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563. The principle of the generic article is the selection of a representative or normal individual. So in English to a certain extent: “He played the villain,” “acted the simpleton,” “was not the gentleman”; “the horse,” “the cow,” “the ox,” and the animals generally. The plural is foreign to our idiom.

Of this article little use is made in the highest range of Greek poetry, and almost all the examples have been, or can be, explained on other principles, sometimes on the principle of resumption (anaphora), sometimes on the principle of contrast.

οὐ μόνον ἄρ᾽ . . . γέρων δὶς παῖς γίγνοιτ᾽ ἄν, ἀλλὰ καὶ μεθυσθείς,PLATO, Legg. 646A ; It would appear, then, that not only the old man becomes a child the second time, but also the drunken man.δὶς παιδες οἱ γέροντες,AR. Nub. 1417 ; Old men are twice children.πονηρὸν . . . πονηρὸν συκοφάντης,DEM.18.242 ; A mischievous thing, a mischievous thing, is the informer.

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