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Saturnian Verses

Old-fashioned. A rude composition employed in satire among the ancient Romans. Also a peculiar metre, consisting of three iambics and a syllable over, joined to three trochees, according to the following nursery metre:

The queen was in the par-lour ...
The maids were in the garden ...

“The Fescennine and Saturnian were the same, for as they were called Saturnian from their ancientness, when Saturn reigned in Italy, they were called Fescennine from Fescennina [sic], where they were first practised.” —Dryden: Dedication of Juvenal.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Saturnian Verses from Infoplease:

  • Saturnian Verses - Saturnian Verses Old-fashioned. A rude composition employed in satire among the ancient Romans. ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: S - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "S"

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