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767. In Homer, verbs expressing excellence or fitness sometimes take a limiting infinitive, like adjectives of similar meaning. E.g. Ἕκτορος ἥδε γυνὴ, ὃς ἀριστεύεσκε μάχεσθαι, this is the wife of Hector, who was the first (= ἄριστος ἦν) in fighting. Il. vi. 460. Ὁμηλικίην ἐκέκαστο ὄρνιθας γνῶναι καὶ ἀναίσιμα μυθήσασθαι, “he excelled all of his age in knowledge of birds and in declaring fate.” Od. ii. 158. Οἳ περὶ μὲν βουλὴν Δαναῶν, περὶ δ᾽ ἐστὲ μάχεσθαι, “ye who excel the Danai in counsel and excel them in battle.” Il. i. 258. (Here βουλήν shows that μάχεσθαι was already felt as a limiting accusative, notwithstanding its primitive force as a dative. See 763, and 742, end.)

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