AP Latin : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter in Vergil

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

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Example Question #57 : Vergil

Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos,
sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
Ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;            5   
pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa volumine terga.
Fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arva tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni                 10
sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora.
Diffugimus visu exsangues. Illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parva duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus.                15

How many ellisions are in line 2?

Possible Answers:

3

0

2

1

Correct answer:

1

Explanation:

Ellisions can occur when one word ends in a vowel and the following word begins with a vowel. They can also occur when one word ends in the accusative singular, followed by a word beginning with a vowel. There is one instance of this in line 2.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 2.201-215)

Example Question #58 : Vergil

Defessi Aeneadae, quae proxima litora, cursu
contendunt petere, et Libyae vertuntur ad oras.
Est in secessu longo locus: insula portum
efficit obiectu laterum, quibus omnis ab alto              
frangitur inque sinus scindit sese unda reductos.

How many ellisions occur in line 2?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Ellisions can occur when one word ends with a vowel, followed by a word that begins with a vowel. There is only one such instance of this in line 2, so there is only one ellision.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.157-161)

Example Question #59 : Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Which is the correct scansion of line 1?

Possible Answers:

_ vv | _ vv | _ v | _ vv| _ _ | _ _ 

_ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _ _| _ vv | _ _ 

_ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _ _| _ vv | v v

_ vv | _ vv | _ vv | _ _| _ vv | _ _ 

Correct answer:

_ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _ _| _ vv | _ _ 

Explanation:

The correct scansion for line 1 is: _ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _ _| _ vv | _ _ 

In dactylic hexameter, the first syllable of a dactyl is always long and there must be 6 dactyls total.

The following two syllables are short because they are naturally short and do not need to be long either because of case or meter. The "-no" in "cano" is long because of meter and inflection (the "-o" ending of verbs in the present tense is always long). The following syllable ("Troi") is also long because the "-ae" ending must also be long due to case. "Qui" and "pri-" need to also be long to fit the meter. "-Mus" and "ab" are short to fit the meter and because nothing necessitates that they be long syllables. Lastly, this line ends in a spondee (_ _), which is fairly common.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #1 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Which is the correct scansion of line 2?

Possible Answers:

_ vv | _ _ | _ vv | _ _| _ vv| _ vv

_ vv | _ vv | _ vv | _vv | _ vv| _ vv

_ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _ _| _ vv| _ vv

_ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _vv | _ vv| _ _

_ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _vv | _ vv| _ vv

Correct answer:

_ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _vv | _ vv| _ vv

Explanation:

The correct scansion for line 2 is: _ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _vv | _ vv| _ vv

In dactylic hexameter, the first syllable of a dactyl is always long and there must be six dactyls total.

The first set is a dactyl because there are no long syllables in "Itali-." The "-am," however, is long because of meter. The syllables of "fato" are both long because of case and to fit the meter. The syllable "pro-" is also naturally long. the "-fu-" is long to fit the meter and the rest is a regular dactyl. The line ends with two more dactyls, mainly to fit the meter.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #2 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

The third meter in line 3 looks like __________.

Possible Answers:

v _

_ vv

_ v

_ _

Correct answer:

_ _

Explanation:

The third meter in this like looks like: _ _. This is because there is ellision between the words "multum ille et," which, when scanning, makes it sound like three syllables. When ellision occurs, the ellided syllables become long.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #3 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

What is the proper scansion of the fourth meter in line 4?

Possible Answers:

_ _

_ x

_ vv 

_ v _

Correct answer:

_ _

Explanation:

The proper scansion of the fourth meter in line 4 looks like: _ _. Both the syllables "rem" and "Ju-" must be long in order to fit the meter.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #4 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

What is the correct scansion of line 5?

Possible Answers:

_ vv | _ _ | _ vv | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

_ _ | _ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

_ _ | _ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

_ vv | _ vv | _ vv | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

_ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

Correct answer:

_ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

Explanation:

The correct scansion for line 5 is: _ vv | _ _ | _ _ | _ _ | _ vv | _ x

In dactylic hexameter, the first syllable of a dactyl is always long and there must be six dactyls total.

The line starts off with a normal dactyl. The next few meters, though, are long because an ellision occurs between "quo" and "et," which makes the syllable long and therefore shifts other syllables to long as well to fit the meter. The last two meters end in the common fashion of a dactyl (_ vv) and _ x

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #5 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Where does the caesura occur in line 6?

Possible Answers:

Between "Latio" and "genus"

In the word "genus"

In the word "Latio"

Between "deos" and "Latio"

Correct answer:

Between "deos" and "Latio"

Explanation:

The caesura of line 6 most naturally occurs between the words "deos" and "Latio."

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #6 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Where does the caesura occur in line 7?

Possible Answers:

In the word "patres"

Between "atque" and "altae"

In the word "altae"

Between "patres" and "atque"

Correct answer:

Between "patres" and "atque"

Explanation:

The caesura of this line most naturally occurs after the word "patres."

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

Example Question #7 : Scanning Dactylic Hexameter In Vergil

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,               5
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores               10
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Where does the caesura occur in line 8?

Possible Answers:

Between "quo" and "numine"

In the word "memora"

Between "memora" and "quo"

Between "causas" and "memora"

Correct answer:

Between "causas" and "memora"

Explanation:

The caesura of line 8 most naturally occurs between the words "causas" and "memora."

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.1-12)

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