Paeon(redirected from paeons)
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in ancient prosody, a foot with one long and three short syllables.
The paeon had four types (- -υ υ υ, υ - υ υ, υ υ - υ, υ υ υ -) and as a rule was used to replace the feet equal to it in length, the bacchius (υ - -) and the cretic (- υ -). In tonic prosody the paeon sometimes denotes a pair of iambic or trochaic feet with the stress omitted from one of them, for example, “Ubív na poe dinke draga …” (second paeon) or “Do dvadtsatí shesti godov …” (fourth paeon). Some Russian poets, among them S. Gorodetskii, attempted to write in “pure” paeons, systematically omitting a metrical stress from every other foot. Such verse, however, is scarcely distinguishable from that written in ordinary iambs and trochees.