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225. The preposition πρό means forward, in front. It is seldom used as an adverb

Il. 13.799 πρὸ μέν τʼ ἄλλ, κτλ.

Il. 16.188 ἐξάγαγε πρὸ φόωσδε
                   brought forth to the light

and of time

Il. 1.70 πρό τʼ ἐόντα
                the past

In one or two other instances we may recognize either the free adverbial use or tmesis.

Il. 1.195 πρὸ γὰρ ἧκε

Il. 1.442 πρό μʼ ἔπεμψε

Od. 1.37 πρό οἱ εἴπομεν

Traces of a use of πρό with the locative may be seen in the phrases

οὐρανόθι πρό
in the face of heaven

Ἰλιόθι πρό
in front of Troy

and (perhaps in the temporal sense) ἠῶθι πρό before dawn. In these cases the meaning is to the front in, hence immediately before.

With a genitive, on the other hand, πρό means in front with respect to, in adνance of; hence, in a more or less metaphorical sense, in defense of.

Il. 8.57 πρό τε παίδων καὶ πρὸ γυναικῶν

The case is here the ablatival genitive (as with ὑπέρ and words of comparison).

But in Il. 4.382

πρὸ ὁδοῦ ἐγένοντο

the genitive is partitive, got forward on the way; and so perhaps Il. 16.667

πρὸ φόβοιο
forward in the flight

i.e. having betaken themselves to flight (so Düntzer a.l.).

The temporal sense is rare in Homer.

Od. 15.524, 17.476 πρὸ γάμοιο
                                  before marriage

Il. 10.224 καί τε πρὸ ὁ τοῦ ἐνόησε
                   one thinks of a thing before another

Suggested Citation

D.B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7.