211. The preposition κατά (by apocope κάδ, etc.) means down, and is parallel in most uses to ἀνά. It is never purely adverbial (κάτω being used instead, cp. ἄνω), but is common in tmesis, as
Il. 1.436 κατὰ δὲ πρυμνήσι ἔδησαν
Il. 19.334 κατὰ πάμπαν τεθνάμεν, etc.
and in composition. Besides the primary sense (seen in κατ-άγω I bring down, κατα-νεύω I nod downwards, i.e. in assent, etc.) it often has the meaning all over, as
I pour over
hence completely, as
κατὰ πάντα φαγεῖν
tο eat all up
I kill outright
also in the place, as before, as
I leave where it was, etc.
κατά is not used with the dative. If such a use ever existed it was superseded by ὑπό (just as ἀνά with the dative gave way to ἐπί). The possibility of the combination may be seen from the phrases κατʼ αὐτόθι, κατʼ αὖθι.
212. With the accusative κατά means down along, down through, as κατὰ ῥόον down stream.
Il. 10.349 ἀνὰ στόμα καὶ κατὰ ῥῖνας (of blood)
But it is very often used (like ἀνά) of motion that is not upward or downward, except from some arbitrary point of view, as
along the way
through the city, etc.
again, κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν in mind and spirit.
Other varieties of use are
- With collective nouns (chiefly in the Iliad).
through the camp
κατὰ κλόνον, etc.
- With plurals (less common).
going among them
κατʼ ἀνθρώπους ἀλάλησθαι
- Of the character or general description of an action
κατὰ πρῆξιν (ἀλάλησθε)
on a piece of business
ἦλθον κατὰ χρέος
πλαζόμενοι κατὰ ληΐδα
all in the Odyssey.
- To express place; especially of wounds.
about (somewhere on) the shoulder
Il. 1.484 ἵκοντο κατὰ στρατόν
arrived opposite (within the space adjoining)
Od. 5.441 ποταμοῖο κατὰ στόμα ἵξε νέων
- To express agreement (from the notion of falling in with) in the phrases
- Distributively, as
Il. 2.99 ἐρήτυθεν δὲ καθʼ ἕδρας
in their several seats
and so in 2.362 κρῖνʼ ἄνδρας κατὰ φῦλα κατὰ φρήτρας.
- κατὰ σφέας (μάχεσθαι) by themselves (to the extent constituted by themselves): so Il. 1.271 κατʼ ἔμʼ αὐτόν.
These uses may generally be identified in principle with some of the accusatives mentioned in §§ 136-138. Thus the accusative in ἦθον κατὰ χρέος is like ἀγγελίην ἐλθεῖν; in κατὰ κόσμον it is like the adverbial δέμας, ἄκην, etc. κρῖνε κατὰ φῦλα = μοίρας δάσασθαι and κατʼ ὦμον like the Accusative of the Part Affected.
213. With the genitive κατά has twο chief meanings
- Down from.
down from heaνen
καθʼ ἵππων ἄλτο
leaped from the chariοt
This genitive is clearly ablatival in origin.
- Down on (in, over, etc.).
Il. 3.217 κατὰ χθονὸς ὄμματα πήξας
fixing his eyes on the ground
κατὰ δʼ ὀφθαλμῶν κέχυτʼ ἀχλύς
a mist was shed over his eyes
down in the earth
Comparing the similar uses of ἐπί (§ 200), ὑπό (§ 204.2), and προτί (§ 208), we can hardly doubt that the genitive in this latter group is originally akin to the Genitives of Place (§ 149).