Thesis Title

Cursus Patterns in the Prose of Serenus Cressy's Digest fo the Sancta Sophia of the Venerable Augustin Baker

Graduation Date

Summer 1948

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Granting Institution

Catholic University of America

Program Name



In this study an attempt is made to observe and report the “cursus” forms in the prose of the Sancta Sophia by Venerable Augustin Baker, as “digested” by Serenus (Hugh) Cressy for publication in 1657. The analysis of such rhythmic prose seems to require the aid of classical and medieval theory in which are found the rules governing the “cursus” and of a vast literature wherein its use is exemplified. According to ancient theory metrical sequences terms “clausulae” or “cursus” were employed in final positions to insure a harmonious cadence a the end of the period. Medieval theorists converted these metrical forms into accentual Latin clausular rhythms. Eventually the three forms most highly endorsed for final positions were those termed “cursus planus”, “cursus tardus”, and “cursus velox”. In some manner, still a controversial problem among scholars, equivalents to the three forms of the Latin “cursus” were transferred into English rhythmical prose.

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