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Classics & Ancient History   >   Greek and Latin Metre

Dactylic Hexameter

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Greek and Latin Metre

In this course, Professor Armand D’Angour (University of Oxford) introduces some of the more popular metrical forms of Greek and Latin poetry. In the first module, we look at dactylic hexameter, the metre used in Greek and Roman epic poetry. After that, we turn to iambic trimeter, the metre used in much of Greek tragedy. In the third module, we think about the elegiac couplet, used by poets such as Catullus, Ovid, Propertius and Tibullus, and in the fourth we turn to two metres used by Catullus – the hendecasyllable and the limping iambic.

Dactylic Hexameter

In this module, we discuss the dactylic hexameter, the metre of the Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, among other texts. In particular, we focus on the difference the stress-based metrical system of modern European poetry and the quantity- (or length-) based system of Greek and Latin poetry, before giving some examples of the metrical ‘sound effects’ that one finds in Virgil.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

D'Angour, A. (2018, August 15). Greek and Latin Metre - Dactylic Hexameter [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

D'Angour, A. "Greek and Latin Metre – Dactylic Hexameter." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. Armand D'Angour

Prof. Armand D'Angour

University of Oxford