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1018. Adjectives modify substantives (including words used substantively, 908), and substantive pronouns. Adjectives are either attributive (912) or predicate (910).

1019. The equivalents of an adjective are: a participle (οἱ παρόντες πολῖται the citizens who are present); a noun in apposition (Δημοσθένης ῥήτωρ Demosthenes the orator, i.e. not Δημοσθένης στρατηγός, ὑ_μεῖς οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι you Athenians); an oblique case (στέφανος χρυ_σοῦ a crown of gold, τῆς αὐτῆς γνώμης ἐγώ I am likeminded); an oblique case with a preposition (αἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ πόλεις the cities in Asia); an adverb (οἱ πάλαι the ancients). (Furthermore, a clause in a complex sentence: τὸ τείχισμα, ἦν αὐτόθι, αἱροῦσι they captured the fortress which was there; cp. 2542.)

1020. Concord.—An adjective agrees with its substantive in gender, number, and case. This holds true also of the article, adjective pronouns, and participles: thus, A. Attributive: δίκαιος ἀνήρ the just man, τοῦ δικαίου ἀνδρός, τὼ δικαίω ἄνδρε, οἱ δίκαιοι ἄνδρες, etc., οὗτος ἀνήρ this man, τούτου τοῦ ἀνδρός, etc., φιλοῦσα θυγάτηρ the loving daughter. B. Predicate: καλὸς ἀγών the prize is glorious, ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀληθῆ these things are true, ““αἱ ἄρισται δοκοῦσαι εἶναι φύσειςthe natures which seem to be bestX. M. 4.1.3.

On the agreement of demonstrative pronouns used adjectively with a predicate substantive, see 1239. For relative pronouns, see 2501.



1021. An attributive adjective (or participle) generally with the article, often dispenses with its substantive, and thus itself acquires the value of a substantive.

a. This occurs when the substantive may be supplied from the context; when it is a general notion; or when it is omitted in common expressions of a definite character, when the ellipsis is conscious.

1022. Masculine or feminine, when the substantive is a person: δίκαιος the just man, δίκαιος a just man, οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι the Athenians, οἱ πολλοί the many, the rabble, οἱ ὀλίγοι the oligarchical party, οἱ βουλόμενοι all who will, καλή the beautiful woman, τεκοῦσα the mother (poet., E. Alc. 167), ἐκκλησιάζουσαι women in assembly.

1023. Neuter, when the substantive idea is thing in general: τὸ ἀγαθόν the (highest) good P. R. 506b (but ““τὰ ἀγαθάgood thingsL. 12.33), ““τὸ ἀληθέςtruthP. G. 473b, τὸ κοινόν the commonwealth Ant. 3. β. 3, ““τὸ ἐσόμενονthe futureAes. 3.165, ““τὸ λεγόμενονas the saying isT. 7.68, ““ἀμφὶ μέσον ἡμέρα_ςabout mid-dayX. A. 4.4.1, ““ἐπὶ πολύover a wide spaceT. 1.18.

1024. In words denoting a collection (996) of persons or facts: ““τὸ ὑπήκοονthe subjectsT. 6.69, ““τὸ βαρβαρικόνthe barbarian forceX. A. 1.2.1, ““τὸ ξυμμαχικόνthe allied forcesT. 4.77 (and many words in -ικόν), ““τὰ ἙλληνικάGreek historyT. 1.97; and in words denoting festivals (““τὰ Ὀλύμπιαthe Olympian gamesX. H. 7.4.28).

1025. With participles, especially in Thucydides: ““τὸ ὀργιζόμενον τῆς ὀργῆςtheir angry feelingsT. 2.59, τῆς πόλεως τὸ τι_μώμενον the dignity of the State 2. 63. The action of the verb is here represented as taking place under particular circumstances or at a particular time. These participles are not dead abstractions, but abstract qualities in action.

1026. A substantivized adjective may appear in the neuter plural as well as in the neuter singular: ““τὰ δεξιὰ τοῦ κέρα_τοςthe right of the wingX. A. 1.8.4, ““τῆς Σαλαμῖνος τὰ πολλάthe greater part of SalamisT. 2.94, ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀνθρώπων to the greatest part of mankind 1. 1, ἐς τοῦτο δυστυχία_ς to this degree of misfortune 7. 86 (cp. 1325).

a. On the construction of ““τῆς γῆς πολλήthe greater part of the landT. 2.56, see 1313.

