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In the general active study of Indo-European grammar during 
this century the cases have not failed to receive due attention, and 
much has been brought forward that has been of value. The 
comparative study of both form and use in the several members 
of the family could not but be fruitful in good results, and of great 
aid in the proper understanding of this important section of 
grammar. Of theories concerning the cases we have in the main 
two : the localistic, and the anti-localistic. According to the former 
the genitive is the case whence, the dative the case where, and the 
accusative the case whither. Nothing could seem more natural, 
and so, although there were points in which this theory halted, 
especially the genitive in Latin, it found supporters from very 
early times. In the present century its most important champions 
were Hartung, Wiillner, Michelsen, and R. Kiihner in the first 
edition of his 'Ausfuhrliche Grammatik,' and it met with but little 
active opposition until in 1844 Th. Rumpel wrote his excellent 
work, ' Die Casuslehre ' (Halle, 1844), viewing the subject from 
the standpoint of Greek and Latin alone. In a very able manner 
some of the wrong tendencies in the study of language are here 
set forth, e.g. the application of logical categories to language, and 
the determination of grammatical relations by the material signifi- 
cation of words, or by a translation, be it into Latin, German, or 
any other language. The localistic theory is overthrown as an 
outgrowth of such evil tendencies ; and that his arguments were 
convincing we see quite plainly from the fact that Kuhner, in the 
second edition of his grammar, retracted what he had said and 
accepted Rumpel's views. 

The genitive is defined by the latter (p. 196), ' Der Genitiv ist 
der Casus der auf sein Besonderes bezogenen Allgemeinheit, der 
ein Substantiv als sein Besonderes bestimmenden Allgemeinheit.' 
While there was much that is true in what Rumpel said, it was 
left for comparative philology, with the aid of the Asiatic languages 
of the family, to determine and show the true nature of that local 


element in the cases. The work had been begun by Bopp before 
Rumpel's treatise appeared; the latter, however, based all his 
conclusions on the internal study of the Greek and Latin languages 
themselves. Since Rumpel's time the genitive has been shown, 
especially by Delbriick, to be in Greek a mixed case which resulted 
from the fusion of two original cases, the genitive and the ablative. 
It was the presence of this ablative element which led to the 
assumption that it is the ' whence ' case. The pure genitive could 
not have been used with prepositions ; that the Greek genitive is 
so used is due to the same ablative element. The genitive, then, 
is an adnominal case (as Rumpel had it) ; and when as such it is 
used with verbs, it depends on the noun idea in the verb ; or it is 
an abl. (local) case used with prepositions, verbs of separation, 
etc. This side Rumpel did not recognize. So much must stand. 
It is at times, however, difficult to decide to which of the two we 
must refer certain uses, and the attempts to explain either the 
origin of the I. E. genitive, or the real meaning of the ending, have 
generally resulted in hypotheses of greater or less value, but only 
as hypotheses. 

Of the many interesting uses of this case in Greek, both as pure 
genitive and as ablative, the following paper will be restricted to 
that use according to which a noun in the genitive, with a participle 
agreeing with it, may stand , in a sentence of which it is ordinarily 
not the subject or object, in what may be termed an absolute way, 
that is to say without any case dependence on any other word, 
practically (though not really) the equivalent of a subordinate 
clause, and expressing whatever relations the participle is capable 
of expressing : time, cause, concession, condition. Stricdy speaking 
the construction is only absolute in so far as the noun in the gen. 
does not depend on any other word in the sentence, the whole 
expression being as little absolute or independent as a subordinate 
clause would be. The term absolute has, however, become 
sanctioned by use, and will be accepted here ; it furnishes a convenient 
name for the construction, and there is really no more harm done 
in keeping the word, provided we remember its true meaning, than 
there is in the retention of the names of some of the cases them- 
selves. The phenomenon, broadly speaking, is not at all peculiar 
to Greek, we have it in most I. E. languages, but other cases are 
employed, accusative, dative, ablative and locative being so used. 
A somewhat similar use we find in Hebrew. There is thus an 
evident desire for a case expression of such relations, when they 
are simple, without having recourse to a subordinate clause. 


