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41. Abstract noun used as a concrete.

Akin to the use of an adjective as a substantive is the employment of an abstract as a concrete. So

Many of the above examples are exclusively poetical, others are colloquial or vulgar, and some belong to neither sphere. For references see the dictionaries. A few illustrative passages are cited below. Compare Massinger, “Careless harlotry”; Shaks., “What trade art thou?”

σοὶ δ᾽ ἀρετῆς, κάθαρμ”(“α”) . . . “τίς μετουσία”; DEM.18.128, You and virtue, you offscouring of the earth, what have you in common with her?

DEM.18.127:περίτριμμ᾽ ἀγορᾶς, ὄλεθρος γραμματεύς” . Ibid. 128 (see above).

PLATO, Phaedr. 228D: φιλότης”. Ibid. 252 A: “κοιμᾶσθαι . . . ἐγγυτάτω τοῦ πόθου”. Theaet. 176 D:οἴονται ἀκούειν ὅτι οὐ λῆροί εἰσι, γῆς ἄλλως ἄχθη”.

XEN. Cyr. 5.2.7:τὴν θυγατέρα, δεινόν τι κάλλος καὶ μέγεθος” , An awful beauty and divinely tall.

THUC.2.41.1:ξυνελών τε λέγω τήν τε πᾶσαν πόλιν τῆς Ἑλλάδος παίδευσιν ῾σξηοολ̓ εἶναι” .

HDT.1.31:τούτοισι . . . βίος τε ἀρκέων ὑπῆν”, They had substance enough.

AR. Nub.447:περίτριμμα δικῶν” .

EUR. Phoen. 30-1: “ δὲ τὸν ἐμὸν ὠδίνων πόνον
μαστοῖς ὑφεῖτο
”. [Rhes.] 498-9: “ ἔστι δ᾽ αἱμυλώτατον
κρότημ᾽ Ὀδυσσεύς
”. fr. 530:Κύπριδος δὲ μίσημ”(“α”), Cf. “She is my pet aversion.

SOPH. Ant. 650:ψυχρὸν παραγκάλισμα” , Hugging-piece (wife).

ὡς μὴ . . . γέλως . . . ἐγὼ
ξένῳ γένωμαι τῷδε

. fr. 827:κρότημα”.

AESCHYL. Cho. 1027-8: “ κτανεῖν τέ φημι μητέρ᾽ οὐκ ἄνευ δίκης
”, | “πατροκτόνον μίασμα καὶ θεῶν στύγος”.

PIND. P.4.135-6: “ τῶν δ᾽ ἀκούσαις αὐτὸς ὑπαντίασεν
Τυροῦς ἐρασιπλοκάμου γενεά
”. Ibid. 250: “φόνον”, murderess.

HOM. Il. 2.235:κάκ᾽ ἐλέγχεα” . Ibid. 9.538:δῖον γένος” .

The Greeks had no terms for our abstract and concrete, which are imperfectly represented, the one by “πρᾶγμα”, the other by “σῶμα”. What we call abstract formations are largely feminine and neuter, feminine collectives, neuter collectives: the feminine goes back to personification (the mother gender), the neuter to result (fruit), mass.

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