1027. In common expressions a definite noun is often implied (such as ἡμέρα_ day, ὁδός way, χείρ hand).

a. Masculine: κόλπος gulf, Ἰόνιος the Ionian gulf T. 6.34, στρατός force, πεζός the land force 1. 47.

b. Feminine: γῆ land (χώρα_ country)—ἀπὸ τῆς ἑαυτῶν from their own country T. 1.15; οὔθ᾽ Ἑλλὰς οὔθ᾽ βάρβαρος neither Greece nor barbaric land D. 9.27; γνώμη judgment: κατὰ τὴν ἐμήν according to my opinion Ar. Eccl. 153, ἐκ τῆς νι_κώσης according to the prevailing opinion X. A. 6.1.18; δίκη suit: ““ἐρήμην κατηγοροῦντεςbringing an accusation in a case where there is no defenceP. A. 18c; ἡμέρα_ day: ““τὴν ὑστεραία_νthe next dayX. C. 1.2.11, ““τῇ προτεραίᾳthe day beforeL. 19.22; κέρας wing: τὸ εὐώνυμον the left wing T. 4.96; μερίς part: εἰκοστή a twentieth 6. 54; μοῖρα portion: πεπρωμένη (I. 10.61) or εἱμαρμένη (D. 18.205) the allotted portion, destiny; ναῦς ship: τριήρης the ship with three banks of oars; ὁδός way: εὐθείᾳ by the straight road P. L. 716a, τὴν ταχίστην by the shortest way X. A. 1.3.14; τέχνη art: μουσική the art of music P. L. 668a; χείρ hand: ἐν δεξιᾷ on the right hand X. A. 1.5.1, ἐξ ἀριστέρα_ς on the left 4. 8. 2; ψῆφος vote: ““τὴν ἐναντία_ν Νι_κίᾳ ἔθετοhe voted in opposition to NiciasP. Lach. 184d.

1028. The context often determines the substantive to be supplied: τοῦτον ἀνέκραγον ὡς ὀλίγα_ς (πληγὰ_ς) παίσειεν they shouted that he had dealt him (too, 1063) few blows X. A. 5.8.12, τρία τάλαντα καὶ χι_λία_ς (δραχμά_ς) three talents and a thousand drachmas D. 27.34; cp. a dollar and twenty (cents). Cp. 1572.

1029. From such substantivized adjectives arose many prepositional and adverbial expressions of whose source the Greeks themselves had probably lost sight. Many of these seem to be analogues of phrases once containing ὁδός: ““τὴν ἄλλως ψηφίζεσθεyou vote to no purposeD. 19.181 (i.e. the way leading elsewhere than the goal), ““ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτηςat the very beginningT. 7.43, ἀπὸ τῆς ἴσης on an equality 1. 15, ἐξ ἐναντία_ς from an opposite direction, facing 7. 44.


1030. An attributive adjective belonging to more than one substantive agrees with the nearest: ““τὸν καλὸν κἀ_γαθὸν ἄνδρα καὶ γυναῖκα εὐδαίμονα εἶναί φημιthe perfect man and woman are happy I maintainP. G. 470e. In some cases it is repeated with each substantive (often for emphasis): ““ἓν σῶμ᾽ ἔχων καὶ ψυ_χὴν μίανhaving one body and one soulD. 19.227.

1031. But occasionally the adjective agrees with the more important substantive: ““ σίγλος δύναται ἑπτὰ ὀβολοὺς καὶ ἡμιωβόλιον Ἀττικούςthe siglus is worth seven and a half Attic obolsX. A. 1.5.6.

1032. Of two adjectives with one substantive, one may stand in closer relation to the substantive, while the other qualifies the expression thus formed: ““πόλις ἐρήμη μεγάληa large deserted-cityX. A. 1.5.4.

1033. If one substantive has several attributive adjectives, these are sometimes added without a conjunction (by Asyndeton): κρέα_ ἄρνεια, ἐρίφεια, χοίρεια flesh of lambs, kids, swine X. A. 4.5.31. This is commoner in poetry, especially when the adjectives are descriptive: ἔγχος βρι_θὺ μέγα στιβαρόν a spear heavy, huge, stout Π 141.

1034. Two adjectives joined by καί may form one combined notion in English, which omits the conjunction. So often with πολύς to emphasize the idea of plurality: ““πολλὰ κἀ_γαθάmany blessingsX. A. 5.6.4, ““πολλὰ καὶ δεινάmany dreadful sufferingsD. 37.57.

a. καλὸς κἀ_γαθός means an aristocrat (in the political sense), or is used of a perfect quality or action (in the moral sense) as T. 4.40, P. A. 21d.

1035. An attributive adjective is often used in poetry instead of the attributive genitive: βίη Ἡρα_κληείη B 658 the might of Heracles (cp. “a Niobean daughter” Tennyson); rarely in prose: ““ποταμός, εὖρος πλεθριαῖοςa river, a plethron in widthX. A. 4.6.4.

1036. An attributive adjective belonging logically to a dependent genitive is often used in poetry with a governing substantive: ““νεῖκος ἀνδρῶν ξύναιμονkindred strife of menS. A. 793 (for strife of kindred men). Rarely in prose in the case of the possessive pronoun: ““ἐν τῷ ὑ_μετέρῳ ἀσθενεῖ τῆς γνώμηςin the weakness of your purposeT. 2.61.

1037. An attributive adjective may dispense with its substantive when that substantive is expressed in the context: μετέχει τῆς καλλίστης (τέχνης) ““τῶν τεχνῶνhe shares in the fairest of the artsP. G. 448c.

