a line between feet
often means drawing a line between syllables. arma virumque cano,
for example, is broken up as arma vi | rumque ca | no.
But why not arma vir | umque can | o?
answer one must remember the basic rules for syllabification,
or dividing words up into their syllables.
exception to the second rule is with a vowel followed by a stop
(a consonant formed by complete air blockage, e.g. t, d, p, b, k, g) plus a liquid
(a consonant that can be prolonged, e.g. l or r).
Syllables are usually divided between a vowel and a single consonant:
vi-rum, not vir-um.
When a vowel is followed by two consonants in the same word, the divison comes
between the consonants: ar-ma, not arm-a or a-rma.
patres divides as pa-tres, not pat-res. A stop-liquid
combination, furthermore, will not always "make position"
for a vowel: the -a- in patres, for example, scans
as short, not long.
the combination -qu-, which is treated like a single consonant for the purposes
of scansion. A syllable division is always
placed before the -q-, never between the -q- and -u-.