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847. When a circumstantial participle (832-846) belongs to a substantive which is not grammatically connected with the main construction of the sentence, both the substantive and the participle generally stand in the genitive, in the construction called the genitive absolute. E.g.

The genitive absolute was probably used at first to express time (present or past according to the tense), and afterwards the other circumstantial relations, cause, condition, concession, etc. The construction is most fully developed in Attic prose, especially in the Orators.1

1 See Spiker in Jour. Phil. vi. pp. 310-343, on The Genitive Absolute in the Attic Orators.

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