1038. A substantivized participle may take the genitive rather than the case proper to the verb whence it is derived: ““βασιλέως προσήκοντεςrelations of the kingT. 1.128; contrast ““Περικλῆς ἐμοὶ προσήκωνPericles my relationX. H. 1.7.21.

1039. Adjectives used substantively may take an attributive: ““οἱ ὑ_μέτεροι δυσμενεῖςyour enemiesX. H. 5.2.33.


1040. The predicate adjective is employed

a. With intransitive verbs signifying to be, become, and the like (917): ““ δὲ χάρις ἄδηλος γεγένηταιthe favour has been concealedAes. 3.233. So with active verbs which take a preposition: ““νόμους ἔθεσθε ἐπ᾽ ἀδήλοις τοῖς ἀδικήσουσιyou have enacted laws with regard to offenders who are unknownD. 21.30.

b. With transitive verbs: (1) to qualify the object of the verb directly and immediately: ““τοὺς κακοὺς χρηστοὺς νομίζεινto judge bad men goodS. O. T. 609, (2) to express the result of the action (the proleptic use, 1579). So with αὔξειν grow, αἴρειν raise with μέγας great, μετέωρος on high, ὑψηλός high, μακρός large.

1041. With verbs of saying and thinking the predicate adjective is usually connected with its noun by εἶναι, with verbs of perceiving, showing, by ὤν (2106): ““οὐδένα γὰρ οἶμαι δαιμόνων εἶναι κακόνfor I think no one of the gods is baseE. I. T. 391, ““δηλοῖ ψευδῆ τὴν διαθήκην οὖσανit shows that the will is falseD. 45.34. But εἶναι is sometimes omitted (945), as ““τὰ_ς γὰρ καλὰ_ς πρά_ξεις ἁπά_σα_ς ἀγαθὰ_ς ὡμολογήσαμενfor we have agreed that all honourable actions are goodP. Pr. 359e. On the omission of ὤν, see 2117. For εἶναι with verbs of naming and calling, see 1615.

1042. Several adjectives of time, place, order of succession, etc., are used as predicates where English employs an adverb or a preposition with its case: ““ἀφικνοῦνται τριταῖοιthey arrive on the third dayX. A. 5.3.2, κατέβαινον σκοταῖοι they descended in the dark 4. 1. 10. In such cases the adjective is regarded as a quality of the subject; whereas an adverb would regard the manner of the action.

a. Time, place: χρόνιος late, ὄρθριος in the morning, δευτεραῖος on the second day, ποσταῖος how many days? ὑπαίθριος in the open air.

b. Order of succession: πρῶτος, πρότερος first, ὕστερος later, μέσος in the midst, τελευταῖος last, ὕστατος last.

N.—When one action is opposed to another in order of sequence, the adverbs πρῶτον, πρότερον, ὕστατον, etc., not the adjectives πρῶτος, etc.. must be used: ““πρῶτον μὲν ἐδάκρυ_ε πολὺν χρόνον . . . εἶτα δὲ ἔλεξε τοιάδεfirst he wept for a long time, then he spoke as followsX. A. 1.3.2. Hence distinguish

πρῶτος τῇ πόλει προσέβαλεhe was the first to attack the city.
πρώτῃ τῇ πόλει προσέβαλεthe city was the first place he attacked.
πρῶτον τῇ πόλει προσέβαλεhis first act was to attack the city.

The same rule applies in the case of μόνος, μόνον, as μόνην τὴν ἐπιστολη<*> ἔγραψα this is the only letter I wrote, μόνον ἔγραψα τὴν ἐπιστολήν I only wrote (but did not send) the letter. But this distinction is not always observed (Aes. 3.69).

1043. So also with adjectives of degree, mental attitude, manner, etc.: ““φέρονται οἱ λίθοι πολλοίthe stones are thrown in great numbersX. A. 4.7.7, ““τοὺς νεκροὺς ὑποσπόνδους ἀπέδοσανthey restored the dead under a truceT. 1.63, ““οἱ θεοὶ εὐμενεῖς πέμπουσί σεthe gods send you forth favourablyX. C. 1.6.2. So with μέγας high, ἄσμενος gladly, ἑκούσιος, ἑκών willingly, ὅρκιος under oath, αἰφνίδιος suddenly. On ἄλλος, see 1272.



1044. A circumstantial participle (2054) referring to a collective noun (996) may be plural: ““τὸ στράτευμα ἐπορίζετο σῖτον κόπτοντες τοὺς βοῦςthe army provided itself with provisions by killing the cattleX. A. 2.1.6. So after οὐδείς, as οὐδεὶς ἐκοιμήθη ( = πάντες ἐν ἀγρυπνίᾳ ἦσαν) ““τοὺς ἀπολωλότας πενθοῦντεςno one slept because they were all bewailing the deadX. H. 2.2.3. Cp. 950.

