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Within every verse comes at least one opportunity for a brief pause. This pause, or caesura (> Lat. "cut") often accompanies a break in the sense, i.e. between two ideas or clauses.

A caesura appears in the middle of feet, in one of two places:

Figure F illustrates the strong and the weak caesurae:

 
 
 
Figure F. Strong and weak caesurae.
 
 

Most verses have two or more caesurae. The principal caesura marks the most obvious pause in the sense, and is usually in the third foot (although it often appears in the second and fourth feet as well).

Figure G shows all possible caesurae in Aeneid 1.1.

 
 
 
Figure G. Caesurae in Aeneid 1.1.
 
As you can see, there are no less than five caesurae in this line. The principal caesura is in foot three, marking the pause between the main clause arma virumque cano, and the relative clause qui primus ab oris Troiae.
 
 
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