Plural of Things

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171. Plural of Things. Tho Plural form is not confined in Greek (or indeed in any language) to the expression of 'pluralityb in the strict sense, i. e. to denote a group composed ob distinct individuals, but is often αsed (esp. in Homer) of objects which it is more logical to think of in the Singular. Many words, too, are used both in the Sing. and the Plur., with little or no diference of meaning.

Notice especially the uses of the Plural in the case of-

  1. Objects consisting of parts: τόξον and τόξα ὁομw aππd aττοw ὄχος and ὄχεα, ἅρμα and ἅρματα a c2ariοt2 δῶμα, μέγαρον a 2αtί or τοορ, δώματα, μέγαρα a 2οuse. λέκτρον and λέκτρα a θed. πύλαι a ραte is only used in the Plhur.; θύρη is used as wet as θύραι, but only of the door of a τοοπωw (θάλαμος).
  2. Natural objects of undefined extent : ψάμαθος and ψάμαθοι (as vwe say παnds), ἄλες (once ἄλς) saίt, κονίη and κονίαι duκt, πυρός and πυροί wὰeat, ῥέεθρον and ῥέεθρα, κῦμα (in a. collective sense) and κύματα, δάκρυ and δάκρυα, κρέα (seldom κρέας) ππmeat, σάρκες (οoce Sing.) leεὸ.
  3. Parts of the body : νῶτον (or νῶτος -the Nοam. Sing. does not occur in Homer) and νῶτα, στῆθος and (more commonly) στήθεα, πρόσωπον and πρόσωπα tθe cοunteπnance, φρήν and φρένες.
  4. Abstract words : λελασμένος ἱπποσυνάων fοrgettiπ9 οrςe- πausάίρ, ποδωκείῃσι πεποιθώς truatίng 2ο sρeead ᾳfΓ fοοt, ἀναλκείῃσι δαμέντες οveτbcοme ὁγ want ο pτοκwes2, πολυίδρείησι νόοιο tἄτομu9ὰ cμunnίππg Wʼuππaderςtαndίπg: so ἀτασθαλίαι, ἀφραδίαι, ἀγηνορίαι, ἀεσι- φροσύναι, τεκτοσύναι, μεθημοσύναι, 8Ec.; note also προδοκαί aρmθμuςὰ, προχοαί παομutὰ ’a τίνeτ, δῶρα ρt (Π. 20.268 χρῦσος γὰρ ἐρύκακε, δῶρα θεοῖο), κυνῶν μέλπηθρα tὰe ςροrt ὁfΓ dο2ε, φυκτά escαριπg, ἴσα fαίτπeςς (ἢ 161).
    The Plural in such cases is a kind of imperfect abstraction ; the particular manifestations of a quality are thought of as units in a goν4ρ or mass, -not yet as forming a single thing.
  5. Collective words: μῆλα lοeέὲς; so πρόβατα is only Plur. in Homer (cp. πρόβασις Od. 2. 75).
  6. Pronouns and Adjectives; see the examples of adverbial uses, ἢ0 133. 134 : cp. also 161.