With few exceptions [2.220] all scenes in the manuscripts of Plautus’ plays that are written in iambic senarii bear the direction diverbium (cf. Donat. II p. 5 W.), marking those sections of the play to be performed without musical accompaniment (cf. Plautus Stichus 758-768: the metre changes to the iambic senarius during a pause by the flautist). The oldest testimony (Liv. 7,2,10) confirms this. In late antiquity the grammarian Diomedes (1,491,22-24) was alone in taking diverbium in its literal Greek sense of ‘dialogue’ (and canticum as ‘monologue’ [2. 220]).
Cite this pageNesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen), “Diverbium”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 20 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e321560>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510
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