Bibliography by Topic

General History of Prose Rhythm and Related Areas

Classical and Late Latin

General discussions of developments in Late Latin or in Classical and Late Latin prose rhythm: Norden (1909) II 909-60. Oberhelman (2003). Zielinski (1906).

Classical Latin itself is outside the scope of this bibliography. For comparative purposes (since they take account of word division), useful works include Müller (1954), 755-82 on Curtius Rufus, and Zielinski (1904) on Cicero.

Medieval Latin

Outside the scope of this bibliography. Useful works include Janson (1975), Orlandi (1998) and (2005).

Genres and Corpora

Legal Texts (Projet Volterra homepage)

Collinet (1927), unsystematic, considers only accent. Oberhelman and Hall (1985).

Ecclesiastical Latin

Papal Chancery

Cochez (1938) largely summarises Di Capua (1937), emphasising the importance of caesura. Di Capua (1937), the most important work on the subject. Duval (2005), 149-59. Pollard (2009) looks at clausulae from the late sixth to the early eighth century, largely from an accentual viewpoint. Valois (1881).


Vacandard (1905). See also Ambrose (on the Te Deum) and Sacramentarium Leonianum.

Literary Scholarship


See Diomedes, Fulgentius, Romanus.

Commentaries and Marginalia

See below on Lactantius Placidus, Scholia in Orationes Ciceronis and Servius. Oakley (1997), 168, notes the clausulae in marginalia in the Livian manuscript M (Florence, Bibl. Laur. plut. lxiii. 19), perhaps going back to the Nicomachean recension. Reeve (1984), 45-6, uses prose rhythm to argue for the antiquity of a disputed Juvenal scholion.


For inscriptions containing edicts and similar legal texts, the same concern for rhythm can be expected as in legal texts transmitted by manuscripts - see Maas (1906), 650-1, reprinted in Maas (1973), 617-8. For honorific inscriptions, see Salomies (1994), 101-106.


Álvarez Campos (1993) studies the rhythm of Spanish writers. Cupiccia (2001) looks at Spanish writers of the sixth and seventh centuries.

Authors and Works


Delaney (1934). Oberhelman (1991), 21-62.

The hymn Te deum laudamus, sometimes attributed to Ambrosius or Nicetas, is written in rhythmic prose. See Burn (1905), cix-cxii, Vacandard (1905), 97-100.

Ammianus Marcellinus

Barnes (1998), 225-30. Galdi (1918). Hagendahl (1924), 188-190. Harmon (1910). Oberhelman (1987).


Bernhard (1927), 240-55 (Metamorphoses), 301-3 (Florida), 324-5 (Apologia), 333-4 (Plat.), 342-3 (mund.), 351-2 (Socr.). Nisbet (2001) (on the prologue to the Metamorphoses, with observations of more general relevance).

Axelson (1952), Holmes (2007), 684-6 and Redfors (1960), 75-113 discuss the relevance of prose rhythm to the authenticity of the de Platone and de mundo.


Hagendahl (1937).


Brennan (1947) (on the sermons, not very useful). Carroll (1940) on the Confessions. Laurand (1919), drawing attention to Augustine’s remarks at mus. 5, 10, 20. 5, 10, 22. 6, 10, 26. Oberhelman and Hall (1987a) on the letters. Oberhelman (1991), 89-99. van Weegen (1961), 133-147. Zwierlein (2002).


von Winterfeld (1902a).


See Passio Maccabaeorum, Vetus Latina, Vulgata.


Di Capua (1914b).

Caelius Aurelianus

Bendz (1943), 67-8 finds rhythm in Caelius Aurelianus, but goes no further than giving a few examples.


Suelzer (1944). Fridh (1950), 5-29.


See Romanus.

Claudius Mamertinus

Hårleman (1938), 72-5 (on a translation from Plato at Claud. Mam. 2, 7 p. 125, 14-127, 2, where the partly accentual rhythm discourages us from attributing it to a classical author) and 99-100.

Consultationes Zacchaei et Apollonii

Axelson (1937), 118-23, reprinted in Axelson (1987), 85-90, compares the rhythm of Firmicus Maternus (who has a more restrictive and quantity based rhythm) and the Consultationes (in which accent plays a somewhat larger role) to reject Morin’s attribution of the work to Firmicus.


Bayard (1924). De Jonge (1905). Knook (1932). Molager (1981). Watson (1896), 217-21.

Memoli (1971) is not chiefly concerned with clausular rhythm, but rather with the articulation of sentences by means of semantically (and sometimes syntactically) related word groups, such as synonymous pairs. He does discuss the relevance of these to clausular rhythm in an extended footnote, p. 54 n. 20.