The origin of this use of the case in Greek is one of those 
things that can only be settled by conjecture. Some see in it the 
Skt. locative appearing in Greek, and regard it as a proof of the 
existence of such a locative element in the Greek genitive. It is 
far more probable that it originated on Greek soil and was there 
developed. In the earliest Greek poetry we find but few examples, 
and these would seem to point to such an origin. That the 
dependent pure genitive is not the one to which we must refer 
this use is made likely by the following fact : being an adnominal 
case, it was always felt as accompanying and depending upon 
another noun ; this relation was distinctly felt, and it is far less 
probable that uncertainty as to the exact construction of such a 
genitive gradually gave rise to the absolute use than that this is 
due to some use not dependent on any noun in the sentence. To 
me, after inclining for some time to the ablative side, the most 
plausible view seems that which is advocated by Holzweissig in 
his Syntax, and which refers it to the use of the genitive in expres- 
sions of time, 1 as in vvktos, a use which dates far back in I. E. 
languages, being found in Vedic Skt. as well as in the earliest 
Greek. By the use of a participle with such a gen., and the 
gradual emphasis of the participial element, the construction could 
have been easily and naturally born. A number of the examples 
in Homer involve expressions of time, as ereos and enavrov. 

Classen, in his ' Beobachtungen iiber den Homerischen Sprach- 

1 Brugmann says in his recently published Griechische Grammatik (s. 105) : 
' Der " gen. absol." ist auf griechischem Boden in ganz ahnlicher Weise 
entstanden wie der ace. cum inf. Der Gen. gehorte von Haus als echter oder 
als ablativischer Gen. zum regierenden Verb (Vgl. z. B. 11 8, 477, M 392), 
schied dann aus dem Verband mit diesem aus und wurde als Subjekt zum Part, 
gefiihlt. Die Konstruktion des gen. absol. war fertig, sobald sie sich zu solchen 
Verba gesellte, von denen ein Gen. oder Abl. nicht abhangen konnte (Vgl. z. 
B. A 88). Vor dieselbe trat dann auch uc, ahnlich wie bare vor den ace. c. 
inf.' In my essay on the Syntax of Pindar (p. cxii) I have said, ' The detach- 
ment must have been gradual, beginning probably with the gen. of the time 
within which with the present and extending to the aorist, beginning with the 
pure genitive and extending to the abl. genitive until it became phraseological 
and lost to consciousness. The last step is taken when the subject is omitted.' 
For many years I have taught that we are to start from the genitive of time 
within which, but as it is impossible to escape the time after which, it seems 
better to bring in the ablative element as a consequence of that differentiation 
of present participle and aorist participle, which resulted in giving the latter 
the notion of priority, which does not inhere in it. The notion of priority 
given, the abl. element of the genitive would assert itself. — B. L. G. 


gebrauch,' has treated this subject at some length, and as he is the 
only one who has attempted to give a full account of its origin, 
others generally referring to him, and especially as the work he 
attempts is, on the whole, very thoroughly done, it will be of interest 
to discuss his theory at length. In his treatment of the participle, 
Classen deplores the almost utter absence of the German participle, 
except as an attributive ; an absence which causes German trans- 
lations to lose in force and beauty, and often makes conceptions 
inadequate or even utterly wrong. The English language has 
fared better in this respect, and every English-speaking person 
acquainted with the German language will agree with him. Any 
treatment of the gen. abs., he rightly urges, must have in view the 
nature of the participle and the relations it expresses. The germs 
of the use he finds in those cases in which the relation of a 
participle in the genitive agreeing with a noun is not clear because 
it is found at some distance from it, or in which the noun is not 
expressed at all. He gives examples : first like a 140, xapifo/icVij 
napeorrav (t. e. giving freely of the things at hand), and finds 
fault with Ameis for telling the truth in saying that it is a partitive 
genitive. Again, with prepositions : e 476, oretVet iv ahoTdra, irepl 
HarpoxKoio Bavovros, especially with vtto, where the later language 
would have omitted the prep. : n 277, ap<j>\ Sc vtjes | oyw-pSaXeW <ova- 
(Ji)<rav avo-avrwv vir' 'A^atS?. (But is the conception the same?) Still 
clearer, he says, are the cases where, by poetical license, a 
preposition is separated from its noun by a verb, e. g. B 95-6, {mb 

hi OTeva^ifcro yaia \ \aa>i> i^ovrtav . . . and the top of this ladder of 

doubt is reached in cases like E 665 sqq., ro p.iv 08 ns cire<ppd<raT oiS' 

ivoijaev I firjpov i^epva-ai &6pv pcikivov o(pp' iiriflalr) \ tnrcv&ovrow. Although, 

says he, grammar would unhesitatingly refer such genitives to the 
partitive use, he is convinced that they are absolute, and that such 
a participle in the course of time was not felt as agreeing with the 
noun (expressed or understood), since the tie connecting the two, 
as may be seen from the examples he gives, is one varying in 
strength and intimacy, and may become so loose as to make it 
come to be felt as absolute. 

