Expressions of Time in Ancient Greek (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Expressions of Time in Ancient Greek (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Coulter H. George

Language: English

Pages: 342

ISBN: 1107003946

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


How did Ancient Greek express that an event occurred at a particular time, for a certain duration, or within a given time frame? The answer to these questions depends on a variety of conditions - the nature of the time noun, the tense and aspect of the verb, the particular historical period of Greek during which the author lived - that existing studies of the language do not take sufficiently into account. This book accordingly examines the circumstances that govern the use of the genitive, dative, and accusative of time, as well as the relevant prepositional constructions, primarily in Greek prose of the fifth century BC through the second century AD, but also in Homer. While the focus is on developments in Greek, translations of the examples, as well as a fully glossed summary chapter, make it accessible to linguists interested in the expression of time generally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

representative example of this subtype, one could argue for either an adnominal or an adverbial interpretation: on the one hand, the inclusion of τοὺς αὐτούς in the first phrase suggests taking the genitive as completing the sense of the ὑπό phrase; on the other, both ὑπὸ τοὺς αὐτοὺς χρόνους and τοῦ θέρους τούτου occur independently as adverbial phrases – the former at 1.100.3, 8.20.1, and 8.108.1 (and recall also example (55)), the latter at 5.49.1 – so there is no reason why the second phrase

connected adjunct that, inasmuch as it only gives incidental temporal information, could be omitted without disrupting the sense of the clause. It is instead a complement without which the phrase τοῦτο τὸ τέλος is insufficiently determined. Significantly, both here and in the only other parallel I have found (X. An. 6.1.13), the verb in question is ἐγένετο. That this is 56 57 This example is also distinguished from the typical temporal constructions in that χειμών here means ‘storm’ rather than

did you cause trouble?’), rather than portraying it as one continuous, unbroken stretch of bad behavior. 120 x e n op h on Another difference between the genitive and the accusative is that only the former is used in negated expressions: οὔτε νυκτὸς οὔτε ἡμέρας or some variation thereof occurs five times, whereas the accusative is not found in the same turn of phrase.4 This distribution is consistent with the view that the genitive is a neutral marker of the habitual-modal event-type, readily

singling out of a particular night in (101) than in (100). Nor is it the case that νύκτωρ is restricted to punctual constructions, while νυκτός extends to modal contexts: (102) εἰ μέν τις μεθ’ ἡμέραν ὑπὲρ πεντήκοντα δραχμὰς κλέπτοι . . . εἰ δέ τις νύκτωρ ὁτιοῦν κλέπτοι If someone were to steal over fifty drachmas by day . . . But if someone were to steal anything by night (24.113) (103) διαβῆναι οὐ ῥᾴδιον ἦν, ἄλλως τε καὶ νυκτός It wasn’t easy to cross, especially by night (59.99) While νυκτός

episode, after the Ionians have sailed back to Ionia from Cyprus, where they had been victorious.) 186 herodotus contextual clues, the presence of the demonstrative, and the translation as an English punctual construction would rather lead us to expect the dative.123 As for the examples in Demosthenes, while they do not form nearly as coherent a group on their own, it is still possible that they were motivated by the same general principle, especially (111) and (112), where relatively atelic

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