Thus far the readings
in the audio files have been very mechanical: strong theses
followed by light arses (DUM-diddy), all in
strict tempo. They must be so for the sake of theory.
practice, however, the hexameter verse is
much more resilient and allows for some license on the reader's part: pauses,
for example, or quickening of tempo can lend great dramatic effect.
fact, there are points in every line where strict meter
will not do. These tend to come at the beginning of a line, when the stress placed
upon the thesis conflicts with the natural
accentuation of a word.
example, arma virumque cano in Aeneid 1.1; cano is naturally
accented on the first syllable: CA-no. But observance of the meter
requires the unnatural pronunciation ca-NO, which would have made any good
however, that meter and nature combine toward
the end of the line. After the fourth foot in 1.1, following the bucolic
diaeresis, primus ab oris (PRI-mus ab O-ris) reads both metrically