ὐπέρ

Book Nav

217. The prepositiοn ὑπέρ (or ὑπείρ) means higher, hence ονer, beyond. It is not found in the adverbial use, or in tmesis, or with a dative.

In composition ὑπέρ expresses going across or beyond, hence excess, violation of limits, etc.

218. With the accusative ὑπέρ is used

  1. Of motion or extent overa space.

    Il. 23.227 ὑπεὶρ ἅλα κίδναται ἠώς

    This use is not common; Il. 12.289, 24.13, Od. 3.68, 4.172, 9.254, 260.

  2. Of motion passing overan object.

    Il. 5.16 ὑπὲρ ὦμον, ἀριστερὸν ἤλυθʼ ἀκωκή

    Od. 7.135 ὑπὲρ οὐδὸν ἐβήσετο

  3. Metaphorically, in excess of, in violation of.

    ὑπὲρ αἶσαν
    ὑπὲρ μοῖραν
    ὑπὲρ ὅρκια

    Also, somewhat differently, Il. 17.327 ὑπὲρ θεόν in spite of God.

219. With the genitive ὑπέρ is used both of position and of motion over an object, especially at some distance from it.

στῆ δʼ ἄρʼ ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς

Il. 15.382 νηὸς ὑπὲρ τοίχων
                    (of a wave coming) over the sides of a ship

Il. 23.327 ὅσον τʼ ὄργυιʼ ὑπὲρ αἴης
                    a fathom's length above ground

Metaphorically it means over so as to protect, hence in defense of, on behalf of.

Il. 7.449 τεῖχος ἐτειχίσσαντο νεῶν ὕπερ

Il. 1.444 ἑκατόμβην ῥέξαι ὑπὲρ Δαναῶν

So Il. 6.524.

ὅθʼ ὑπὲρ σέθεν αἴσχεʼ ἀκούω
when I listen to reproaches on your account
(of which I bear the brunt)

But Hes. Op. 217.

δίκη δʼ ὑπὲρ ὕβριος ἴσχει
justice rises (prevails) over insolence

In respect of form ὑπέρ (for ὑπέρι, Sanskrit upári) is a comparative of ὑπό; cp. the superlative ὕπατος, and the Latin superus, summus. Hence the genitive is ablatival, like the genitive with words of comparison ; see § 153.