1045. A plural participle may be used with a dual verb: ““ἐγελασάτην ἄμφω βλέψαντες εἰς ἀλλήλουςboth looked at each other and burst out laughingP. Eu. 273d. A dual participle may be used with a plural verb: ποῦ ποτ᾽ ὄνθ᾽ ηὑρήμεθα; where in the world are we? E. I. T. 777.

1046. A dual subject may be followed by a plural predicate adjective or participle: ““εἰ γάρ τις φαίη τὼ πόλει τούτω πλείστων ἀγαθῶν αἰτία_ς γεγενῆσθαιif any one should assert that these two cities have been the cause of very many blessingsI. 12.156.

1047. A predicate adjective is neuter singular when the subject is an infinitive, a sentence, or a general thought: ““ἡδὺ πολλοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἔχειν; is it pleasant to have many enemies?D. 19.221, δῆλον δ᾽ ὅτι ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀληθῆ it is clear that these things are true 2. 19.

1048. A predicate adjective referring to a masculine or feminine singular subject is often neuter singular and equivalent to a substantive. This occurs chiefly in statements of a general truth, where the subject refers to a whole class, not to an individual thing. Thus, ““καλὸν εἰρήνηpeace is a fine thingD. 19.336, ἄπιστον ταῖς πολι_- τείαις τυραννίς despotism is an object of mistrust to free states 1. 5, ““μεῖζον πόλις ἑνὸς ἀνδρόςthe state is larger than the individualP. R. 368e. So also in the plural (1056).

1049. So with names of places: ““ἔστι δὲ Χαιρώνεια ἔσχατον τὴς Βοιωτία_ςChaeronea is on the frontier of BoeotiaT. 4.76.

1050. A predicate superlative agrees in gender either with the subject or (usually) with a dependent genitive: νόσων χαλεπώτατος φθόνος envy is the most fell of diseases Men. fr. 535, σύμβουλος ἀγαθὸς χρησιμώτατον ἁπάντων τῶν κτημάτων a good counsellor is the most useful of all possessions I. 2.53.

1051. For a predicate adjective used where English has an adverb, cp. 1042.

1052. A predicate adjective is often used in the neuter plural (especially with verbal adjectives in -τός and -τέος in Thucydides and the poets): ἐπειδὴ ἑτοῖμα ἦν, ἀνήγετο when (all) was ready, he put out to sea T. 2.56, ἀδύνατα ἦν τοὺς Λοκροὺς ἀμύ_νεσθαι it was impossible to resist the Locrians 4. 1, ἐδόκει ἐπιχειρητέα εἶναι they decided to make the attempt 2. 3. Cp. 1003 a.


1053. With two or more substantives a predicate adjective is plural, except when it agrees with the nearer subject: ““φόβος καὶ νόμος ἱκανὸς ἔρωτα κωλύ_εινfear and the law are capable of restraining loveX. C. 5.1.10, ““πολλῶν δὲ λόγων καὶ θορύβου γιγνομένουthere arising much discussion and confusionD. 3.4. See 968.

1054. With substantives denoting persons of like gender, a predicate adjective is of the same gender: Ἀγάθων καὶ Σωκράτης λοιποί Agathon and Socrates are left P. S. 193c.

1055. When the persons are of different gender, the masculine prevails: ““ὡς εἶδε πατέρα τε καὶ μητέρα καὶ ἀδελφοὺς καὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα αἰχμαλώτους γεγενημένους, ἐδάκρυ_σεwhen he saw that his father and mother and brothers and wife had been made prisoners of war, he burst into tearsX. C. 3.1.7.

a. But persons are sometimes regarded as things: ““ἔχω αὐτῶν καὶ τέκνα καὶ γυναῖκας φρουρούμεναI have their children and wives under guardX. A. 1.4.8.

1056. With substantives denoting things of like gender a predicate adjective is of the same gender and plural. A neuter plural with the singular verb is often preferred: ““εὐγένειαί τε καὶ δυνάμεις καὶ τι_μαὶ δῆλά ἐστιν ἀγαθὰ ὄνταnoble birth and power and honour are clearly good thingsP. Eu. 279b.

1057. When the things are of different gender, a predicate adjective is neuter plural with singular verb: ““λίθοι τε καὶ πλίνθοι καὶ ξύλα καὶ κέραμος ἀτάκτως ἐρρι_μμένα οὐδὲν χρήσιμά ἐστινstones and bricks and pieces of wood and tiles thrown together at random are uselessX. M. 3.1.7.

1058. When the substantives denote both persons and things, a predicate adjective is—a. plural, and follows the gender of the person, if the person is more important, or if the thing is treated as a person: γρᾴδια καὶ γερόντια καὶ ““πρόβατα ὀλίγα καὶ βοῦς καταλελειμμένουςold women and old men and a few sheep and oxen that had been left behindX. A. 6.3.22, ““ τύχη καὶ Φίλιππος ἦσαν τῶν ἔργων κύ_ριοιFortune and Philip were masters of the situationAes. 2.118,

b. or is neuter plural if the person is treated like a thing: ““ καλλίστη πολι_τεία_ τε καὶ κάλλιστος ἀνὴρ λοιπὰ ἂν ἡμῖν εἴη διελθεῖνwe should still have to treat of the noblest polity and the noblest manP. R. 562a.

