Last night J. brought home, along with her bad self, a package from the doorstep which turned out to be The Meters of Greek and Latin Poetry, rev. ed., by some learned dudes. It’s a sensibly priced alternative to M.L. West’s Greek Metre or Bruno Snell’s Griechische Metrik, for which one can only pine in the specialty bookshop; and I swear on my honor, it is the first guide I’ve seen that actually makes sense of this stuff. I’ve been practicing on the beginning of the Odyssey and finding all kinds of things I didn’t remember, like the gratuitous slam at the beginning against Odysseus’s men
νήπιοι, οἳ κατὰ βοῦς Ὑπερίονος Ἠελίοιο
“dumbasses, who ate the cattle of Hyperion the Sun,” but κατὰ doesn’t seem to have a prepositional function, so I think it must intensify ἤσθιον: “ate up” or “devoured” instead of just “ate.” Dumbasses!