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As archilochian be in the ancient Verslehre two after the poet Archilochus named versification referred to in different forms archilochischer verses are used.

The first form is called Archilochius minor ("little Archilochius") and is a seven-part Aeolian verse according to the metrical scheme :

—◡◡ — ◡◡

In formula notation it becomes withar miabbreviated. If this verse is interpreted as a catalectic dactylic trimeter , it corresponds to the hemiepes :

—◡◡ˌ — ◡◡ˌ

In connection with a subsequent iambic dimeter , the Elegiambus is created , in connection with a preceding iambic dimeter, the Iambelegus .

Another, also known as Aristophaneus designated form gives way in the last two members anaklastisch and may as a combination of choriamb and Bacchius be interpreted:

—◡◡ — ◡—

The second form, the Archilochius maior or Archilochian verse , is abbreviatedar ma, is an asynartetic verse made up of a dactylic tetrameter and a trochaic tripody , thusthere 4 ‖ tr 3, with the scheme:

—◡◡ˌ — ◡◡ˌ — ◡◡ˌ — ◡◡ ‖ —◡ — ◡— .

Since the trochaic tripody corresponds to the Ithyphallikos , this can also be calledthere 4 ‖ ith interpret.

Archilochian stanzas

The Archilochian stanzas are distichic , i.e. two-line stanzas , which are formed from Archilochian verse and another meter. The three main forms are:

1st Archilochian stanza

catalectic dactylic hexameter (includes the hemiepes) and catalectic dactylic tetrameter (there 6c/there 4c):
- ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡ ˌ— ‖  ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡ ˌ — ◡◡ˌ
- ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡ ˌ— ( ◡◡ ) ˌ—

Used for example by Horace in his odes:

Laudabunt alii claram Rhodon aut Mytilenen
aut Ephesum bimarisve Corinthi
moenia vel Baccho Thebas vel Apolline Delphos
insignis aut Thessala Tempe

2nd Archilochian stanza

catalectic dactylic hexameter and Archilochius minor (there 6c/ar mi):
- ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡ ˌ— ‖  ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡ ˌ — ◡◡ˌ
—◡◡ˌ — ◡◡ˌ

An example from the Odes of Horace:

Diffugere nives, redeunt iam gramina campis
arboribusque comae
mutat terra vices et decrescentia ripas
flumina praetereunt

In German this stanza form was copied by Klopstock in some of his friendship codes, whereby he took the license to occasionally replace dactyls with trocheae. An example from An Ebert :

Ebert, I am scared by a sad thought of the blinking wine
Deep into melancholy!
Oh you talk in vain, in front of the huge goblet,
Cheer up thoughts to me!
I have to go away and cry! maybe that the soothing tear
I weep my grief.
Soothing tears, nature gave you to human misery
Assign as companions.

3rd Archilochian stanza

Archilochius maior and catalectic iambic trimeter (ar ma/yes tc):
- ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡ ˌ— | ◡◡ ˌ— ◡◡  ‖ —◡ — ◡——
—◡ — ˌ  | —◡ — ˌ◡—

Another example can be found in Horace

Soluitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni
trahuntque siccas machinae carinas,
ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni
nec prata canis albicant pruinis.

Reproduced in German by Johann Heinrich Voss :

Cutting Ostorkan from Siberia rushes at the double window;
Loaded with firing, the truck creaks in the frost.
A sleigh does not ring through the snow, nor does a runner hover around
Marble swept smooth with the steel of the ice rink.

Rarer archilochian strophic forms are distiches from hexameter and jambelegos or iambic trimeter with elegjambus. A total of 18 forms are known.


  • Sandro Boldrini : Prosody and Metrics of the Romans. Teubner, Stuttgart et al. 1999, ISBN 3-519-07443-5 , pp. 139 f., 157 f.
  • Dieter Burdorf, Christoph Fasbender , Burkhard Moennighoff (Hrsg.): Metzler-Lexikon literature. Terms and definitions. 3rd, completely revised edition. Metzler, Stuttgart et al. 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-01612-6 , p. 43.
  • Dieter Burdorf, Christoph Fasbender, Burkhard Moennighoff (Hrsg.): Metzler-Lexikon literature. Terms and definitions. 3rd, completely revised edition. Metzler, Stuttgart et al. 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-01612-6 , p. 15.
  • Gero von Wilpert : Subject dictionary of literature. Special edition of the 8th, improved and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-520-84601-3 , p. 45.

Individual evidence

  1. Horace, Odes 1, 7 .
  2. Horace, Odes 4, 7.
  3. ^ Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock: To Ebert. Verses 1-8. In: ders .: Oden. Vol. 1. Göschen, Leipzig 1798, p. 33 ( digitized versionhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3D~IA%3Dklopstocksoden00klopgoog~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3Dn48~ double-sided%3D~LT%3D~PUR%3D ).
  4. Horace, Odes 1, 4 .
  5. ^ Johann Heinrich Voss: The winter feast. Verses 1-4. In: Joseph Kürschner : German National Literature. Vol. 49. Spemann, Berlin & Stuttgart undated, p. 219 ( online ).