Word Order

Because poets were restricted by considerations of meter and rhythm, word order in Latin verse was much freer than in prose. The most striking differences are the following.

' ^ Adjectives and the nouns with which they agree are sometimes sep-J arated to an extent that would be unusual in prose.

Talibus Aeneas ardentem et torva tuentem lenlbat dictis animum.

Vergil Aeneid 6.467f. With such words Aeneas tried to soothe [her] burning anger and grim looks.

' Adverbs in prose are usually placed immediately before the word v_J they qualify; this norm is often broken in verse.

Illo mom validus subiit iuga tempore taurus. Tibullus Elegies 1.3.41 At that time, a strong bull did not go under the yoke.

Conveniunt nostrls auribus ista magis. Martial Epigrammata 4.41.2 That is more suited to our ears.

... contactum nullls ante cupldinibus. Propertius Elegies 1.1.2

... previously smitten by no desires.

Gy Coordinating conjunctions, such as et (and) and nec (nor), are some-

v-/ times placed after the first word or words of the phrase or clause that they join to what precedes.

... cedat et auriferl ripa benigna Tagi! Ovid Amores 1.15.34

... and let the generous bank of gold-bearing Tagus yield! (in prose, et cedat...)

Fulminat ilia oculis et, quantum femina, saevit, spectaclum capta nec minus urbe fait. Propertius Elegies 4.8.55f.

[Her] eyes flashed with lightning and she raged as much as a woman [can], nor was the sight anything short of [that of J a captured city. (in prose, nec spectaclum capta ..,)

In verse, -que and is sometimes placed after the second, third, or even fourth word of the clause that it joins to what precedes.

Ndndum caeruleas pinus contempserat undas, effusum ventis praebuerat<j«e sinum. Tibullus Elegies i.3.37f.

[A ship of] pine had not yet scorned the blue waves and exposed [its] billowing sail to the winds. (in prose, effusumque ventis praebuerat...)

Subordinating conjunctions, relative pronouns, and interrogative pronouns can be placed after the first word or words of the clause they introduce.

Ovid Metamorphoses 1.395 Although the Titan's daughter was moved by the interpretation of [her] spouse ...

... in tôtô semper ut orbe canar. Ovid Amôrês 1.15.8

...so that I may be sung forever in the whole world. (in prose, ut in tôtô semper ...)

Ennius Annales 1 fr. xxix.3

Daughter ofEurydica, whom our father loved ...

(in prose, quam pater ..,) Nescio tam multls quid scrîbàs, Fauste, puellis.

Martial Epigrammata 11.64.1 I don't know, Faustus, what you write to so many girls. (in prose, quid tam multïs ...)

An antecedent can be placed after the adjectival clause referring to it. (This also occurs in prose.)

Quem tu., Melpomene, semel nascentem placido lumine videris, ilium non labor Isthmius clarabit. Horace Odes 4.3.iff.

[The one] whom you, Melpomene, have once looked upon with a kindly eye at his birth, toil in the Isthmian Games will not make [him] famous. (ilium is the antecedent of quem)

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