Dactylic Hexameter


Details on Dactylic Hexameter
Dactylic Hexameter Basics

Dactylic Hexameter is a very important meter in Greek and Latin poetry. It is especially associated with epic poetry, and so is referred to as "heroic". The very words "dactylic hexameter" often stand for epic poetry.

The short version of what dactylic hexameter means is that it is a line of poetry composed of 6 (hexa-) feet, each made up of dactyls.

Also Known As: epic meter

Alternate Spellings: dactyllic hexameter


The name of the Pterodactyl dinosaur contains the word "dactyl". Pterodactyl means "winged finger".

Dactylic pentameter is the name of a line of poetry with five dactylic feet. When dactylic pentameter alternates with dactylic hexameter, you have the elegiac couplet, which is usually used for poetry by Greek and Latin authors when the theme is less momentous than epic poetry.