(796 words)

[German version]

A term which is used to denote a range of classical, medieval, Renaissance and even modern texts which exploit a combination of prose and verse. The term itself, which is clearly a coinage from prosa (oratio) and metrum, is medieval. The earliest known use is in Rationes dictandi of Hugh of Bologna (early 12th cent.), who sees it as a branch of poetic composition which he labels the 'mixed form' (mixtum). So much is agreed. For the rest, definitions continue to be contested.

A central question is the relationship between medieval prosimetrum and the 'Menippean Satire' of cl…

Cite this page
Braund, Susanna (London), “Prosimetrum”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider. Consulted online on 26 October 2016 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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