1059. The verbal and the adjective predicate may agree with the first of two subjects as the more important: ““Βρα_σίδα_ς καὶ τὸ πλῆθος ἐπὶ τὰ μετέωρα τῆς πόλεως ἐτράπετο βουλόμενος κατ᾽ ἄκρα_ς ἑλεῖν αὐτήνBrasidas with the bulk of his troops turned to the upper part of the city wishing to capture it completelyT. 4.112.

For further uses of predicate adjectives, see 1150 ff., 1168 ff., 2647.


1060. When the subject of the infinitive is the same as a genitive or dative depending on the governing verb, it is often omitted.

1061. A predicate adjective referring to a genitive regularly stands in the genitive, but a predicate substantive or participle generally stands in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive: ““Κύ_ρου ἐδέοντο ώς προθυ_μοτάτου γενέσθαιthey entreated Cyrus to show himself as zealous as possibleX. H. 1.5.2, ““ὑπὸ τῶν δεομένων μου προστάτην γενέσθαιby those who begged me to become their chiefX. C. 7.2.23, δέομαι ὑ_μῶν ἐθελῆσαί μου ἀκοῦσαι, ὑπολογιζομένους τὸ πλῆθος τῶν αἰτιῶν I beg of you that you be willing to listen to me, paying heed to the number of charges Aes. 2.1.

1062. A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive: ““νῦν σοι ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γενέσθαιnow it is in your power to prove yourself a manX. A. 7.1.21, ““Λακεδαιμονίοις ἔξεστιν ὑ_μῖν φίλους γενέσθαιit is in your power to become friends to the LacedaemoniansT. 4.29, ““ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς . . . ἐξοπλισαμένοις προϊ_έναιthey decided to arm themselves fully and to advanceX. A. 2.1.2, ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς προφυλακὰ_ς καταστήσαντας συγκαλεῖν τοὺς στρατιώτα_ς they decided to station pickets and to assemble the soldiers 3. 2. 1, ““συμφέρει αὐτοῖς φίλους εἶναι μᾶλλον πολεμίουςit is for their interest to be friends rather than enemiesX. O. 11.23.

For predicate nouns in the nominative or accusative in agreement with omitted subject of the infinitive, see 1973-1975.



1063. The positive, used to imply that something is not suited or inadequate for the purpose in question, is especially common before an infinitive with or without ὥστε (ὡς): (τὸ ὕδωρ) ψυ_χρόν ἐστιν ὥστε λούσασθαι the water is too cold for bathing X. M. 3.13.3, νῆες ὀλίγαι ἀμύ_νειν ships too few to defend T. 1.50, μακρὸν ἂν εἴη μοι λέγειν it would take too long for me to state And. 2.15.

1064. A positive adjective followed by the genitive of the same adjective has, in poetry, the force of a superlative: ““κακὰ κακῶνwoe of woeS. O. C. 1238.

1065. μᾶλλον rather than, more . . . than may be used after a positive: ““προθύ_μως μᾶλλον φίλωςmore prompt than kindlyA. Ag. 1591.


1066. The comparative expresses contrast or comparison. Thus, δεξίτερος is right in contrast to its opposite, ἀριστερός left. Cp. 1082 b. Usually comparison is expressed, as ““εὖ τε καὶ χεῖρονwell or illT. 2.35.

a. When the positive precedes, μᾶλλον alone may stand for the comparative; as in ἐκεῖνοί τε ἄξιοι ἐπαίνου καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον (i.e. ἀξιώτεροι) ““οἱ πατέρεςthey are worthy of praise and still more worthy are our fathersT. 2.36.

b. The persons or things with which comparison is made may include all others of the same class: ἡμῶν γεραίτερος the elder (= eldest) of us X. C. 5.1.6.

1067. The comparative is sometimes used merely as an intensive and does not differ essentially from the positive: τούτων καταδεέστερος at a disadvantage with (inferior to) these men D. 27.2.

1068. For the use of μᾶλλον instead of the comparative, and μάλιστα instead of the superlative, see 323. When either form can be used, that with μᾶλλον or μάλιστα is more emphatic. Thucydides sometimes uses πλέον (τι), τὸ πλέον instead of μᾶλλον.

