Sorry if this is a dumb question but... How do these long and short syllables in Latin and Greek hexametre work? Are the long ones supposed to be pronounced more slowly or what?
There are languages which do not have vowel length; which do not give a fuck about vowels and have shit ton of consonants instead. Why do you speak? If you are a native to English or German I'd ask you to fuck off and stop trolling us since your language does have this shit as well.
Just download some basic grammar book of bookzz to get the specifics, but it's basically this: vowels have specific sounds for long or short, like -o can be otter or load, and whether they're long depends on the ending (like abl fem I'd always -á) or the composition of the word, usually depending on the number of consonants preceding the vowel. Roman speakers/readers would be naturally familiar with these vowel length and I imagine it was somewhat similar to emphasis in English. The use of devices like the spondee (not: long short short / _--, but: long long / _ _) can be a vital part of the reading of Latin texts.
The difference between a long and a short syllable is why Russians pronounce bitch and beach the same way. Bitch is just bitch, short vowel, and beach takes a longer time pronouncing the ea. Same thing happens in Latin.
So in essence, yes, they are pronounced more slowly.
>I'm a Slav
too bad. Unless you're Czech or Sorbian no vowel length for you. But slavs usually have some replacement feature like vowel stress. Use that instead.
Or just study saying this until you CAN tell the difference:
η would be read as a long ε, ω as a long ο, υ as ου. Nowadays there's no phonetic difference between ω and ο or between ι, η, υ, ει, οι, which makes modern Greek orthography almost as much fun to learn as French or English, two other languages with retarded orthography.