In his translation he discarded the native Saturnian metre, and adopted the iambic, trochaic and cretic metres, to which Latin more easily adapted itself than either to the hexameter or to the lyrical measures of a later time.
Another work was the Saturae, written in various metres, but chiefly in the trochaic tetrameter.
The general results of the last fifty years of the first period (130 to 80) may be thus summed up. In poetry we have the satires of Lucilius, the tragedies of Accius and of a few successors among the Roman aristocracy, who thus exemplified the affinity of the Roman stage to Roman oratory; various annalistic poems intended to serve as continuations of the great poem of Ennius; minor poems of an epigrammatic and erotic character, unimportant anticipations of the Alexandrian tendency operative in the following period; works of criticism in trochaic tetrameters by Porcius Licinus and others, forming part of the critical and grammatical movement which almost from the first accompanied the creative movement in Latin literature, and which may be regarded as rude precursors of the didactic epistles that Horace devoted to literary criticism.
To xxix., which were written in the trochaic and iambic metres that had been employed by Ennius and Pacuvius in their Saturae.
Most of the satires of Lucilius were written in hexameters, but, so far as an opinion can be formed from a number of unconnected fragments, he seems to have written the trochaic tetrameter with a smoothness, clearness and simplicity which he never attained in handling the hexameter.
The most important of Guido's treatises, and those which are generally acknowledged to be authentic, are Micrologus Guidonis de disciplina artis musicae, dedicated to Bishop Theodald of Arezzo, and comprising a complete theory of music, in 20 chapters; Musicae Guidonis regulae rhythmicae in antiphonarii sui prologum prolatae, written in trochaic decasyllabics of anything but classical structure; Aliae Guidonis regulae de ignoto cantu, identidem in antiphonarii sui prologum prolatae; and the Epistola Guidonis Michaeli monacho de ignoto cantu, already referred to.
They are written in the Doric dialect, with epic licences; the metre is dactylico-trochaic. Brief as they are, they show us what Longinus meant by calling Stesichorus "most like Homer"; they are full of epic grandeur, and have a stately sublimity that reminds us of Pindar.
Other investigators had shown that Cicero's clausulae are generally variations of some three or four forms in which the rhythm is trochaic. Dr Thaddaeus Zielinski of St Petersburg, after examining all the clausulae in Cicero's speeches, finds that they are governed by a law.
The metres employed by Epicharmus were iambic trimeter, and especially trochaic and anapaestic tetrameter.
This tendency shows itself most in the third foot, the favourite caesura being the trochaic, i.e.
Twenty-six trochaic tetrameters, De qualitate vitae, and five graceful hexameters, De rosis, are also attributed to him.
According to Suidas, Phrynichus first introduced female characters on the stage (played by men in masks), and made special use of the trochaic tetrameter.