Throughout this discussion Classen makes several serious 
mistakes : first, in supposing that the ordinary Greek of Homer's 
time and earlier spoke just as the poet wrote, or if he would 
attribute the construction to the influence of such poems on the 
language of the people, in supposing that the Greeks in reading 
or listening were so careless as to forget the exact dependence of 


words not contiguous ; in the second place, in keeping out of mind 
what he himself had taken the trouble to explain : that the Greek 
participle and the German participle are far removed from being 
alike in use. So he says that in 1 462, % v & lpo\ ovkcti irapirav epriTver h 

<ppc<A Bvpos j trarpos x ao l 1 * vmo koto fie'yapa orpaMpatrdiu, taken Strictly 

according to the laws of grammar Trarpbs x<»o/«Voio belongs to 
ixiyapa, but nobody will consider a German genitive the true 
rendering. Certainly not, but the trouble lies not so much 
in the German genitive as in the German participle ; it is not 
' through the halls of my (angry or) angered father,' as Classen 
seems to think it must mean if not absolute, but ' of my father 
angered as he was,' or ' because he was angered.' On 1 595 he 
says (p. 170) that although we recognize the dependence of the 
genitive on a noun, we must notice that the expression gives the 
point of time, and in other cases it may in like manner express 
cause, condition, etc. Of course we notice this ; it lies in the nature 
of the Greek participle without its being in the absolute construction. 
But the fact that at a later period the absolute genitive brought out 
these relations more prominently seems to have misled CI. into the 
belief that in it alone the participle can express them. With him I 
believe that the construction is a growth on Greek soil, but hardly 
that it originated as he says. Let us see. In the history of its use 
we trace a gradual growth. CI. himself has shown that it does not 
occur frequently in Homer ; we shall see later that it increases in 
frequency, reaching its maximum in Attic prose. We must 
therefore be very chary of accounting for a genitive as absolute in 
the early language, inasmuch as it was not so familiar a use as to 
give the key-note to the explanation of constructions that may be 
different. But these CI. says are the original abs. uses. To my 
mind this seems quite improbable, for several reasons. Had the 
construction originated so, the use of a participle in the gen. 
without a noun would have been the original use, as CI. himself 
admits (p. 173), for all the examples he gives with noun expressed 
are clearly dependent. Now of all the examples of real gen. abs. 
in Homer but few belong to that category. As we are, however, 
left to suppose that in Homer the construction is still nascent, or 
at least in its infancy, we should expect a few more examples of 
the original use. The participle without a subject in the gen. abs., 
though not unfamiliar, is not frequently used at any period of 
the language, and always where there is a reason for the omission, 
that is, when the subject is general, has been referred to or is 


implied in the participle ; here at times the participle in another case 
might have been used without subject expressed. Classen's ex- 
planation would have us believe that the people on finding such 
(according to him) unaccountable genitive participles, assigned 
them to general subjects, felt them as absolute, and then extended 
the use by adding nouns to participles thus felt as absolute. But 
why should the Greek have chosen to forget the exact connection 
of a participle in the genitive away from its noun and not have 
done the same with any other case ? Classen felt this and tried to 
show that the language was extending these efforts to conceive 
participles as absolute in all directions ; first he adduces partitive 

