Automated metric profiling and comparison of Ancient Greek verse epics in Hexameter
This article describes a software tool, named Dactylo, which is capable of performing metrical analysis, alias scansion, of epics written in hexameter. The automated scansion is based on well-known scanning rules of various theoretical works. The development methodology introduces the concept of computerized metric profiling and metric distance, which is a measurement value that reflects the degree of similarity or dissimilarity between different epics. For this purpose, eight renowned epics have been scanned, including Iliad and Odyssey, with plenty of statistical information. Based on these outcomes, these epics can be classified in groups that reflect very well the three periods of their creation, namely Classical, Hellenistic and Late Antiquity. Dactylo demonstrates its ability to produce statistics for hexameter’s metric patterns in a massive scale, easily and accurately, becoming so a contribution of Computational Linguistics to the diachronic comparative and quantitative language studies.
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