R Dataset / Package HistData / Dactyl


On this R-data statistics page, you will find information about the Dactyl data set which pertains to Edgeworth's counts of dactyls in Virgil's Aeneid. The Dactyl data set is found in the HistData R package. You can load the Dactyl data set in R by issuing the following command at the console data("Dactyl"). This will load the data into a variable called Dactyl. If R says the Dactyl data set is not found, you can try installing the package by issuing this command install.packages("HistData") and then attempt to reload the data. If you need to download R, you can go to the R project website. You can download a CSV (comma separated values) version of the Dactyl R data set. The size of this file is about 851 bytes.

Edgeworth's counts of dactyls in Virgil's Aeneid


Edgeworth (1885) took the first 75 lines in Book XI of Virgil's Aeneid and classified each of the first four "feet" of the line as a dactyl (one long syllable followed by two short ones) or not.

Grouping the lines in blocks of five gave a 4 x 25 table of counts, represented here as a data frame with ordered factors, Foot and Lines. Edgeworth used this table in what was among the first examples of analysis of variance applied to a two-way classification.




A data frame with 60 observations on the following 3 variables.


an ordered factor with levels 1 < 2 < 3 < 4


an ordered factor with levels 1:5 < 6:10 < 11:15 < 16:20 < 21:25 < 26:30 < 31:35 < 36:40 < 41:45 < 46:50 < 51:55 < 56:60 < 61:65 < 66:70 < 71:75


number of dactyls


Stigler, S. (1999) Statistics on the Table Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, table 5.1.


Edgeworth, F. Y. (1885). On methods of ascertaining variations in the rate of births, deaths and marriages. Journal of the [Royal] Statistical Society, 48, 628-649.


data(Dactyl)# display the basic table
xtabs(count ~ Foot+Lines, data=Dactyl)# simple two-way anova
anova(dact.lm <- lm(count ~ Foot+Lines, data=Dactyl))# plot the lm-quartet
op <- par(mfrow=c(2,2))
par(op)# show table as a simple mosaicplot
mosaicplot(xtabs(count ~ Foot+Lines, data=Dactyl), shade=TRUE)

Dataset imported from https://www.r-project.org.

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Attachment Size
dataset-75441.csv 851 bytes
Dataset License
GNU General Public License v2.0
Documentation License
GNU General Public License v2.0

This documentation is licensed under GPLv3 or later.