apposition, as for instance K 224, <tvv re 8v epxo)i€v<o Kai re irpo 

tov fVd>;o-ci>, where ipxpptvw ' is felt as an absolute use' ; again (p. 159), 

Cases like K 187, &S t5>v vr/Svpos virvos airb f3\f<papouv oXa>A« | vvktcl 

(pvXacra-ophaicn kokt^v, where the dative, he says, is used after the 

analogy of a 4 2 3> '"°<<" 8« TtpitopAvoiai pe\as eV» c<r7rcpos %\d(v, from such 

examples, he adds, we only conclude that the Homeric language 
was on the road to use the dative as an absolute case beside the 
genitive, but the latter won the victory because of the manifold 
relations it expresses. Because the author chose to change his point 
of view, and so the case, without writing out the change that has gone 
on in his mind, must the altered case be absolute ? If the dative 
in K 187 be taken absolutely, what would it mean ? Certainly not : 
' When other men, or men in general, were on guard.' No one could 
have failed to know the connection ; a Greek at least would have 
followed the change in construction without thinking that the second 
case had no reason for its existence according to ordinary rules, 
and was therefore absolute. And after all, as has been said above, 
the language of Homer was not a spoken language, nor indeed did 
the people of any period speak as they wrote poetry, and such 
uses as those to which CI. attributes the origin of the gen. abs. 
were unknown among the people. Did Homer go through the 
process of forgetting himself, or if there was no Homer, the poets 
who go by his name ? No, we can readily see that the gen. abs. as 
it appears in Homer is a construction used by the people, and 
probably in its earliest stages. We cannot, therefore, accept 
Classen's views without assuming facts and changes that are 
impossible. Others, as Hiibschmann, and Holzweissig in his 
treatise ' Wahrheit und Irrthum der localistischen Casustheorie,' 
p. 81, regard the construction as originating, in part at least, from 
the abl. element. But this, plausible at first sight, presents greater 


difficulties. Accounting for the construction as we have done 
makes its origin and subsequent growth both easy and natural, as 
all language changes necessarily are. 

When we first meet the gen. abs. in Homer it is apparently yet 
in its early stages. If it originated in the use of the gen. to 
express time it had lost all feeling for its origin, and was used with 
other words than those expressing that relation ; its use is, however, 
largely restricted to that participle which was the one used origi- 
nally, i. e. the present, as in wktos oHo^s. It is only later that the use 
of the aorist is fully developed. In Homer too the relation expressed 
is generally that of time; cause, concession and condition are 
developed gradually. There was thus developed a case expres- 
sion for these relations, incorporated in the principal clause, and 
giving as part of it an idea that would otherwise have to be 
expressed by a subordinate clause. While logical exactness may 
not be attained, greater variety and picturesqueness certainly are, 
and this is the essence of the nature of the cases, in fact of all 
early inflections. It is left for the later language to make every- 
thing accurate and logically clear. 

Though not a common construction in Homer, its use there 
warrants the assumption that it was at least quite familiar and well 
known. The aorist has begun to be used. According to Classen 
there are 28 examples of present participle in the Iliad and 24 in 
the Odyssey; of the aorist 17 in the II. and 4 in the Od. = 52 
present and 21 aor. From the fact that we have such a difference 
between the II. and Od. in the number of aorists, Classen rightly 
remarks that it is unsafe to draw conclusions. Had there been no 
example of the aor. in the Od. and a large number in the Iliad the 
case would be different. Of the 21 aor. examples, Classen says 
7 are temporal and 14 hypothetical ; of the 52 pres. participles 30 
express time, 22 condition. He himself felt how difficult it is to 
draw the line ; priority of time, and cause are easily confused, and 
a cause thrown into the future is apt to assume a hypothetical 
character, so a temporal participle followed by a verb in the future, 
or in a clause with tva and the like, may seem conditional. Observe 
the first example given by Classen: e 164, tppe, Kant) yXrjvrj, «Wi ov«r 

eigavros epelo \ irvpyav r^pertpav ImfUjaeai. The temporal notion seems 

sufficiently plain here, and there is no need of calling up a relation 
that was more frequently prominent only in the later period. La 
Roche translates : ' nachdem ich vor dir gewichen bin.' Take x 383, 
7 Kardketyovirw iroKiv anpr)v roOSe weaovros, where it might seem natural 


to regard it as conditional, but it can be temporal as well, and no 
doubt was so at this time. All the cases in the 11. and Od. will be 
found on examination to be easy. Only once are two gens. abs. put 
together, v 312 ; several repetitions of the same example occur, 
and in a few examples of those given by Classen we need not 
consider them as abs. at all, according to what has been said above; 
such examples are O 191, g 521, * 523, x 47, * 599 — 8 392, t 390, 
£ 294 = X 295, o> 507. The last example Classen himself admits can 
be looked upon as partitive. In the later language these would be 
felt as absolute, not at this time. If Classen chooses to consider 

O 1 9 1, 9 rot eyi>v IXa^ov iroKif/v SKa vatepev aid | iraXKofievcov, he should 

also class cases like E 665 (given above) so too. Even cases like 

a 1 6, dXX' ore 89 eras fjkBe TTcpvnkopitvav iviavr&v may Still be felt as 

dependent genitives. If we consider all these things we find the 
number given by CI., itself not large, somewhat reduced. There 
is no case of the use of the fut. participle in Homer, as there is no 
case of as with the gen. abs., nor is the perfect participle used 
except in a present sense. 

