Adverbial Use of Prepositions

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175. In post-Homeric Greek it is a rule (subject to a feςw exceptions only) that a Preposition must either (1) enter into Composition with a Verb or (2) be folloςwed im- mediately by and bgovernb a Noun or Pronoun in an oblique Case. But in the Homeric language the limitation of the Pre- positions to these tςwο uses is stil far from being established. Α Preposition may not only be separated from the Case-form which it governs (a licence sometimes found in later writers), but may stand as a distinct wοrd without governing any Case. In other words, it may be placed in the sentence with the freedom of an Adverb: e.g. ἀμφί may mean either on bοth sides (of an object expressed by an oblique Case) or simply on both sides; ἐν may mean in (taking a Dat.), or simply inside; and so of the others.

γέλασσε δὲ πᾶσα περὶ χθών all the earth smiled round about.
ὑπαὶ δέ τε κόμπος ὀδόντων γίγνετο beneath arose rattliπg of teeth.

These uses, in which the preposition is treated as an ordinary ’Adverb of place,' may be called in general the adverbial uses.