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Cretic ( ancient Greek κρητικός kretikos , latin creticus ; plural Kretizi or cretics ) or Amphimacer (also Amphimazer ; Greek ἀμφίμακρος amphimakros "on both sides of long") referred to in the ancient Verslehre a simple, three-membered metrical foot , in which a brief two Longa is included in metric notation so


In metric formula notation , the Kreticus is withcr abbreviated.

The name Kreticus appears late in Hephaestion . He goes to Thaletas , a choral lyricist of the 7th century BC. BC, who was credited with introducing Cretan rhythms to Sparta .

The Creticus can be derived from the iambic (◡ — ◡—) or the Trochaic metron (—◡ — ◡) by syncopation , i.e. by omitting a shortness . In the iambic metron, the first and in the trochaic the last abbreviation are omitted, which explains the proximity of the Creticus to iambic and trochaic rhythms. With a preceding iambus, the Kreticus becomes Dochmius (◡ —— ◡—).

Cretan meters

Cretan meters appear in Greek poetry in Bakchylides and in comedy in Aristophanes . In the early Roman comedy mainly with Plautus , but also with Livius Andronicus and Ennius . As a clause often with Cicero .

Cretan meter measures are in ancient metrics:

  • Cretan Dipody (cr 2) with Plautus and Livius Andronicus or Cretan dimeter (cr d)
—◡ — ˌ — ◡

- × —ˌ — ◡ — ˌ — ◡

- × —ˌ — ◡ — ˌ — ◡ — ˌ — ◡
Usually there is a diheresis after the sixth element, which is then treated as an elementum indifferens :
- × —ˌ — ◡  ‖ —◡ — ˌ — ◡

  • Cretan Colon (cr c)
- × - ×

Since the reproduction of Cretan series in modern languages ​​with the accented verse principle would require that stressed syllables follow one another, similar difficulties arise as, for example, with the reproduction of the Spondeus in German . Accordingly, evidence of Cretan verses in modern languages ​​is rare and scattered.

The situation is different when using the Kreticus or the Dikretikus , the doubling of the Kreticus (—◡ —— ◡—), as a rhetorical clause. It can already be found frequently in ancient speakers, such as Cicero, and now appears every day in phrases that consist of two monosyllabic nouns connected by conjunction (often alliterating ) . Examples are "Gut und Geld", "Haus und Hof" etc. Therefore there is still a well-known example of a poem with Cretan verses, namely The Water by Christian Morgenstern :

Without a word, without a word,
the water keeps flowing;
otherwise, otherwise
it would say nothing else than:

beer and bread, love and loyalty -
and that would not be new either.
This shows, this shows
that the water is more silent.

Here the odd-numbered verses (“ Bier und Brot || Lieb und Treu ”) are Cretan dimeters with central diheresis (—◡— ‖ —◡—), the even-numbered ones are Catalectic Trochaic dimeters (—◡ — ◡ — ◡—).


Individual evidence

  1. Plutarch De musica 10.1134d.
  2. Christian Morgenstern: The water . In: ders. All gallows songs. Diogenes, Zurich 1981, p. 51.