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Anaklasis ( Greek  ἀνάκλασις "bend back") is in ancient verse the punctual interchange of a length and a shortness in the quantifying meter , in which, for example, an iambic metron (◡ — ˌ◡—) at the beginning becomes a trochaeus (—◡ˌ◡— ). In metric notation becomes anaclase

  • as (exchange with iambus),
  • as (exchange with Trochäus ),
  • or also as or ×phia.

In ancient metrics, anaclasis cannot appear anywhere, but only at certain points in certain meters, for example in the ( brachycatalectic ) ionic quaternar a maiore. Instead of the regular shape

——◡◡ˌ —— ◡◡ˌ —— ◡◡ˌ——

arises from an anaclase in the third meter:

——◡◡ˌ —— ◡◡ˌ — ◡ — ◡ˌ——.

The occurrence of anaklasis is controversial in science due to its nature as a regular irregularity in these and other meters (e.g. iambic trimeter , choliambus ).

In languages ​​with an accented verse principle , the anaclasis corresponds to the offset stress , whereby a syllable that cannot be stressed appears at a point with stress required by the meter . Example:

“I was deposed. Your graces know. "

Here the blank verse requires an accentuation on the second syllable (-ge-), which, however, cannot be stressed.

A distinction must be made between offset stress and pitch inflection , in which at a point with stress required by the meter, a syllable that is unstressed according to natural stress but that can be stressed appears. Example:

"Do I still feel my heart inclined to that delusion?"

Here the meter again requires stressing the second syllable (Fühl i̱ch) contrary to the natural stress (Fühl ich). The word “I” can, however, be stressed, so it can be balanced out during recitation by adjusting, so-called floating stress .


  • Otto Knörrich: Lexicon of lyrical forms (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 479). 2nd, revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-520-47902-8 , pp. 10, 201, 238f.
  • Günther Schweikle, Dieter Burdorf (Hrsg.): Metzler Lexicon Literature. Terms and definitions. Metzler, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-01612-6 , pp. 20, 695f, 773.

Individual evidence

  1. Sandro Boldrini : Prosody and Metrics of the Romans. Teubner, Stuttgart & Leipzig 1999, pp. 135f.
  2. See e.g. B. Martial Epigrams 3.29.
  3. Christiaan Marie Jan Sicking: Greek verse teaching. (= Handbook of Classical Studies. Dept. 2, Part 4) Beck, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-406-35252-9 , pp. 88, 101, 188, 192.
  4. Friedrich Schiller : The Piccolomini II, 7
  5. Johann Wolfgang Goethe : Faust I V. 4