Before leaving Homer we may notice his use of a participle 
without a noun. This may occur at all periods of the language 
when the subject is general or is readily understood from what 
goes before, just as with the finite verb the subject is sometimes 
not expressed when it is sufficiently plain ; so avayvuxrerai, 8«'£« (cf. 
Her. 2, 96, mriei). Examples are rare in Homer : a 458, alp.a 8e ol 
oTcatrtievTos avetravro, where eyxeos is readily supplied from the 
preceding (Zenodot. reads ov). 2 606 and 8 19 are alike : 8<u<» 8t 

KvfiioTtjTrjpc Kar avTovs | /loXirijr Ij-apxovros Iblvsov Kara pJaaovs. Here 

all the editors since Wolf, who follows Athenaeus, V 180, have 
the gen. ; the MSS, however, and Aristarchus give e'£apx<wr«. Now 
while what Athen. says may be true, it is certain that Aristarchus, 
an acute critic, felt that the nom. plur. was better for Homer than 
the gen. sing. The other two examples in Classen's list are not 
real cases : o 191 (cited above), where jraXXo/wW is partitive, and 
is so explained by La Roche, and in * 521, 6 Hi t ay*' piXa Tpe'x« 

olbk ti ttoXXij I x°>P1 pefrcrrjyvs, iroXeos ireSloio Siovros, after ovde n, as 

though airov had been expressed, the sentence continues with the 
gen., which is made easier by the use of peo-oyyvs. Even if we 
admit some of these cases it would be rare in Homer. Classen 
also mentions a number of gen. participles following a noun in the 
dative or accusative. If we examine those with the dative, and it 
will require no close study, we shall find the change made in every 


case there where the gen. and dat. express in the main the same 
general idea, i. e. with nouns, e. g. s 25, Xd/ce 8e <r<pi nep\ X pol x^kos 

dreipr/s [ waaopAvaiv £i<f>e<riv re Kai eyxeaw afupiyvouriv, what Could be 

more natural than that as the verse went on the gen. should be 
used ? The general idea is what the writer has in mind. All the 
examples will be found to be like this. With the accusative he 

knows but tWO examples : 8 646, rj ae ply deKovros dnr\vpa vrja pekaivav, 
Y 4!3> T ° v $dAe pitraov Skovti jro&dpKrjs dios 'A X iK\(iis | varra Trapato-oovTos. 

In both these cases the use of the gen. case is readily explained : 
in the second case when vara is reached the writer goes on as 
though it had been pd\e vara, which is certainly the general sense, 
and the genitive follows naturally ; it is not a case of forgetfulness 
with regard to the sense, but as in K 187 (cf. supra), adherence to 
the same ; in the first case there is sufficient cause for the gen. in 
the use of /St'j, cf. A 430, where La Roche treats these cases in the 
way mentioned. Such gens, then cannot be regarded as abs. 
in Homer, nor indeed would CI. have resorted to this explanation 
had he not labored under the belief that in the early language the 
use of a gen. abs. brought out the relation of time, cause, etc., 
more prominently. 

In the poets after Homer we notice at first the same use as in 
that author : in the "Epya koI 'Hpepm of Hesiod (the only one of the 
works assigned to the poet that is genuine) there is a somewhat 
larger number, but of the same kind, as 386, irepnr\op.e>>ov iviavrov, 
383, nXtjidSav emrtWop-ei/dav. In the early elegiac poets, Callinus, 
Tyrtaeus, Solon, we meet but few examples, a fact due in part to 
the absence of occasion for the use of the construction, but not 
altogether. Indeed, there is plenty of room left for its use had it 
been familiar. In all these early poets the kind is the same as 
that in Homer. 1 Here, as elsewhere, the norm for poetry once set 
was adhered to, and though the later prose use influenced the 
poetry of that period to some extent, we can say that throughout 
its frequent occurrence was a mark of prose, while poetry preserved 
in general the limits set by Homer and the early poets, limits that 

