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Hexametrica is a tutorial designed to provide a basic understanding of the most common poetic meter, the dactylic hexameter. Furthermore, the tutorial is geared toward intermediate Latin students who are reading Vergil. Nevertheless, readers of Ovid or Catullus, e.g., or even of Homer may use these pages to their advantage.

What follows is not a complete discussion of hexameter verse, but a utilitarian guide to the first principles of recitation.  As such, some liberties have been taken for the sake of clarity;  but with these principles in mind, students should be able to approach with some confidence the daunting prospect of reading Latin epic aloud.

Hexametrica is divided into three units. The first, Rhythms, introduces the fundamentals of meter. The second, Scansion, deals with the science of breaking down hexameter verses into feet. The third, Recitation, is centered on oral scanning and delivery. A Glossary rounds out the site; all technical vocabulary is defined here (although terms are defined throughout the site).

The text is supplemented with audio files. Whenever possible, click an ear icon () to hear the audio supplement.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Prof. Dan Curley, the webmaster of this site.

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