1069. The comparative degree may be followed by the genitive (1431) or by than: σοφώτερος ἐμοῦ or σοφώτερος ἐγώ wiser than I. The genitive may precede or follow the comparative. With , the persons or things compared usually stand in the same case, and always so when they are connected by the same verb: ““φιλῶ γὰρ οὐ σὲ μᾶλλον δόμους ἐμούςfor I do not love thee more than my own houseE. Med. 327.

a. The genitive is usual if two subjects would have the same verb in common; as οἱ Κρῆτες βραχύτερα τῶν Περσῶν ἐτόξευον the Cretans shot a shorter distance than the Persians ( = οἱ Πέρσαι) X. A. 3.3.7.

b. When two objects have the same verb in common: if the object stands (1) in the accusative, the genitive is preferred, as ““ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ Κῦρος, οὕστινας ἂν ὁρᾷ ἀγαθούς, φιλεῖν οὐδὲν ἧττον ἑαυτοῦCyrus seems to me to love all whom he finds excellent quite as much as he loves himselfX. C. 2.3.12, but the accusative is not uncommon, as E. Med. 327 quoted above; (2) in the dative, the genitive is frequent, as ““προσήκει μοι μᾶλλον ἑτέρων . . . ἄρχεινit behooves me rather than others to ruleT. 6.16; (3) in the genitive, the genitive is very rare (X. M. 4.3.10). Here is preferred to the genitive for the sake of euphony: οἱ γὰρ πονηροὶ πολὺ πλειόνων εὐεργεσιῶν οἱ χρηστοὶ (not τῶν χρηστῶν) ““δέονταιfor the wicked need more favours than the goodX. M. 2.6.27.

c. The genitive is often used where would be followed by some other case than nominative or accusative, or by a preposition: ταῦτα τοῖς ὁπλί_ταις οὐχ ἧσσον τῶν ναυτῶν ( = τοῖς ναύταις) ““παρακελεύομαιI address these exhortations to the hoplites not less than to the sailorsT. 7.63, (δεῖ βλέπειν) εἰς τὴν ἐμπειρία_ν μᾶλλον τῆς ἀρετῆς ( = εἰς τὴν ἀρετήν) we must look at skill more than (at) courage Aristotle, Politics 1309 b 5.

d. ἐλά_ττων (χείρων, ἐνδεέστερος, ὕστερος, etc.) οὐδενός inferior to none, greater than all; here is not used). Thus, ““δουλεύειν δουλεία_ν οὐδεμιᾶς ἧττον αἰσχρά_νto endure a most disgraceful slaveryX. M. 1.5.6.

1070. The word following may be the subject of a new verb (expressed or understood): ἡμεῖς ὑπὸ κρείττονος διδασκάλου πεπαιδεύμεθα οὗτοι we have been educated by a better teacher than they (have been) X. C. 2.3.13; but this word is more often attracted into the case of the preceding word: τινὲς καὶ ἐκ δεινοτέρων τοιῶνδε ( = τοιάδε ἐστίν) ““ἐσώθησανsome have been rescued from dangers even greater than theseT. 7.77. The genitive is also common without : ““λέγων ὅτι οὔπω . . . τούτου ἡδί_ονι οἴνῳ ἐπιτύχοιsaying that he had never met with sweeter wine than thisX. A. 1.9.25.

1071. ὡς for is rare, and suspected by some. But cp. A. Pr. 629, P. A. 30b, 36 d, R. 526 c.

1072. μᾶλλον may be used though a comparative precedes: αἱρετώτερόν ἐστι μαχομένους ἀποθνῄσκειν μᾶλλον φεύγοντας σῴζεσθαι it is more desirable for men to die fighting (rather) than to save themselves by running away X. C. 3.3.51. Here μᾶλλον is to be taken with the verb.

1073. Instead of the genitive or , the prepositions ἀντί, πρό (w. gen.) or πρός, παρά (w. accus.) are sometimes used with the comparative: κατεργάσασθαι αἱρετώτερον εἶναι τὸν καλὸν θάνατον ἀντὶ τοῦ αἰσχροῦ βίου to make a noble death more desirable than (instead of) a shameful life X. R. L. 9.1, μὴ παῖδας περὶ πλείονος ποιοῦ πρὸ τοῦ δικαίου do not consider children of more account than (before) justice P. Cr. 54b, χειμὼν μείζων παρὰ τὴν καθεστηκυῖαν ὥρα_ν a cold too severe for (in comparison with) the actual time of year T. 4.6.

1074. In statements of number and measure may be omitted after the adverbial comparatives πλέον (πλεῖν) more, ἔλα_ττον (μεῖον) less, which do not alter their case and number: πέμπει οὐκ ἔλα_ττον δέκα φέροντας πῦρ he sends not less than ten men carrying fire X. H. 4.5.4, πόλις πλέον πεντακισχι_λίων ἀνδρῶν a city of more than 5000 men 5. 3. 16. Even when is kept, πλέον (πλεῖν), etc., remains unchanged: ἐν πλεῖν ( = πλείοσιν) ““ δια_κοσίοις ἔτεσινin more than 200 yearsD. 24.141, ““τοξότα_ς πλεῖν εἴκοσι μυ_ριάδαςmore bowmen than 20 myriadsX. C. 2.1.6.

a. In place of the adverbial πλέον, etc., we find also the adjectival forms with or without or with the genitive: ““τοξότα_ς πλείους τετρακισχι_λίουςmore bowmen than 4000X. C. 2.1.5, ἔτη γεγονὼς πλείω ἑβδομήκοντα more than 70 years old P. A. 17d, ““ι:ππέα_ς πλείους τρια_κοσίωνmore than 300 horseX. H. 1.3.10.

