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1085. The superlative expresses either the highest degree of a quality (the relative superlative: σοφώτατος ἀνήρ the wisest man) or a very high degree of a quality (the absolute superlative, which does not take the article: ἀνὴρ σοφώτατος a very wise man). The relative superlative is followed by the genitive of the person or thing surpassed (1315, 1434). On the agreement, see 1050.

a. The class to which an individual, marked by the superlative, belongs, may be designated by a genitive of the divided whole (1315): σοφώτατος τῶν Ἑλλήνων the wisest of the Greeks. So often by πάντων: πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἀγνωμονέστατοι the most senseless of all men Lyc. 54. On the superlative with ἄλλων, see 1434.

b. With two the comparative exhausts all the degrees of comparison: hence πρότερος and πρῶτος, ὕστερος and ὕστατος, ἑκάτερος each of two, and ἕκαστος each of several, are carefully to be distinguished.

1086. Strengthened Forms.—The superlative may be strengthened by prefixing ὅτι or ὡς, rarely (also ὅσον or ὅπως in poetry): ὅτι πλεῖστοι as many men as possible, ὅτι τάχιστα as quickly as possible, ““ ἄριστονthe very best wayX. C. 7.5.82 (ὅπως ἄριστα A. Ag. 600). ὅτι or ὥς is always added when a preposition precedes the superlative: ““ὡς εἰς στενώτατονinto as narrow compass as possibleX. O. 18.8. ὡς and ὅτι may be used together: ““ὡς ὅτι βέλτιστον ἐμέ γενέσθαιfor me to become as good as may beP. S. 218d.

a.With ὡς and , rarely with ὅπῃ (not with ὅτι), a form of δύναμαι or οἷός τέ εἰμι, may be employed: ““διηγήσομαι ὑ_μῖν ὡς ἂν δύνωμαι διὰ βραχυτάτωνI will relate to you in the briefest terms I canI. 21.2.

1087. ὁ̂ιος may strengthen the superlative: ““ὁρῶντες τὰ πρά_γματα οὐχ οἷα βέλτιστα ἐν τῇ πόλει ὄνταobserving that affairs are not in the very best state in the cityL. 13.23. If ὄσος or ὁπόσος take the place of οἷος, a form, or a synonym, of δύναμαι is usually added: ““ἤγαγον συμμάχους ὁπόσους πλείστους ἐδυνάμηνI brought the very largest number of allies I couldX. C. 4.5.29. ὁποῖος is rare (Thuc., Plato).

1088. εἷς ἀνήρ in apposition to the person designated may be added to strengthen the superlative: Ἀντιφῶν πλεῖστα εἷς ἀνὴρ δυνάμενος ὠφελεῖν Antiphon being able to render (most aid as one man) aid beyond any other man T. 8.68.

1089. ἐν τοῖς is used before the superlative in all genders and numbers (esp. in Hdt., Thuc., Plato): ““ὠμὴ στάσις . . . ἔδοξε μᾶλλον, διότι ἐν τοῖς πρώτη ἐγένετοthe revolution seemed the more cruel since it was the firstT. 3.81, ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται δη᾽ νῆες ἅμ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἐγένοντο they had the very largest number of ships 3. 17.

1090. μάλιστα, or πλεῖστον, μέγιστον, occurs with the superlative: ““οἱ μάλιστα ἀνοητότατοιthe very stupidestP. Tim. 92a. In poetry βαθυ- has the effect of a superlative: ““βαθύπλουτοςexceeding richA. Supp. 555.

1091. καί even, πολλῷ, μακρῷ (1513), πολύ (1609), παρὰ πολύ, πάντα (τὰ πάντα), the correlative ὅσῳ also strengthen the superlative.

1092. In poetry (rarely in prose) a superlative may be strengthened by the addition of the genitive of the same adjective in the positive: κακῶν κάκιστε oh, vilest of the vile S. O. T. 334.

1093. Reflexive comparison (cp. 1078) occurs with the superlative: ““ἀμβλύτατα αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ ὁρᾷhis sight is at its dullestP. L. 715d.

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