the -um in proprium is what is giving me the most trouble. it ends in a consonant but its an 'm' so I'm not sure if this doesn't count. I feel like it should be short I just can't find it written somewhere that final 'm' doesn't count as a consonant here
 

LCF

One of "those" people

  • Civis Illustris

Sōlīus est prōprium scīre futūra deī
A vowel is short before a vowel. tr, pr, br sometimes make a short sometimes make a long

Sōlĭŭs est prŏprĭum // scrie futura dei
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

  • Patronus

You probably looked up that word in a dictionary and it gave you a length over the i (or you learnt it that way). This is true in regular Latin. In poetry, the i in words that form their genitive with -ius (unius, ullius, totius, illius, ipsius, solius) can either be long or short, depending on what is convenient. In this case it has to be short, obviously.

the -um in proprium is what is giving me the most trouble. it ends in a consonant but its an 'm' so I'm not sure if this doesn't count. I feel like it should be short I just can't find it written somewhere that final 'm' doesn't count as a consonant here
If a word ends in vowel+m (-am, -em, -im, -om, -um), the last syllable is almost never short. If the following word starts in a consonant, the last syllable is considered long by position (like in this example); If the following word starts with a vowel (or h+vowel), the last syllable gets elided 99% of the time.

Dr. Eff's scansion is right.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

  • Patronus

Interestingly enough, classical poets of Latin did not even use the word solius. (in the genitive -- they used other forms of solus though)
I presume they would have written unius there.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: LCF
Top