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201. The preposition ὑπό (also ὑπαί) usually means beneath.

Il. 2.95 ὑπὸ δὲ στεναχίζετο γαῖα
              the earth groaned beneath (their tread)

The original sense, however, seems to have been upwards, as in the superlative ὕπ-ατος uppermost (cp. ὕψι aloft, ὕπ-τιος facing upwards). On this view we can understand why ὑπό is not applied (like κατά) to express downward motion. Hence, too, it is especially used of supporting a thing.

Il. 1.486 ὑπὸ δʼ ἕρματα μακρὰ τάνυσσαν

On the same principle it expresses resistance to a motion (whereas κατά implies yielding, going with the stream etc.).

Il. 5.505 ὑπὸ δʼ ἔστρεφον ἡνιοχῆες
                the drivers wheeled them up
                i.e. to face (the Trojans)

meeting face-to-face

to stand against (up to)

And with the derived notion of answering

I sing in cοrresροndence

ὑπο-κρίνομαι (= Attic ἀποκρίνομαι)

I take up (a speaker)

I heαr in reply
i.e. show that I hear (by answering or obeying)

So too the compounds ὑφ-ορῶ, ὑπ-όψιος, ὑπό-δρα, etc. do not express looking dοwn, but looking upwards from under; even in Il. 3.217

στάσκεν ὑπαὶ δὲ ἴδεσκε κατὰ χθονὸς ὄμματα πήξας

it is the face that is bent downwards: cp. Il. 19.17.

From the notion of being immediately under is derived that of being moved by, i.e. of agency or cause. The transition may be seen in ὑπο-είκω I give way (before), ὑπο-τρέω etc.

Il. 16.333 ὑπεθερμάνθη
                  was warmed by (the blood)

202. With the dative ὑπό is very common in the simple local meaning, under. It is sometimes found with verbs of motion

Od. 4.297 δέμνιʼ ὑπʼ αἰθούσῃ θέμεναι

and even when motion from is intended.

Il. 18.244 ἔλυσαν ὑφʼ ἅρμασιν ὠκέας ἵππους

In this case however we have to consider that ἁρμάτων is metrically impossible.

The derived sense under the charge or power is found in such uses as

Il. 5.231 ὑφ ἡνιόχῳ (of horses)

Il 6.139 Ζεὺς γάρ οἱ ὑπὸ σκήπτρῳ ἐδάμασσε

Il. 6.171 θεῶν ὑπʼ ἀμύμονι πομπῇ

also, with the notion of an effect produced (where the genitive would therefore be rather more natural)

ὑπὸ χερσί (δαμῆναι, θανέειν, etc.)

ὑπὸ δουρί (τυπείς, etc.)

Il. 13.667 νούσῳ ὕπʼ ἀργαλέῃ φθίσθαι

Od. 4.295 ὕπνῳ ὕπο γλυκερῷ ταρπώμεθα

and often οf persons.

Il. 5.93 ὑπὸ Τυδεΐδῃ πυκιναὶ κλονέοντο φάλαγγες

203. The accusative is used with ὑπό

  1. of motion to a pοint under.

    Il. 2.216 ὑπὸ Ἴλιον ἦλθε
                    came under (the walls of) Trοy

    Il. 17.309 τὸν βάλʼ ὑπὸ κληῗδα μέσην

    So often with verbs of striking, etc.

  2. of motion passing under, and hence of extent under.

    Od. 15.349 εἴ που ἔτι ζώουσιν ὑπʼ αὐγὰς ἠελίοιο
                        i.e. anywhere that the sun shines
                        (cp. ὑπʼ ἠῶ τʼ ἠέλιόν τε—an equivalent phrase)

    Il. 2.603 οἳ δʼ ἔχον Ἀρκαδίην ὑπὸ Κυλλήνης ὄρος

    Il. 3.371 ἄγχε δέ μιν πολύκεστος ἱμὰς ἁπαλὴν ὑπὸ δειρήν
                    (i.e. passing under the throat)

In one or two places it is applied to time.

Il. 16.202 πάνθʼ ὑπό μηνιθμόν
                  all the time that my anger lasted

So perhaps Il. 22.102 νύχθʼ ὕπο τήνδʼ ὀλοήν (but night is often regarded as a space of darkness).

204. The genitive with ὑπό is found in twο or three distinct uses

  1. with the force of separation from.

    Il. 17. 235 νεκρὸν ὑπʼ Αἴαντος ἐρύειν
                       from under Ajax

    Od. 9.453 ὑπʼ ἀρνειοῦ λυόμην

    Il. 19.17 ὄσσε δεινὸν ὑπὸ βλεφάρων ὡς εἰ σέλας ἐξεφάανθεν

    In this use the genitive is ablatival. cp. § 152. Originaly ὑπό with an ablative probably meant upwards from: see § 192.

  2. of place under, with contact (especially of a surface).

    Il. 8.14 ὑπὸ χθονός ἐστι βέρεθρον

    Od. 5.346 τόδε κρήδεμνον ὑπὸ στέρνοιο τανύσσαι

    Il. 1.501 δεξιτερῇ δʼ ἄρʼ ὑπ ἀνθερεῶνος ἑλοῦσα
                     taking hold of him under the chin

    Od. 4.106 ὑπὸ στέρνοιο τυχήσας

    Od. 16.375 ὕψι δʼ ἄελλα σκίδναθʼ ὑπὸ νεφέων
                         i. e. seeming tο reach the clouds
                        (cp. 15.625, 23.874)

    These uses of the genitive are evidently parallel to some of those discussed in § 149 and § 151; compare (e.g.) ὑπὸ νεφέων with the Genitive of Space Within Which (πεδίοιο διώκειν, etc.), and ὑπʼ ἀνθερεῶνος ἑλοῦσα with κόμης ἕλε (§ 151.a) took by the hair. They are doubtless to be regarded (like the genitive with ἐπί, § 200) as varieties or developments of the Genitive of Place.

    As with the dative, the notion under passes into-

  3. the metaphorical (or half metaphorical) meaning under the influence of, by the power of

    Il. 3.61 ὅς τʼ εἶσιν διὰ δουρὸς ὑπʼ ἀνέρος
                   under the man's hand

    Od. 19.114 ἀρετῶσι δὲ λαοὶ ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ
                        under his rule

    and many similar uses.

    Cases may be noted in which the agency intended is indirect (where later writers would rather use διά with an accusative).

    Il. 16.590 ἥν ῥά τʼ ἀνὴρ ἀφέῃ πειρώμενος ἢ ἐν ἀέθλῳ ἠὲ καὶ ἐν πολέμῳ δηΐων ὕπο θυμοραϊστέων
                      = under the stress of an enemy (so 18.220)

    Il. 23.88-86 εὖτέ με . . .
                          ἤγαγεν ὑμέτερόνδ’ ἀνδροκτασίης ὑπὸ λυγρῆς
                          by reason of a homicide (committed by me)

    As a sound is said to be οver or about (περί, ἀμφί) the person hearing, so he is under the sound: hence (e.g.) with a half metaphorical meaning

    Il. 15.275 τῶν δέ θʼ ὑπὸ ἰαχῆς ἐφάνη λίς

    So of other accompaniments, as Il. 18.492 δαΐδων ὕπο λαμπομενάων by the light of blazing torches.

Suggested Citation

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