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Echoĭci Versus

also called Serpentīni. A name given to verses in which the first words of the hexameter are repeated as the second half of the following pentameter. The name is also given to palindromes, in which the line reads the same both backwards and forwards. These trifles were composed by both the Greeks and the Romans. Martial speaks slightingly of them (carmen supinum, ii. 86). The following will serve as illustrations:
ἤδή μοι Διος ἀ_ῤ ἀπάτα παρὰ σοι Διομήδη.
(Kaibel, Epigr. Gr. 1124.)
Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.
(Sidon. Epist. ix. 14.)
Nemo te cedis, murorum si decet omen.
Anthol. Lat. 325.)

In the following, the distich read backwards, word by word, gives a second distich:
Praecipiti modo quod decurrit tramite flumen
Tempore consumptum iam cito deficiat.
(Sidon. Epist. ix. 14.)

These verses were also styled analytici versus and reciproci versus. Further examples will be found in Apoll. Sid. (Epist. viii. 11), Venantius Fortunatus, Sedulius, and among the Poetae Latini Minores (iv. 260-267). See Friedländer on Martial ii. 86; and for other metrical whims, the articles Abecedarii Versus; Acrosticha; Cento; Hymnus; Leonini Versus; Sotadici Versus.

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