1 Mr. C. W. E. Miller, who has been making a special study of the participle in 
Pindar, reports 31 perfectly certain gens, abs., 5 not certain and 3 very doubtful 
occurrences, in all 39. Of the 39, 27 are active, 5 middle and 7 passive. There 
are 20 aorists and 19 presents; so that we have a balance, which, indeed, is a 
relative advance on Homer, but not the great advance which might have sup- 
posed to be shown by Erdmann's defective lists. Hence correct my statement 
in Introduction to Pindar, p. cxii. The examples, especially the aorist 
examples, are found chiefly in narrative. — B. L. G. 


to them were natural. Had the popular use not been much more 
restricted than that of some of the prose writers we might expect 
it even more. In the lyric parts of the tragedies, the choral odes, 
we find the same use. In the Persae and Agamemnon of Aeschylus 
there occur only Pers. 283, which might depend on itavra and Ag. 
1451 and 1563, both simply temporal. (Ag. 260 the chorus speaks 
in iambic trimeters, this example is therefore not to be counted 
here.) Similarly in Soph. Antigone and Oed. Col., chosen as speci- 
mens of different periods of his life, wefind Ant. 340,1134(1532). In 

Oed. Col. 1565, TtoXkav yap av Ka\ pdrav irr)p.a.Ta>v iKVOv/ievaiv | itaKiv cr(pi 

Sainav SUaios at!|oi, the gen. at first glance might seem abs., but it is 
really used, as Schneidewin and Nauck say, like rio-ao-SaL nva twos. 1 
In six of Euripides' plays, different in time of composition and 
kind of play, I found the following : Alcestis 466, seemingly a 
gen. abs., but as there is a break it is difficult to say (Hipp. 800, 
iambic trimeter), Bacchae, Cyclops, Orestes, no examples, Medea 
(863). While this is not exhaustive for the choruses, it is enough to 
show the general use. Nor is it frequently used in the trimeter parts, 
the percentage varying between .04 and .30. The Bacchae, for 
instance, that exquisite production of Euripides' later life, contains 
but three examples, but these show the advances made ; 627, i>s 

efiov wMpevyoTos — 773' o'vov 8e /ti/xeT Svtos — 1243> p-aKapios « rjp.a>v 

rd8' egeipyao-ptvav. Ale. and Medea have more, the former 16, the 
latter 9 ; from the nature of the former we should have expected 
a larger number than in other dramas. 

It is, however, in classic Attic prose that the construction finds 
its full use. The earliest prose we possess is as a rule so frag- 
mentary that we cannot well decide as to its use there. From 
what we have we may draw the inference that while its use is not 

1 Dr. Goodell, in his valuable paper, ' On the Genitive Case in Sophocles ' (Tr. 
Am. Phil. Assoc. 1884), gives the following statistic for gen. absol.: 

Ai. 0. T. 0. R~. Ant. El. Tr. Phil. Total. Total. 
Dial. 11 16 II 6 10 14 6 74 ) . 

Lyr. 31 o 2 2 1 iiof 4 

He too considers the genitive absolute as a development of the predicate 
adnominal genitive. Unfortunately he does not give the tenses employed. 
As participles standing alone he cites TeXovjxcvuv, El. 1344; KarBavdyroc, Ant. 
o,og. The case-register of Sophokles is so peculiar that it would be unsafe to 
draw conclusions from his usage, and besides no one has been at the pains to 
do for Sophokles what Mr. C. W. E. Miller has done for Aristophanes (see 
Johns Hopkins University Circulars, No. 25), so that we cannot tell what is the 
real proportion of dialogue to lyric in him. — B. L. G. 


a large one, other relations besides that of time begin to become 
prominently used so, especially condition. Time is, however, 
throughout, and naturally so, the reigning relation expressed. 
This being so, we might expect it more largely in narrations, and 
we should not be deceived, for where there is much narration there 
are ordinarily, relatively speaking, a large number of genitives abs. 
Consequently the historians always show fair percentages ; it is in 
most cases over i.oo, generally 1.50, sometimes even more ; in 
didactic prose, where, to be sure, there is to some extent less 
occasion for it, the percentage is far less, in some few cases indeed 
none at all ; in such works its use is avoided where it would be 
possible to have it. Descriptions, too, do not show so many. This 
will be patent to any one on reading e. g. Her. lib. I ; in the narra- 
tive portions there are quite many, but in the description of the 
Ionians, of Babylon and its customs, in lib. II, of Egypt, etc., 
there are far less. 

