διά

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214. The Preposition διά seems to mean properly apart, in two. It is not used freely as an Adverb; but the original sense appears in the combinations διαπρό, διαμπερές, and in Tmesis and Composition, as δια-στῆναι to stand apart ; δια-τάμνω I cut asunder; διὰ κτῆσιν δατέοντο divided the possession. From the notion of going through it means thoroughly, as in δια-πέρθω I sack utterly.

In several Compounds, as δια-τάμνω, δι-αιρέω, δια-δάπτω, the notion of division is given by the Preposition to the Verb; e.g. δια-τάμνω ἴ separate by cutting, etc.

215. The Accusative with διά is often used to denote the space through which motion takes place.

Il. 1, 600 διὰ δώματα ποιπνύοντα bustling through the palace (so διὰ σπέος, διὰ βήσσας, διὰ ῥωπήία, etc.).
14.91 μῦθον ὃν οὔ κεν ἀνήρ γε διὰ στόμα πάμπαν ἄγοιτο ( = with which a man would not sully his mouth: cp. ἀνὰ στόμα, ἡ 210).
Od. 9. 400 ψκεον ἐν σπήεσσι ὄι ἄκριας dwelt in caves about (scattered through) the headlands.

So Il. 2.40 διὰ κρατερὰς ὑσμίνας lasting through hard fights and διὰ νύκτα (chiefly in the Odyssey, and books 10 and 24 of the Iiad).

This use is distinctively Homeric. Sometimes also διά ςwith the Acc. is used in Homer to express cause or agency; as Il. 1.73 ἢν διὰ μαντοσύνην (Calchas led the army) by virtue of his soothsaying; Od. 8.520 διὰ μεγάθυμον Ἀθήνην (to conquer) by the help of Athene; so Il. 10.497, 15.41, 71, Od. 8.82, 11.276, 282, 437, 13.121, 19.154, 523. These places do not show the later distinction between by means of and by reason of.

216. The Genitive with διά implies passing through something in order to get beyond it; esp. getting through some obstacle.

Il. 4.135 διὰ μὲν ἂρ ζωστῆρος ἐλήλοατο.

So of a gate, Il. 3.263 διὰ Σκαιῶν ἔχον ἵππους: and of lower and upper air, etc. ὄι ἠέρος αἰθέρʼ ἵκανεν, ὄι αἰθέρος οὐρανὸν ἷκε, πεδίονδε διὰ νεφέων. So again διὰ προμάχων, διʼ ὁμίλου etc. of making way through the press.

The Acc. is used where we expect this Gen. in Il. 7. 247 ἐξ δὲ διὰ πτύχας ἢλθε went through six folds; but this may be partly due to the metrical impossibility of πτυχῶν. Conversely, in Il. 10.185 ὅς τε καθʼ ὕλην ἔρχηται ὄι ὄρεσφι the Ace. wοαld be right, and ὄρεσφι is perhaps a false archaism: but cp. ἦ 158. ὅπερ.