Expressions of Time in Ancient Greek (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Expressions of Time in Ancient Greek (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Coulter H. George

Language: English

Pages: 342

ISBN: 1107003946

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

How did Ancient Greek express that an event occurred at a particular time, for a certain duration, or within a given time frame? The answer to these questions depends on a variety of conditions - the nature of the time noun, the tense and aspect of the verb, the particular historical period of Greek during which the author lived - that existing studies of the language do not take sufficiently into account. This book accordingly examines the circumstances that govern the use of the genitive, dative, and accusative of time, as well as the relevant prepositional constructions, primarily in Greek prose of the fifth century BC through the second century AD, but also in Homer. While the focus is on developments in Greek, translations of the examples, as well as a fully glossed summary chapter, make it accessible to linguists interested in the expression of time generally.


















much easier to determine whether a time noun in the dative is a dative of time or some other type of dative because most of these datives are simply too semantically different from the temporal construction for there to be any potential for confusion. Accordingly, the exclusion of the following types of dative from the database on which this study is based should require no further comment: (i) datives that are verbal objects, either indirect (e.g. Th. 5.16.1) or instrumental, like objects of

against the Locrians (Th. 4.1.3) One suspects that the accusative of time would be perfectly grammatical in (26) as well. But despite the apparent similarity between the above two examples, and despite the superficial difference between (26) and the examples with ἡμέρα, μήν, and ἔτος, one of the same factors is at work: after ἐπί+A, πολύς and πλεῖστος always precede the noun; in constructions with the accusative of time, these modifiers precede the noun three times, but follow it six times. The

καὶ λόγου καὶ ἔργου καιρῷ occurs at 2.43.2. While WilamowitzMoellendorf sees the καιρός as “die scharfe Trennungslinie, welche das richtige vom verkehrten . . . scheidet” (1880: 507–10), the fact that a καιρός is not just a point can also be seen in partitive constructions, namely κατὰ τοῦτο τοῦ καιροῦ (7.2.4) and ἐν τῷ τοιούτῳ ἢδη τοῦ καιροῦ ὄντες (7.69.2). For the spatial sense of καιρός, see also Trédé (1992: 38–41). For the (similar) behavior of καιρός in Xenophon, see n. 59 in Ch. 3. 106

endpoints between which the event or events described by the verb take place – unlike the durative expression, in which the action of the verb is continuous for the entire extent of time expressed by the temporal phrase. Often, as in (11), limitative constructions involve a verb that expresses a multiplicity of events (in this case the capture of nine different cities).13 Another common limitative subtype is that in which only a single event is described, but the idea that the time frame provided

338–9)). They are not sufficiently different in their temporal expressions to merit exclusion from consideration, esp. as they represent Greek of the same genre and time period anyway. On the rare instances where genuine Demosthenes appears to be stylistically different, this will be noted. That is, while the phrase can be translated ‘for a day’, the sense is more ‘food to meet the needs of a day’ than ‘food that lasts for the duration of a day’: ἐπεὶ ὅ γε στρατηγὸς οὐδὲ τὸ ἐφ’ ἡμέραν αὐτοῖς

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