Posted by Dennis » 4 Comments »
It strikes me that no general reference on Greek meter answers the questions that come up most often when actually dealing with meter. I know that in the past I was chided by one commenter for complicating an issue supposedly deftly handled in Raven’s Latin Metre, but truth be told, I wouldn’t recommend Raven’s second-rate texts to anyone (though it’s his work on Greek that is especially troublesome). I pour through Maas’s still largely sound handbook (though it was originally published as part of a student’s companion), West’s disordered mass of undocumented observations (which is heavily Maasian), Snell’s concise notes (or Rosenmeyer’s, which are based on Snell’s), Wilamowitz’s unwieldy tome, the equally enlightening and infuriating French handbooks by Dain and Koster, and I still have doubts or find the same ambiguity spread about equally.
Then when it comes to actual analysis I find that the statistics which many arguments rely on are flat wrong.
And I can only conclude that it has been among the discipline’s gravest errors to tuck metrical studies away in favor of things like speech-act theory.
Or maybe I’m just becoming a curmudgeon before my time.