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The iambic and trochaic metres are the main metres of dramatic verse, but they are also found elsewhere. In Ancient Greece and Rome the iambus and the iambic poetry were mainly used in poems meant to insult specific people and groups (such is their use in Catullus' and Archilochus' poetry). Iambic poetry can be very crude (sometimes graphically so) and cruel in this use.

The Iambic Septenarius is one of the three main iambic metres of antiquity (the two others being the iambic senarius and the iambic octonarius).

This line consists of seven and a half feet, basically iambic (^-), but in practice some of the feet were changed to other metres (most commonly to spondees (--), but also to dactyls (-^^), tribrachs (^^^), anapaests (^^-) and even, rarely, proceleusmatics (^^^^)). The 4th foot is regularly a iambus (^-), and is usually followed by a diaeresis.

Example (in Latin):

       -  -   |  -  - |-   - |^-   //  -       -  ^ -|-  - |-
 n(am) idcirc(o) accersor nuptias // quod m(i) adparari sensit

(Terentius, And. 690)

* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable; // diaeresis.

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