> My question is this: when did critics and poets start using the term
> "heroic couplet"? The online OED, which lets you search quotations, does
> not have an example of this phrase until 1857! As early as 1693, Dryden is
> using the phrase "heroic verse," but this is still very late, and he
> doesn't write as if the term were a new one.
It wasn't: see Plato, _Laws_ 12. 958 E: and not to make gravestones larger than will 
accomodate praises of the deceased's life not exceeding four heroic verses (tettarwn 
hrwikiwn stichwn).

Leofranc Holford-Strevebs

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