This chapter introduces the definition of verse, its origin, and its evolution. The word verse comes from the Greek word stichos, which means ‘row’, and its Latin synonym versus, which means ‘turn’ — collectively, ‘return to the beginning of the row’. This is differentiated against prose which is that ‘which goes straight on’ without any turns. Comparative historical metrics, a discipline which evolved after comparative philology, studied how verses evolved into various Indo-European languages resulting in some degree of difficulty. This chapter describes studies made regarding these transformations.
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