Homeric and Attic Uses of Prepositions

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229. The development of the language between the Homeric and the Attic period is especially shoςwn in the uses of Preposi- tions. Tit may be convenient here to bring together some of the chief points.

  1. Most of the Prepositions-but esp. ἀμφί, περί, παρά, ἐπί, ὁπό, προτί, ἐνί-are used in Homer adverbially, i. e. as distinct words Afterwards they become mere unaccented words or prefixes.
  2. Α variety of the same process shows itself in the disuse of Tmesis. Besides the Prepositions already mentioned, this applies to uετά, ἀνά, κατά, ἰά, ἐἴ, ἀπό, εἰς.

    In these processes of development we have seen that the loss of independent meaning is accompanied by a change (which is in all probability simply a loss) of accent.

  3. The construction with the Dative (which is mostly loca- tival) is the one in which the Preposition retains most nearly its own 'adverbial' meaning-so much so that it is often doubtful whether the Preposition can be said to b govern the Case at all. Accordingly we find that this construction is comparatively rare in Attic. It is virtually lost (except as a poetical survival) with ἀμφί, περί, pατά, ἀνά, and σόν.
  4. On the other hand the Genitive is more frequent in Attic, and not confined (as it generally is in Homer) to uses in which it has either an ablatival or a quasi-partitive sense. Thus it is used with ἀμφί, περί, and μετά: also with διά of motion through. In such uses as these the Case ceases to have a distinct meaning: it merely serves (as with the improper Prepositions) to show that the Noun is governed by the Preposition.
  5. The development of meaning is chiefly seen in the exten- sion from the literal sense of place to various derivative or metaphorical senses. Some of these senses are beginning to be used in the Homeric language.

    ἀμφί with the Dat. about, concerning
    περί with the Gen.(probably also the Dat.) in the same meaning
    παρά vwith the Acc. = in excess of, in violation of
    μἔτα with the Acc. = after
    ἐπί with the Acc. = towards (a person)
    διά with the Acc. = owing to
    ἐξ = in consequence of

    Others may safely be counted as post-Homeric; note in particular-περί with the Acc.ππαθομut, πearίγ (of time and number); alsοπ conceτπίρ, in τetatiοn to. παρά ςwith the Dat. 2πι iπn tὰe ορiππίοn ῃʼ; ςwith the Acc.ππ dμriῃ tHe cοntinμuance ῃʼ; also coρρρaτedd νwit0 κατά ςwith the Ace. πx ansκwerίπg to; also aaduriππ9 tᾶe tiρme ῃʼ ςwith the Gen. ππ about, agaίπst2 ἐπί ςwith the Dat. ππ in iRe ροwer ῃʼτ with many phrases in which the force of the Preposition is Vague, such as ὄι ὀργῆς, ἀνὰ κράτος, πρὸς βίαν, ἐκ τοῦ ἐμφα- νοῦς, 8Sxc. 6. There are slight but perceptible dἀifferences betςween the usage of the Iiadd and that of the Odyssey (ξ 182, 188, 195, 199. 2 1 5). Some uses, agan, are peculiar to one or tςwo books of the lied, e ν- 9, 12, 23. 24 see 30 199 (4. 220, 223 (φᾶ.).