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609. Attributive positions.

There are three attributive positions. The first, “ ἀγαθὸς ἀνήρ”, is the most simple, natural, and straightforward, and is briefer (“σύντομος”) than the second, “ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός”, which is more deliberate, and somewhat more rhetorical, pompous (“ὀγκώδης”), passionate.1 The third position, “ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός”, is the epanorthotic, self-corrective, or slipshod position. In prose, it produces an effect of familiar ease. In poetry, as the substantive is more frequently anarthrous, the difference between “ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός” and “ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός” cannot be insisted on.2

οἱ ἄγριοι οἶες καὶ οἱ ὄνοι οἱ ἄγριοι ἀσινεῖς εἰσιν”, XEN. Cyr. 1.4.7; The wild sheep and the wild asses are harmless.οἰκήσετε δὲ τὰς αὐτὰς οἰκίας καὶ χώραν τὴν αὐτὴν ἐργάσεσθε καὶ γυναιξὶ ταῖς αὐταῖς συνοικήσετε”, XEN. Cyr. 4.4.10; You will inhabit the same houses and till the same land and live with the same wives (as for land, you will till the same, as for wives, you will live with the same).

ORATORES ATTICI. In the case of the adjective possessive pronoun, according to statistics furnished by Dr. Alfred W. Milden, the first attributive position occurs 1102 times, the second 543 times, and the third only 10 times. It will thus be seen that the second position, on an average, occurs only half as often as the first, and that the third position is very rare. In ANDOCIDES the second position preponderates, and in PS.- DEM.49 it is used to the exclusion of the other two. The third position is limited to ANTIPHON (thrice), LYSIAS (4 times), HYPERIDES (once), AESCHINES (once), and DEMOSTHENES (once). The percentages for the three positions are as follows: DIN. (only 28 instances) 82 / 18 / 0; LYCURG. (only 12 instances) 92 / 8 / 0; HYP. 53/ 42 / 5; DEM. 77/ 23 / 0;3 PS.- DEM. 55/ 45 / 0; AESCHIN. 68/ 31 / 1; ISAE. 72 / 28 / 0; ISOC. 63/ 37 / 0; LYS. 71/ 27 / 1; ANDOC. 41/ 59 / 0; ANTIPHON 55 / 41 / 5. The two extremes, not counting DINARCHUS and LYCURGUS, are ANDOCIDES with only 41% of the first position and DEMOSTHENES with 77%.

XEN. An. With adjectives, the first position occurs 113 times, the second position 13 times (Joost, p. 68), the third position 6 times (ibid. p. 72). With possessives, the first position occurs 31 times, the second position 4 times (l.c. p. 69), the third position once (l.c. p. 72).

THUCYDIDES. With possessives, according to Dr. A. W. Milden, the first position occurs 102 times in the speeches, the second position 3 times, and the third position 11 times.

HERODOTUS. According to Heikel,4 the first position occurs 98 times in the first book of HERODOTUS, the second position 15 times, the third position 12 times.

ARISTOPHANES. The first position is more common than the second, the third is comparatively rare.

EURIPIDES. In the Alcestis the first position predominates, the third is not uncommon, the second very rare.

SOPHOCLES. In the Oedipus Tyrannus the first position is by far the most common, the second is rare, the third is not uncommon.

AESCHYLUS. The second position is very rare, the first and third positions correspond with the use of EURIPIDES and SOPHOCLES.

HOMER. The first position is common enough. The second position, according to Krüger, is wanting. The third position, though not uncommon with other adjectives, is rare with the possessive pronoun.

1 ARISTOT. Rhet. 3.6 (1407 b, 26-37). The examples given are “τῆς ἡμετέρας γυναικός” for “συντομία” and “τῆς γυναικὸς τῆς ἡμετέρας” for “ὄγκος”. Cf. A. J. P. xx (1899), 459.

2 A. J. P. xxiii (1902), 8.

3 As a matter of fact, there is one occurrence of the third position out of a total of 373 occurrences for the three positions.

4 I. A. Heikel, De participiorum apud Herodotum usu, Helsingforsiae, 1884, p. 49

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