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1685. διά (Lesb. ζά) through, originally through and out of, and apart (separation by cleavage), a force seen in comp. (cp. Lat. dis-, Germ. zwi-schen).

1. διά with the Genitive

a. Local: through and out of (cp. Hom. διέκ, διαπρό), as ““δι᾽ ὤμου ἔγχος ἦλθενthe spear went clear through his shoulderΔ 481, ἀκοῦσαι διὰ τέλους to listen from beginning to end Lyc. 16. Through, but not out of: διὰ πολεμία_ς (γῆς) ““πορεύεσθαιto march through the enemy's countryX. Hi. 2.8 and often in figurative expressions: ““διὰ χειρὸς ἔχεινto controlT. 2.13, διὰ στόματος ἔχειν to have in one's mouth (be always talking of) X. C. 1.4.25 (also ἀνὰ στόμα).

b. Temporal: of uninterrupted duration, as ““διὰ νυκτόςthrough the nightX. A. 4.6.22, ““διὰ παντόςconstantlyT. 2.49.

c. Intervals of Space or Time: ““διὰ δέκα ἐπάλξεωνat intervals of ten battlementsT. 3.21, ““διὰ χρόνουafter an intervalL. 1.12, intermittently Aes. 3.220, ““διὰ πολλοῦat a long distanceT. 3.94.

d. Other relations: Means, Mediation (per): ““αὐτὸς δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦipse per seD. 48.15, ““διὰ τούτου γράμματα πέμψα_ςsending a letter by this manAes. 3.162. State or feeling: with εἶναι, γίγνεσθαι, ἔχειν, of a property or quality: ““διὰ φόβου εἰσίthey are afraidT. 6.34, δι᾽ ἡσυχία_ς εἶχεν he kept in quiet 2. 22, ἐλθεῖν ἡμῖν διὰ μάχης to meet us in battle 2. 11, ““αὐτοῖς διὰ φιλία_ς ἰέναιto enter into friendship with themX. A. 3.2.8. Manner: ““διὰ ταχέωνquicklyT. 4.8.

2. διά with the Accusative

a. Local: of space traversed, through, over (Epic, Lyric, tragic choruses): διὰ δώματα through the halls A 600; διὰ νύκτα Θ 510 is quasi-temporal.

b. Cause: owing to, thanks to, on account of, in consequence of (cp. propter, ob): ““διὰ τοὺς θεοὺς ἐσῳζόμηνI was saved thanks to the godsD. 18.249, τι_μώμενος μὴ δι᾽ ἑαυτόν, ὰλλὰ διὰ δόξαν προγόνων honoured, not for himself, but on account of the renown of his ancestors P. Menex. 247b. So in εἰ μὴ διά τινα (τι) had it not been for in statements of an (unsurmounted) obstacle: ““φαίνονται κρατήσαντες ἂν τῶν βασιλέως πρα_γμάτων, εἰ μὴ διὰ Κῦρονit seems they would have got the better of the power of the king, had it not been for CyrusI. 5.92.

c. διά is rarely used (in place of ἕνεκα) to denote a purpose or object: ““διὰ τὴν σφετέρα_ν δόξανfor the sake of their honourT. 2.89, ““δι᾽ ἐπήρειανfor spiteD. 39.32 (cp. ““διὰ νόσον ἕνεκα ὑγιεία_ςon account of disease in order to gain healthP. Lys. 218e).

d. διά with gen. is used of direct, διά with accus. of indirect, agency (fault, merit, of a person, thing, or situation). διά with gen. is used of an agent employed to bring about an intended result; διά with accus. is used of a person, thing, or state beyond our control (accidental agency). (1) Persons: ““ἔπρα_ξαν ταῦτα δι᾽ Εὐρυμάχουthey effected this by the mediation of EurymachusT. 2.2, τὰ διὰ τούτους ἀπολωλότα what has been lost by (the fault of) these men D. 6.34. The accus. marks a person as an agent not as an instrument. (2) Things: νόμοι, δι᾽ ὧν ἐλευθέριος βίος παρασκευασθήσεται laws, by means of which a life of freedom will be provided X. C. 3.3.52, διὰ τοὺς νόμους βελτί_ους γιγνόμενοι ἄνθρωποι men become better thanks to the laws 8. 1. 22. Sometimes there is little difference between the two cases: δι᾽ ὧν ἅπαντ᾽ ἀπώλετο D. 18.33, δι᾽ οὓς ἅπαντ᾽ ἀπώλετο 18. 35.

N.—διά with gen. ( = through) is distinguished from the simple dative ( = by): δι᾽ οὗ ὁρῶμεν καὶ ἀκούομεν P. Th. 184c.

e. For διά with accus. to express the reason for an action, the dative is sometimes used (1517): ““τοῖς πεπρα_γμένοις φοβούμενος τοὺς Ἀθηναίουςfearing the Athenians by reason of what had happenedT. 3.98. The dative specifies the reason less definitely than διά with the accusative.

f. When used in the same sentence, the dative may express the immediate, διά with the accus. the remoter, cause: ““ἀσθενείᾳ σωμάτων διὰ τὴν σι_τοδεία_ν ὑπεχώρουνthey gave ground from the fact that they were weak through lack of foodT. 4.36.

g. διά with accus. contrasted with ὑπό with gen.: φήσομεν αὐτὸ δι᾽ ἐκεῖνα ὑπὸ τῆς αὑτοῦ κακία_ς ἀπολωλέναι we shall say that it (the body) is destroyed on account of those (remoter) causes (as badness of food) by its own evil (immediately) P. R. 609e.

3. διά in Composition

Through, across, over (διαβαίνειν cross), apart, asunder (διακόπτειν cut in two, διακρί_νειν discernere, διαφέρειν differ, διαζυγνύναι disjoin), severally (διαδιδόναι distribute).

δια- often denotes intensity, continuance, or fulfilment (διαμένειν remain to the end, διαφθείρειν destroy completely). δια- is common in the reciprocal middle (1726), as in διαλέγεσθαι converse; often of rivalry (οἱ διαπολι_τευόμενοι rival statesmen, διακοντίζεσθαι contend in throwing the javelin).

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
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