1075. The genitive sometimes occurs together with , and either when the genitive has a separate construction, or is a pronoun to which the clause stands as an appositive, or of which it is explanatory. Thus, ““προῄει πλέον . . . δέκα σταδίωνhe advanced more than ten stadesX. H. 4.6.5 (here πλέον is treated as a substantive), τίς γὰρ ἂν γένοιτο ταύτης μανία_ μείζων . . . ἡμᾶς κακῶς ποιεῖν; for what madness could be greater than (this) . . . to use us ill? Is. 1.20. Cp. 1070.

1076. Compendious Comparison.—The possessor, rather than the object possessed, may be put in the genitive after a comparative: εἰ δ᾽ ἡμεῖς ἱππικὸν κτησαίμεθα μὴ χεῖρον τούτων ( = τοῦ τούτων ἱππικοῦ) but if we should raise a cavalry-force not inferior to theirs X. C. 4.3.7.

1077. Comparison with a Noun representing a clause.—When one person or thing is to be compared, not with another person or thing in regard to its quality, but with an entire idea expressed by a clause (e.g. ὥστε with the infinitive, ὡς with the potential optative, or and a finite verb), this clause may be abridged into a substantive or a participle. Thus, πρᾶγμα ἐλπίδος κρεῖσσον an event beyond our expectations (too great to be expected) T. 2.64, προσωτέρω τοῦ καιροῦ προϊόντες advancing further than the proper measure (i.e. further than they should have gone) X. A. 4.3.34, ὡς τῶν γε παρόντων οὐκ ἂν πρά_ξαντες χεῖρον in the belief that they could not fare worse than at present ( τὰ παρόντα ἐστίν) T. 7.67.

1078. Reflexive Comparison.—The comparative followed by the reflexive pronoun in the genitive is used to denote that an object displays a quality in a higher degree than usual. The degree of increase is measured by comparison with the subject itself. αὐτός is often added to the subject: ““αὐτοὶ αὑτῶν εὐμαθέστεροι γίγνονταιthey learn more easily than beforeI. 15.267, ““πλουσιώτεροι ἑαυτῶν γιγνόμενοιbecoming richer than they were beforeT. 1.8. Cp. 1093.

1079. Proportional Comparison.—After a comparative, κατά with the accusative (1690. 2 c), or ὥστε, ὡς, rarely alone, with the infinitive (not with the indicative), denote too high or too low a degree: ““ὅπλα ἔτι πλείω κατὰ τοὺς νεκροὺς ἐλήφθηmore arms were taken than there were men slainT. 7.45, ““φοβοῦμαι μή τι μεῖζον ὥστε φέρειν δύνασθαι κακὸν τῇ πόλει συμβῇI fear lest there should befall the State an evil too great for it to be able to bearX. M. 3.5.17 (2264).

1080. Double Comparison.—Two adjectives (or adverbs) referring to the same subject, when compared with each other, are both put in the comparative; is always used: ““ εἰρήνη ἀναγκαιοτέρα_ καλλί_ωνa peace inevitable rather than honourableAes. 3.69, ““συντομώτερον σαφέστερον διαλεχθῆναιto discourse briefly rather than clearlyI. 6.24.

a. μᾶλλον may be used with the first adjective in the positive (cp. 1065), and before the second: ““πρόθυ_μος μᾶλλον σοφωτέρα_with more affection than prudenceE. Med. 485.

1081. A comparative may follow a positive to mark the contrast with it: καὶ μι_κρὰ καὶ μείζω both small and great(er) D. 21.14.

1082. The comparative may stand alone, the second part being implied.

a. That which is exceeded is indicated by the sense only: οἱ σοφώτεροι the wiser (those wiser than the rest); ἐν εἰρήνῃ αἱ πόλεις ἀμείνους τὰ_ς γνώμα_ς ἔχουσιν in time of peace States are actuated by higher convictions (than in time of war) T. 3.82. So τι νεώτερον something new (more recent than that already known) P. Pr. 310a (often = a calamity or a revolutionary movement); ““ὕστερον ἧκονthey came too lateT. 7.27; and often where we supply is usual (right, fitting, etc.).

b. The Hom. θηλύτεραι γυναῖκες implies a comparison with men. In Κῦρος . . . ἐγεγόνει μητρὸς ἀμείνονος, πατρὸς δὲ ὑποδεεστέρου Cyrus was born of a mother of superior, but of a father of inferior race (Hdt. 1.91) the comparison is between the qualities of mother and father respectively. Cp. 313 b.

c. The comparative denotes excess: ““μείζοσιν ἔργοις ἐπιχειροῦντες οὐ μι_κροῖς κακοῖς περιπί_πτουσιby entering upon undertakings too great they encounter no slight troublesX. M. 4.2.35.

d. The comparative is used to soften an expression (rather, somewhat): ““ἀγροικότερονsomewhat boorishlyP. G. 486c, ““ἀμελέστερον ἐπορεύετοhe proceeded rather carelesslyX. H. 4.8.36. Here the quality is compared with its absence or with its opposite.