Di Capua (1937), 251-73.

De rebus bellicis (De machinis bellicis)

Lejay (1909), 291-2 discusses the accentual rhythms, rejecting the possibility of metrical clausulae; but cf. Holmes (2007).

Diomedes grammaticus

Castillo Herrera (1995), 221-37. Dammer (2001), 63-5, 295.

Ennodius (Ennodius page by Christian Rohr)

Fougnies (1951).


von Winterfeld (1903).


Hartke (1932), 8-10, 12.

Faustus Reiensis

Elg (1937), 52-96, 139-50.

Favonius Eulogius

von Winterfeld (1902b) considers the rhythm accentual.

(Rufius?) Festus

Fele (1996).

Firmicus Maternus

Ziegler (1907), xiv-xxxi. See also Axelson (1937) on the Consult. Zacch.

Fulgentius (Fulgentius page by Greg Hays)

Hays (2002), 216-8, compares the rhythm of the genuine works and the Super Thebaidem as one argument for rejecting its authenticity.

Fulgentius Ruspensis

A few remarks in Lapeyre (1929), 313-4.

Gargilius Martialis

Mazzini (1988) 60-82. Önnerfors (1993b), 270-4.


Orlandi (1984), with some discussion of other writers, including Sidonius Apollinaris, Caesarius of Arles and Gregory of Tours.

Gregorius Magnus

Brazzel (1939). Norberg (1980) and Norberg (1986) see the pursuit of rhythm as a feature of Gregory’s chancelry, not of his own writings.

Hieronymus (Jerome)

Herron (1937). Knook (1932). Laurand (1919), not very useful. Oberhelman (1991), 63-87. Scourfield (1993), 233-242.

Hilarius (episcopus Pictaviensis)

Mann (1936)

Hilarius of Arles

Cavallin (1948), 148-57.

Historia Apollonii regis Tyri

Puche López (2004).

Historia Augusta

Ballou (1912) and (1915). von Winterfeld (1902). Zernial (1956), (1986), (1994), (1995), (1998).


Bianchi (1956).

Julian of Aeclanum

Bouwman (1958), 30-6, 56-8, has remarks on the influence of rhythm on stylistic choices in Julian. Primmer (1975 and 1977).

Julius Valerius

Axelson (1937), 29 n. 4, reprinted in Axelson (1987), 43 n. 4, is a long footnote intended to justify the view that the rhythmic sentence endings in Julius Valerius are often purely accentual. Romano (1974), 82-5, rejects Axelson’s view, although his own account of the clausulae also only looks at accent. He imagines that he finds expressive use of the clausulae, basing his interpretation on the medieval names velox and tardus.

Lactantius (Lactantius bibliography by Prof. Jackson Bryce)

Casey (1978). Stangl (1915) is largely concerned with textual criticism, but to this purpose makes scattered remarks on the influence of rhythm on stylistic choices.

Lactantius Placidus

Klotz (1908), 505-8.

Leo the Great

Blümer, W. (1991), 62-97. Di Capua (1934). (1937), 1-204. Steeger (1908).

On the Epistula ad Demetriadem, see Prosper of Aquitaine.


Di Capua (1937), 213-47.


Lödgberg (1936), 129-41.

Martianus Capella

Sundermeyer (1910), 41-80 (mostly outdated).

Martinus Bracarensis (Martin of Braga)

Lopetegui (1992 and 1992a).

Minucius Felix

Aumont (1998). Ausserer (1906). Müller (1992).


See Ambrose.


Jordan (1905), 38-74, criticised by Scheidweiler for errors of scansion. Melin (1946), 197-206. Scheidweiler (1957).


Blomgren (1959), 48-57 (studies Optatus’ prose rhythm to show that passages of questioned authenticity in a lost manuscript are genuine.

Opus imperfectum in Matthaeum

Paas (1907), 58-9, looks for the three most common classical clausulae in a sample of 140 sentence endings and finds that the low frequency of these suggests that the author was not writing rhythmically.


Svennung (1922), 180-187.

Palladius Rufinius Taurus Aemilianus

Svennung (1935), 549-50.

Palladius, Historia Monachorum

Wellhausen (2003), 68-74 discusses prose rhythm in a Latin translation of the Historia Lausiaca of Palladius.

Panegyrici Latini

Baehrens (1910), 36-63.

Passio Maccabaeorum

Dörrie (1938), 24-6.

Passio Montani et Lucii

Wilamovitz-Möllendorf (1899), 212-4.

Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis

Fridh (1968), 12-45, uses prose rhythm as evidence for the third century date of the Latin text, its three authors and its priority over the Greek text.

Petrus Chrysologus

Böhmer (1919), 105-24.


Prendergast (1938), 129-159.


Alès (1918), 354, uses the similar high proportions of ‘clausules régulieres’ (not defined) in the Vita Cypriani (0.90) and in Ps. Cypr. de laude martyrii (0.93) to argue for common authorship (no control comparison). Baehrens (1921), 519-20, has a few remarks on rhythm as evidence for textual criticism and on its influence on choice of vocabulary.

Prosper of Aquitaine

Young (1952), 72-163 and 174-9, compares the clausulae of the de vocatione gentium, a fifth century text ascribed to Prosper, with the genuine contra collatorem; he concludes that the work is by the same author (but his control texts are largely made up of works which one would not expect to resemble a typical fifth century work). Krabbe (1965), 77-92, looks at the epistula ad Demetriadem de vera humilitate, a work ascribed by some to Prosper or to Leo the Great, and finds that it resembles the vocat. gen. as described by Young and does not resemble Leo’s works.


Cavallin (1951), 147-50.


Braun (1964), 675-92.

Regula Benedicti

Lentini (1942).

Romanus (C. Iulius Romanus grammaticus)

Schenkeveld (2004), 71-5, discusses prose rhythm in passages from Romanus included in Charisius’ text.


Hagendahl (1952), 32-50.

Sacramentarium Leonianum

Di Capua (1914a). Laurand (1913), 702-4 (very brief, considers only accent). Wilson (1904) and (1905).

Scholia in Orationes Ciceronis

Strauss (1910) on the Bobbio scholia.


Candel (1904).


Norden (1915), 163, n. 1, remarks on Servius’ use of rhythm (in contrast to Servius auctus).

Severus of Minorca

Seguí Vidal (1937), 128-34.

Sulpicius Severus

Hyltén (1940), 25-57.


Badalì (1966) (not very useful). Havet (1892). Möller (1912). Thraede (1968).


Ugenti (1995, 1995a, 1997). Waszink (1950).

Säflund (1955) is largely concerned with other stylistic marking devices than clausulae that govern the division of sentences into smaller units.

Theodorus Priscianus

Önnerfors (1993b), 290 n. 104.

Flavius Vegetius Renatus

Hartke (1932), 6-7. Holmes (2002), (2007). Laurand (1924). Önnerfors (1993a), 158-61, compares clausulae in Epitoma and Mulomedicina as one argument for the works’ common authorship (now generally accepted).

Vetus Latina

Stummer (1954), 239-51, finds Cursus rhythms and even metrical clausulae in the Vetus Latina; beyond occasional notice of divergences from the Greek original, he give no reason why the discovered clausulae should not be merely coincidental.

Victor of Vita

Ghedini (1927) (sees Victor as writing cursus, with a similar minimal respect for quantity to what Harmon found in Ammianus).


Önnerfors (1993b), 282.

Vita Hilarii

Cavallin (1948), 134-43.

Vita Honorati

Cavallin (1948), 143-8.

Vitae Patrum Iurensium

Hoogterp (1934), 229-30 (considers only accent, which he confusingly indicates with metrical symbols; even for this, errors of scansion make the figures untrustworthy). Martin (1968), 124-6.


Lee (2001), 790, gives three examples of clausulae in Jerome’s Vulgate, where stylistic choices make deliberate pursuit of a clausula probable. Memoli (1979), 10-14. Stummer (1954), 251-69 (cf. Vetus Latina).

Zeno Veronensis

Löfstedt (1971), 118*-123*. Palanca (1970), 23-74, 104-8 (studies more clausulae than Löfstedt, but in little detail).


As with Late Latin poets, the quantities that prose writers observe are those inherited from classical poetry. For the occasional divergences of late poetry from classical scansion, useful resources are Mueller (1894), the indexes of many editions of poets in the MGH and CSEL (Corpus Vindobonense) and the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae.

Metrical Words

Hagendahl (1937), 14-7. Havet (1892), 74-5, 77. Holmes (2002), 360-1.


Meyer (1898), reprinted in Meyer (1905), II 264-5, noted that, in words where classical rhythm would expect a short final syllable, some late writers occasionally admit a final syllable long by nature, but not by position.

