is (along with the iambus
) the most important metre of dramatic poetry. Apart from drama, this line is common in popular verse, and comes into its own in later Latin poetry. The trochaic octonarius is one of the two main forms of trochaic metres in antiquity (the other one being the trochaic septenarius
The trochaic octonarius line theortically consists of eight trochees (-^), but in practice this is very rare, and some of the feet will change to spondee (--), dactyl (^--), tribrach (^^^) or, more rarely, anapaest (^^-). There is a diaeresis after the 4th foot.
Example (in Latin):
- - |- ^ ^|- ^ | - - // - - | - - |^ ^^ | - -
proin tu solli citudin(em) istam // falsam quae t(e) excruciat mittas
(Terentius, Heaut. 177)
* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable; // diaeresis.