Other Prepositions

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227. It is characteristic of Homer to form a species of compound by combining two prepositions.

ἀμφὶ περί: like our round about; also περί τʼ ἀμφί τε round and about

Used adverbially

Il. 22.10 ὄχθαι δʼ ἀμφὶ περὶ μεγάλʼ ἴαχον

in Compοsitiοn, ἀμφιπεριστρώφα (Il. 8.348), etc.

παρέξ: out besides, out along, out past

Adverbial in

Od. 14.168 ἄλλα παρὲξ μεμνώμεθα

with the accusative

παρὲξ ἅλα
alongside the sea

παρὲξ τὴν νῆσον
past the island

παρὲκ νόον
beyond ( = contrary to) reason

with the genitive.

παρὲξ ὁδοῦ
aside from the way

ὁπέξ: with a genitive away from under

Il. 13.89 φεύξεσθαι ὑπὲκ κακοῦ

διέξ: with a genitive right through

διὲκ προθύρου

διὲκ μεγάροιο

ἀποπρό: quite away, used adverbially and with a genitive.

διαπρό: right through, adverbially and with a genitive.

περιπρό: round about

Il. 11.180 περιπρὸ γὰρ ἔγχεϊ θῦε

In all these instances the meaning and construction are mainly determined by the first of the twο prepositions (so that e. g. παρέξ is used nearly as παρά, διέξ and διαπρό as διά, etc.). The second does little more than add some emphasis.

The triple preposition ὑπεκπpό is found in composition: ὑπεκπροθέω, ὑπεκπρορέω, etc. The sense is represented by dividing the vwοrds ὑπεκ-προθέω, etc.

A curious variety is found in the compound προ-προκυλινδόμενος rolling forward before, where a second πpό is added to give emphasis to the first.

228. The term "Improper Preposition" may be applied to any adverb used to govern a case. The following are some of the most important words of the kind.

Used with a genitive

  • ἄγχι
    near, close to
  • ἐγγύθι, ἐγγύς
  • ἄντα, ἀντίον, etc.
  • πρόσθε(ν)
  • πάροιθε(ν)
    in frοnt of
  • ὄπισθε(ν)
  • μεσσηγύς
  • ἐντός, ἔντοσθε, ἔνδοθεν
  • ἔξω
  • ἐκτός, ἔκτοθι, ἔκτοσθε(ν)
  • ἔνερθε
  • ἄνευ, ἄνευθε(ν)
    apart from, without
  • ἄτερ
  • νόσφι
    away from
  • ἑκάς, ἑκάτερθε(ν)
    apart from
  • μέσφα
  • πέρην
  • πάλιν
    back from
  • ἀντικρύ
    straight to
  • ἰθύς
    straight towards
  • τῆλε, τηλόθι
    far off
  • ὕπαιθα
  • εἵνεκα (ἕνεκα)
    on accοunt of 
  • ἕκητι
    by the favor of

The genitive with some of these words may be ablatival (§ 152). In general, however, it appears to be used with little or no reference to the meaning of the governing adverb, and merely in order to connect the two words. Hence these constructions are best brought under the general rule that a noun governs the genitive (§ 147).

With a dative

together with

in company with

in like manner

ἀμφίς takes a genitive in the meaning aside from (Il. 8.444, 23.393, Od. 14.352). It is also found with the accusative in the same sense as ἀμφί, in the phrase θεοὶ Κρόνον ἀμφὶς ἐόντες, Il. 14.274, 15.225 (see also Il. 11.634, 748, Od. 6.266); and once with a dative viz. in Il. 5.723 σιδηρέῳ ἄξονι ἀμφίς. Also as an adverb = around in Il. 9.464, 24.488.

εἴσω generally takes an accusative

Ἴλιον εἴσω
to Ilium

but a genitive in Od. 8.290.

ὁ δʼ εἴσω δώματος ᾔει
went inside the house (not merely to the house)

The word ὡς was supposed to govern an accusative in one place in Homer, viz.

Od. 17.218 ὡς αἰεὶ τὸν ὁμοῖον ἄγει θεὸς ὡς τὸν ὁμοῖον

But the true construction is (as Mr. Ridgeway has pointed out) ὡς . . . ὡς as Gοd brings like as he brings like, i.e. deals with a man as he dealt with his like (see Journal of Philology, vol. xvii. p. 113).

Nοte the frequency of compounds formed by one of these words following a preposition.

  • ἔν-αντα
  • εἰσάντα
  • ἄναντα
  • κάτ-αντα
  • πάρ-αντα
  • ἐν-αντίον
  • κατ-εν-αντίον
  • ἔμ-προσθεν
  • προ-πάροιθε
  • μετ-όπισθεν
  • ἀπ-άνευθεν
  • ἀπ-άτερθεν
  • ἀπό-νοσφι
  • ὑπ-ένερθε
  • κατ-αντικρύ

Cp. ἄν-διχα, διαμπέρες, κατ-αυτόθι, etc.

These are not true compounds (σὐvθετα), but are formed by παpάθεσιs, or mere juxtaposition: i.e. they do not consist of two members, of which the first is wholly employed in limiting or qualifying the second, but of twο adverbial words qualifying the same verb. Thus they are essentially akin to the combinations formed by a preposition and its case: see § 178.

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/other-prepositions