Harmon (1910), 191-7, on Ammianus. Holmes (2007), chiefly on Vegetius. Steeger (1908), 13, notes that six of eight instances of molossus + trochee in the sermons of Leo have a penultimate word with a syllable long by nature, e. g. 83, 1 orbi terrarum (in fact of the two exceptions, one, serm. 48, 2 peccatorum salvatur is not at sentence end, the other, 26, 3 secernit de mundo is an editorial error for the transmitted secernit e mundo).

Elision and Hiatus

In most writers, vowel contact of any kind is avoided; where it occus hiatus mostly gives a better clausula that elision. An exception is vowel contact with est at sentence end, where prodelision often seems to occur.

Candel (1904), 34-9. Di Capua (1914b), 294-4. Fougnies (1951), 101-6. Hagendahl (1937), 96-9. Harmon (1910), 222 (hiatus is freely admitted in Ammianus). Holmes (2002), 361-3. Oberhelman and Hall (1985), 209, (1987a), 270-1. Suelzer (1944), 21-3.

Consonant groups

Usage is again very similar to classical poetry. Havet (1892), 82, believes that Symmachus avoided putting a penultimate word with short final vowel before consonant combinations beginning with s-; the same seems to be true for Vegetius, Holmes (2002), 361.

Final -o

Final -o in the first person and imperative of verbs, in adverbs, in the nominative singular of nouns and in the ablative of gerunds is already short in first century latin poetry. It is commonly argued in works on Late Latin prose rhythm that the o in words ending in io remains long: Brazzel (1939), 71, Brennan (1947), 103, Hagendahl (1937), 101, Herron (1937), 210, Oberhelman (1985), 208, Oberhelman and Hall (1987a), 269, Suelzer (1944), 27, Sundermeyer (1910), 74, Young (1952) 152-6. Against this see Holmes (2002), 363, (2007), 679, n. 41.

Genitive in -ius

Axelson (1937), 112, reprinted in Axelson (1987), 89, notes that the i is short in the Consult. Zacch., while Firmicus avoids using words with this ending in his sentence endings. Brazzel (1939), 71. Delaney (1934), 131. Mann (1936), 122, finds the i short in pronouns, long in unius. Herron (1937), 122. Hyltén (1940), 29. Oberhelman and Hall (1987a), 269-70, finds short i in Augustine. Ugenti (1997), 273-5 finds the i long in Tertullian.

The Endings -erimus and -eritis of future perfect and perfect subjunctive

Di Capua (1914b), 297, (1937), 142-3, Hagendahl (1937), 103-5, Mann (1936), 122, Oberhelman and Hall (1985), 208, (1987a), 270. Ugenti (1997), 273-5 finds ri long in Tertullian, but observes that Tertullian seems to avoid it.

Lengthening before -que

Delaney (1934), 129, Di Capua (1914b), 296-7. Holmes (2002), 364-5 and (2007), 674. Suelzer (1944), 26.

Compounds with re-

re- sometimes scans long in Late Latin prose for words where the classical scansion is short: Havet (1892), 16. Holmes (2002), 364 (remedium in Vegetius) and (2007), 681, Mueller (1894), 450-1.

Scansion of Single Words


Holmes (2002), 363-4, corrected in Holmes (2007), 681. Oberhelman and Hall (1985), 208, (1987a), 270.


Havet (1892), 15-6. Holmes (2002), 370.

Stylistic Means

Divergences from more neutral modes of expression can provide useful alternatives to writers of rhythmic prose. Many of the characteristics by which Late Latin differs from Classical Latin (a fondness for unusual word order, overcharacterised verbs, abundance and abstract nouns) are stylistic choices which in part may be motivated by the needs of rhythm.

See also Word Forms below.

Word Order

Candel (1904), 128-9 (traiectio in Sedulius). Di Capua (1937), 115-21 (word order in Leo the Great), Lentini (1942), 68-70 (transiectio in the Regula Benedicti), Oberhelman and Hall (1987a), 270 (Augustine), Suelzer (1944), 29-31 (hyperbaton in Cassiodorus’ Variae).

Hagendahl (1924), 188-90 discusses for Ammianus synonymous pairs in which the second synonym, separated (typically by a verb) from the first, ends a sentence (e. g. 28, 1, 34 lites minabatur et iurgia).

Preconsonantal atque

atque is typically used before a vowel; but many writers, both classical and late, use it before a consonant for purposes of rhythm: Di Capua (1937), 138 (Leo the Great), Grasmüller (1933), 7 (Cyprian). Hagendahl (1937), 198-201. Havet (1892), 90 n. 2. Holmes (2002), 372-3 (Vegetius). Oberhelman and Hall (1985), 210. Oberhelman and Hall (1987a), 271 (Augustine). Svennung (1935), 490 (Vegetius’ Mulomedicina), 550 (Palladius). Ziegler (1907), xxx (Firmicus Maternus). Zwierlein (2002) (on Augustine, misguided, I think).

