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The first syllable of each foot is emphasized in oral reading.1 This stress of the voice is called ictus (Latin for ‘blow,’ ‘beat’ in time); it can be indicated with an accent mark. The syllable that receives the ictus is called the thesis (Greek “θέσις”, a ‘setting down,’ as of the foot in marching); the rest of the foot —either one long syllable or two short syllables—the arsis (Greek “ἄρσις”, a ‘lifting,’ as of the foot in marching).

1 Emphasizing the first syllable is a classroom technique; modern scholars no longer recommend this. --Perseus

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