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189. The preposition παρά (παραί, by apocope πάρ) means alongside. It is common in the adverbial use (see § 177), and also in tmesis and composition. Nοte the derivative meanings

  1. at hand hence at command

    Il. 9.43 πάρ τοι ὁδός
                   the way is open to you

    Od. 9.125 οὐ γὰρ Κυκλώπεσσι νέες πάρα

  2. aside

    Il. 11. 233 παραὶ δέ οἱ ἐτράπετʼ ἔγχος
                        the spear was turned to his side (instead of striking him)

  3. hence figuratively

    παρά μʼ ἤπαφε
    cozened me 'aside' away from my aim

    and so

    changing the mind by persuasion

    talking over, etc.

    also, with a different metaphor, wrongly.

  4. past, with verbs of motion, as ἔρχομαι, ἐλαύνω, etc.

190. With the dative παρά means beside, in the company of, near. It is applied in Homer to both persons and things (whereas in later Greek the dative with παρά is almost wholly confined to persons); thus we have παρὰ νηΐ, παρὰ νηυσί (very frequently), παρʼ ἅρμασι, παρὰ βωμῷ, πὰρ ποσί, παρὰ σταθμῷ, etc. This dative is either locatival or instrumental: see § 144. It may be used after a verb of motion (eg. Il. 13.617),see § 145.4.

191. The accusative with παρά is commonly used

  1. when motion ends besideor near a person or thing.

    Il. 3.406 ἧσο παρʼ αὐτὸν ἰοῦσα
                     go and sit by him

    Il. 7.190 τὸν μὲν πὰρ πόδʼ ἑὸν χαμάδις βάλε

    Hence the use of the accusative often implies motion.

    Il. 11.314 παρʼ ἔμʼ ἵστασο
                       place yourself beside me

    Od. 1.333 στῆ ῥα παρὰ σταθμόν
                       came and stood beside the pillar

    Il. 6.433 λαὸν δὲ στῆσον παρʼ ἐρινεόν

    Similarly of the place near which a weapon has struck

    Il. 5.146 κληϊ̃δα παρʼ ὦμον πλῆξε
                     struck the cοllarbone by the shoulder

  2. of motion or extent alongsideof a thing (especially a coast, a river, a wall, etc.)

    Il. 1.34 βῆ δʼ ἀκέων παρὰ θῖνα
                   went along the shore

    Od. 9.46 πολλὰ δὲ μῆλα ἔσφαζον παρὰ θῖνα
                      sacrificed many sheep along the shore

    Il. 2.522 πὰρ ποταμὸν ἔναιον
                     dwelt by the side of the riνer

    Il. 3.272 πὰρ ξίφεος κουλεὸν ἄωρτο
                     hung beside the scabbard

  3. of motion pasta place

    Il. 11.166-167 οἱ δὲ παρʼ Ἴλοῦ σῆμα . . . παρʼ ἐρινεὸν ἐσσεύοντο
    they sped past the tomb of Ilus . . . past the fig-tree

    Il. 6.42 παρὰ τρόχον ἐξεκυλίσθη
                   rolled out past the wheel

    Il. 16. 312 οὖτα Θόαντα στέρνον γυμνωθέντα παρʼ ἀσπίδα
                          passing the shield
                         (implied motion, οὗτα = thrust at and struck)

    The derivative meaning beyond (= in excess of) is only found in Homer in the phrases πὰρ δύναμιν (Il. 13.787) and παρὰ μοῖραν (Od. 14.509); but cp. the adjective παραίσιος against fate.

192. With a genitive παρά properly means sideways from, aside from. As with the dative, it is used of things as well as persons (whereas in later Greek it is practically restricted to persons). On the other hand it is confined in Homer to the local sense; thus it is found with verbs meaning to go, bring, take, etc. not (as afterwards) with ἀκούω, μανθάνω, οἶδα, or the like. An apparent exception is

Il. 11.794 εἰ δέ τινα φρεσὶν ᾗσι θεοπροπίην ἀλεείνει,
                  καί τινά οἱ πὰρ Ζηνὸς ἐπέφραδε πότνια μήτηρ

where however the notion of bringing a message is sufficiently prominent to explain the use.

Il. 11.603 φθεγξάμενος παρὰ νηός
                   sending his νoice from the ship

Hee. Op. 769 αἵδε γὰρ ἡμέραι εἰσὶ Διὸς πάρα
                       i.e. cοming from Zeus

The later use is to be seen in

Empedocles 144 θεοῦ πάρα μῦθον ἀκούσας

Xenophanes 3.1 ἁβροσύνας δὲ μαθόντες ἀνωφελέας παρὰ Λυδῶν

The original meaning sideways or at the side from is visible in some of the uses with a genitive denoting a thing.

Il. 4.468 παρʼ ἀσπίδος ἐξεφαάνθη
                appeared beyond (outside the shelter of) the shield

so probably

Il. 4.500 υἱὸν Πριάμοιο νόθον βάλε . . . παρʼ ἵππων ὠκειάων
                struck him (aiming) past the chariοt

So too a sword is drawn παρὰ μηροῦ sideways from the thigh. The same meaning lies at the root of the frequent use of παρά in reference to the act of passing from one person to another (as in παραδίδωμι and παραδέχομαι), hence of gifts, messages, etc.

It is usual to regard παρά with the genitive as meaning from the side of, from beside, de chez. But this is contrary to the nature of a prepositional phrase. The case ending and the stem must form a single notion, which the preposition then modifies; hence (e. g.) παρὰ μηροῦ means beside from-the-thigh not from beside-the-thigh. This is especially clear where the preposition is joined to a verb

Od. 19.187 παραπλάγξασα Μἀλείων
                    driving-aside frοm Malaea

Il. 4.97 τοῦ κεν δὴ πάμπρωτα πορʼ ἀγλαὰ δῶρα φέροιο

the rhythm connects παρά with φέροιο rather than with τοῦ—you will bring-aside ( = transfer) from-him. So with other prepositions.

ἀπὸ Τροίης
off from Troy (not from off Troy)

κατʼ οὐρανοῦ
down from heaven (not from under heaven)


As to ὑπό with the genitive = from under, see § 204.

Suggested Citation

D.B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/monro/%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%AC