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Saturnian metre or verse is an old Latin poetic form, based on accented and unaccented syllables rather than the short or long quantities found in later Latin prosody based on Greek models.

In Saturnian verses, a line of verse has seven feet, divided by a central caesura. The basic rhythm is trochaic; the unstressed syllables are weak, and may be dropped, or an extra weak syllable added; the weak syllables are usually are dropped in front of the caesura. A line from Naevius illustrates the form:

   /    /     /    /   |   /        /    /  
Subegit omne Loucana   |   opsidesque abdoucit

(He conquered all of Lucania and drove away the beseigers.)

The form could be illustrated in English by the line:

       /     /      /   /    |    /         /        /  
There was a man in our town, |   wondrous wise and cunning.

The Saturnian metre fell out of use in classical Latin literature after the introduction of the hexameter and other Greek forms. However, an undercurrent of accentual verse always remained in Latin. An anecdote has a poet named Annaeus Florus writing the Roman Emperor Hadrian:

Ego nolo Cæsar esse,
ambulare per Brittanos,
latitare per Germanos
Scythicas pati pruinas

("I wouldn't want to be Cæsar, and have to walk among Britons, wander among the Germans, or endure the Scythian cold.")

Hadrian replied:

Ego nolo Florus esse,
ambulare per tabernas,
latitare per popinas,
culices pati rotundos.

("I wouldn't want to be Florus, to walk through restaurants, wander the taverns, and endure plump lice.")

Accentual verse made a comeback in Christian Latin, in Christian hymnody and the sequence form, with writers such as Lactantius reintroducing it in poems such as the Vexilla Regis.