1083. The comparative is often used where English requires the positive: ““οὐ γὰρ χεῖρον πολλάκις ἀκούεινfor 'tis not a bad thing to hear oftenP. Ph. 105a.

1084. Strengthened forms.—The comparative may be strengthened by ἔτι, πολλῷ, μακρῷ (1513), πολύ (1609), πολὺ ἔτι, etc. μᾶλλον is sometimes used with the comparative: ““αἰσχυντηροτέρω μᾶλλον τοῦ δέοντοςmore bashful than they ought to beP. G. 487b. So the correlative ὅσῳ, ὅσον: ““ὅσῳ μείζους εἰσὶ τὰ_ς ὄψεις, τοσούτῳ μᾶλλον ὀργῆς ἄξιοί εἰσιthe braver they are to appearances, the more they deserve our angerL. 10.29.


1085. The superlative expresses either the highest degree of a quality (the relative superlative: σοφώτατος ἀνήρ the wisest man) or a very high degree of a quality (the absolute superlative, which does not take the article: ἀνὴρ σοφώτατος a very wise man). The relative superlative is followed by the genitive of the person or thing surpassed (1315, 1434). On the agreement, see 1050.

a. The class to which an individual, marked by the superlative, belongs, may be designated by a genitive of the divided whole (1315): σοφώτατος τῶν Ἑλλήνων the wisest of the Greeks. So often by πάντων: πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἀγνωμονέστατοι the most senseless of all men Lyc. 54. On the superlative with ἄλλων, see 1434.

b. With two the comparative exhausts all the degrees of comparison: hence πρότερος and πρῶτος, ὕστερος and ὕστατος, ἑκάτερος each of two, and ἕκαστος each of several, are carefully to be distinguished.

1086. Strengthened Forms.—The superlative may be strengthened by prefixing ὅτι or ὡς, rarely (also ὅσον or ὅπως in poetry): ὅτι πλεῖστοι as many men as possible, ὅτι τάχιστα as quickly as possible, ““ ἄριστονthe very best wayX. C. 7.5.82 (ὅπως ἄριστα A. Ag. 600). ὅτι or ὥς is always added when a preposition precedes the superlative: ““ὡς εἰς στενώτατονinto as narrow compass as possibleX. O. 18.8. ὡς and ὅτι may be used together: ““ὡς ὅτι βέλτιστον ἐμέ γενέσθαιfor me to become as good as may beP. S. 218d.

a.With ὡς and , rarely with ὅπῃ (not with ὅτι), a form of δύναμαι or οἷός τέ εἰμι, may be employed: ““διηγήσομαι ὑ_μῖν ὡς ἂν δύνωμαι διὰ βραχυτάτωνI will relate to you in the briefest terms I canI. 21.2.

1087. ὁ̂ιος may strengthen the superlative: ““ὁρῶντες τὰ πρά_γματα οὐχ οἷα βέλτιστα ἐν τῇ πόλει ὄνταobserving that affairs are not in the very best state in the cityL. 13.23. If ὄσος or ὁπόσος take the place of οἷος, a form, or a synonym, of δύναμαι is usually added: ““ἤγαγον συμμάχους ὁπόσους πλείστους ἐδυνάμηνI brought the very largest number of allies I couldX. C. 4.5.29. ὁποῖος is rare (Thuc., Plato).

1088. εἷς ἀνήρ in apposition to the person designated may be added to strengthen the superlative: Ἀντιφῶν πλεῖστα εἷς ἀνὴρ δυνάμενος ὠφελεῖν Antiphon being able to render (most aid as one man) aid beyond any other man T. 8.68.

1089. ἐν τοῖς is used before the superlative in all genders and numbers (esp. in Hdt., Thuc., Plato): ““ὠμὴ στάσις . . . ἔδοξε μᾶλλον, διότι ἐν τοῖς πρώτη ἐγένετοthe revolution seemed the more cruel since it was the firstT. 3.81, ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται δη᾽ νῆες ἅμ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἐγένοντο they had the very largest number of ships 3. 17.

1090. μάλιστα, or πλεῖστον, μέγιστον, occurs with the superlative: ““οἱ μάλιστα ἀνοητότατοιthe very stupidestP. Tim. 92a. In poetry βαθυ- has the effect of a superlative: ““βαθύπλουτοςexceeding richA. Supp. 555.

1091. καί even, πολλῷ, μακρῷ (1513), πολύ (1609), παρὰ πολύ, πάντα (τὰ πάντα), the correlative ὅσῳ also strengthen the superlative.

1092. In poetry (rarely in prose) a superlative may be strengthened by the addition of the genitive of the same adjective in the positive: κακῶν κάκιστε oh, vilest of the vile S. O. T. 334.

1093. Reflexive comparison (cp. 1078) occurs with the superlative: ““ἀμβλύτατα αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ ὁρᾷhis sight is at its dullestP. L. 715d.

hide References (164 total)
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