-que and -ve

-que is often favoured by literary writers because of its convenience in constructing clausulae: Di Capua (1914b), 292-4. Grasmüller (1933), 9. Hagendahl (1937), 201-6. Oberhelman and Hall (1985), 210. Oberhelman and Hall (1987a), 271. Svennung (1935), 550. Ziegler (1907), xxviii-xxix. The same is true of -ve: Grasmüller (1933), 21. Oberhelman and Hall (1987a), 271 n. 27.

-ere and -erunt

Bouwman (1958), 34-5 (Julian of Aeclanum). Di Capua (1914), 297 (Boethius), (1937), 141 (Leo Magnus). Elg (1937), 58. Galdi (1918) (on Ammianus, correct, but without detailed information). Hagendahl (1923) (on various authors, the standard work on the question). Hagendahl (1937), 192-7 (Arnobius). Hartke (1932), 6-7 (Vegetius), 10 (Eutropius, who seems not not use -ere for this purpose). Herron (1937), 122-3 (Jerome). Holmes (2002), 373 (Vegetius). Löfstedt (1971), 123*. Norden (1915), 163 n. 1 (Servius). Säflund (1955), 102-4 (finds that Tertullian in the de pallio and Apuleius in the apologia and florida are not motivated by rhythm in choosing -ere forms). Steeger (1908), 118-9 (Leo). Suelzer (1944), 29. Svennung (1922), 180-5. von Winterfeld (1903), 368 (Eugippius).

Contracted perfects -arit, -arat, etc

Bouwman (1958), 34-5. Di Capua (1937), 139. Herron (1937), 124-5. Oberhelman and Hall (1985), 210. Steeger (1908), 115-8. Svennung (1935), 550.

Genitive -ntum

Metrical needs seem to play a role in the choice between -ntum and -ntium in Vegetius: Holmes (2002), 373.

Simple and Compound Verbs

Bouwman (1958), 32-3. Candel (1904), 131-2. Engelbrecht (1917), 158, on monstro and demonstro in Boethius. Hagendahl (1937), 157-67. Svennung (1935), 550.

Frequentative and Intensive Verbs

Bouwman (1958), 34. Candel (1904), 130. Hagendahl (1937), 167-76.

Deminutive nouns

Candel (1904), 130. Svennung (1935), 550.

Plural for singular

Candel (1904), 130. Hagendahl (1921), 73-98, considers rhythm and other influences on the choice of poetic plurals. Stangl (1915), 238-9.


Löfstedt (1917), 52-3, notes that rhythm leads Arnobius to write e. g. saturavit e panibus, mutilare de caestibus instead of the simple ablative.

Application and Significance of Rhythm

Internal Clausulae

Oberhelman and Hall (1986). Wilson (1905), 381-5.


Quotations (particularly from less rhythmical works such as the bible) are often introduced with a rhythmical phrase, but sometimes the clausula comes earlier and an unrhythmical introduction makes the transition. See Elg (1937), 59 n. 2, Memoli (1979), 30-41.

Hagendahl (1947), 124-6 discusses how authors turn quotations of poetry into paraphrases that fit the demands of rhythmic prose. Memoli (1979), 18-28, discusses the same practice for quotations from the bible (14-18 gives examples for the acceptance of unrhythmical bible quotations within otherwise rhythmic prose). Martine (1968), 125-6, gives examples of verse quotations and reminiscences which retain their verse form.

Clausulae as Evidence

Textual Criticism

Clausulae are often important evidence in deciding between readings and in rejecting or (more rarely) suggesting conjectures. I have not included scholarship which only uses clausulae in this way, except where it incidentally advances our understanding of the clausulae themselves.

Attribution and Authenticity

See above on Apuleius, Claudius Mamertinus, Consultationes Zacchaei et Apollonii, Fulgentius, Optatus, Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis, Pontius, Prosper of Aquitaine, Vegetius.

Word Forms

The same writer can use alternative forms of a word for metrical advantage; for this reason some questions relevant here are handled above (Stylistic Means) and some points handled there may be relevant here.

nil and nihil

Hagendahl (1937), 106, Havet (1892), 13, Holmes (2002), 370, Svennung (1935), 550.

pre(he)ndo and its Compounds

Hagendahl (1937), 105-6, Havet (1892), 13, Holmes (2002), 370-1, Svennung (1935), 550.