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224. The preposition ἀπό means off, away, at a distance from. It is not used adverbially, but is common in tmesis.

Il. 8.108 οὕς ποτʼ ἀπʼ Αἰνείαν ἑλόμην
                 which I took from Aeneas

In composition it generally gives the verb the notion of separating; e.g. ἀπο-κόπτω is not I hew at a distance, but I separate by hewing; so ἀπεκόσμεον cleared away (Od. 7.232), and similarly ἀποδύω, ἀποβάλλω, ἀπολούω, ἀπορρήγνυμι, ἀποκαπύω (all used in tmesis). Hence we must explain Il. 19.254

ἀπὸ τρίχας ἀρξάμενος
cutting hair as an ἀπαρxή, or first offering

Cp. Od. 3.446, 14.422.

Sometimes ἀπό has the force of restοratiοn or return, as in ἀπο-δίδωμι, ἀπο-νοστέω (cp. ἄψ backwards). So ἀπο-ειπεῖν means either to speak out or to forbid, refuse. In a few cases it has an intensive force, as in ἀπομηνίω, ἀπήχθετο, ἀποθαυμάζω.

With the genitive ἀπό generally expresses motion away from, not implying previous place within the object (whereas ἐξ means proceeding from). It is also used of position.

Il. 8.16 ὅσον οὐρανός ἐστʼ ἀπὸ γαίης
                as far as heaven is from earth

Od. 1.49 φίλων ἄπο πήματα πάσχει
                  suffers woes far from his friends


Il. 1.562 ἀπὸ θυμοῦ μᾶλλον ἐμοὶ ἔσεαι
                  you will be the more out of favor with me

ἀπὸ δόξης
away from expectation

This genitive is clearly ablatival.

Suggested Citation

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