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Stichometry

(331 words)

Author(s): Damschen, Gregor (Halle/Saale)
[German version] Modern term for the ancient technique of determining the length of a literary text by counting its lines (στίχοι, stichoi). While each verse in poetry is valued, stichometrically speaking, as one line, a line in prose is equated to the length of an average epic hexameter (cf. Galen 5,655 Kühn; the terminology for 'line' uses stichos as synonymous with ἔπος/ epos), i.e. approximately 35 letters or 16 syllables. Two methods of stichometry are directly attested: 1. marginal numbering, in which every hundredth line is marked with a Greek lette…
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