In the Orators, of whose use I wish to speak in particular, we 
find the greatest possible variety both in manner and frequency of 
use. Certainly no other set of authors could be chosen whose 
works would so well illustrate the various uses of this construction ; 
whatever could be done with it they did. Easy in the beginning, 
it grew in the hands of some of them to be quite complex, and 
though not so used by the people, they used it in ways that would 
have been impossible in any other language, and that in some 
cases were rarely used by any of the Greeks themselves. First 
then, let us look at the relative frequency of the construction in the 
different orators in their several speeches. Beginning with Anti- 
phon, the first of the canon, we find the use somewhat limited. 
Omitting the tetralogies, which besides being mere sketches, are so 
short that one can hardly draw inferences from percentages, we 
find in V and VI respectively .79 and .58, small percentages when 
we consider the length of each, and especially of the narrative 
parts. 1 Andocides, in his great speech I, uses it like Antiphon, 

1 In this and the following I have used the ordinary Teubner texts ; where 
the pages were not full, allowance was made, counting 32 lir.js to the page. In 
all cases where part of the space is taken up by psephisms, jtc, due allowance 
was made. Absolute accuracy in such matters is difficult to attain to, but the 
following figures are as near it as could be brought about by careful calculation. 
Every case of a noun and an accompanying participle has been regarded as 
one example (including, of course, cases where the subject is omitted), where, 
therefore, several participles accompany one noun, or vice versa, the whole has 
been treated as one example. Hyperides was not examined on account of the 
unsatisfactory nature of what remains of his speeches. 


but in II, III and IV the percentage is over 1.00. In Lysias large 
percentages are found, partly, but not altogether, because there is 
more occasion for its use. In his several speeches there is some 
variety ; many are so short and fragmentary that it is hardly worth 
while to consider them. Most of the important speeches, 1, 3, 7, 
12, 16, 19, show large proportions, so too the spurious 2d. To this 
rule the 13th forms a marked exception ; the difference between it 
and the 1 2th is striking ; though they hardly differ at all in length, the 
percentages are 1.52 and .26. This is entirely in accord with the 
nature of the speeches. The 13th, as Blass has shown (Att. 
Bereds. I, p. 562), is throughout different from the great 12th ; it 
is a plain speech, lacking all adornment, and so ordinarily where 
there might be occasion for the use of the construction the 
expression is resolved into a subordinate clause. This low 
percentage becomes more significant when we remember that it is 
the shortest of all the speeches except Isocr. 1, 2, and Dem. 13, 
which are entirely different in character. 

Of all the orators Lycurgus uses the construction in the simplest, 
most natural way. Like Andocides he approaches the popular use, 
indeed even more so ; the cases are all easy, and one-third of all 
are found in the story of Codrus. In Aeschines there is a great 
difference between the second speech and the other two, the gen. 
abs. occurring in the former more than twice as frequently as in 
either of the other two, while all are quite long. This is due 
somewhat to cases of the use of many at a time in the speech n-epi 
irapcmpeafielas, but without regarding this the difference is noticeable. 
Isocrates uses it largely in 16, 18, 17, 19, while his carefully 
elaborated works do not rise so high, contrary to what we might 
expect from his fondness for putting together many participles. 
Dinarchus in his first speech has a large number, in 2 and 3 not 

It is in Demosthenes, of all the orators, that we find every 
possible variety in frequency of use. Somewhat oddly the extremes 
meet in 12 and [13], while in the letter of Philip, 12, the percentage 
is 3-73> m [ z 3] it > s on 'y n, a very low percentage for prose, 
and about the same as Isocr. 1 ; next to [13] stands [60], another 
spurious production, where the percentage is .29. That the speech 
covers but ten pages has, perhaps, something to do with this, but 
we see what can be done in less than ten pages in the speech 
against Callicles (55), one of the genuine private orations. There we 
find 3.33, next to 12 the highest percentage in Demosthenes. Then 


follow 33, 50, 47, 44, 32, 49, which are all regarded as spurious 
some of them bad imitations with wearisome repetitions. The 
next genuine speech to 55 is 29 (against Aphobos for Phanos) with 
2.03. The great speeches observe a mean between the ordinary 
use and the large use in some of the private orations. Of other 
writers the following may be mentioned : Thuc. in bk. 1 has 1.60, 
in bk. 7, i, 1.48, the others average no doubt 1.50. In Herodotus 
we find about the same percentages. Plato stands between .30 
and .70 in his works. The tone is either conversational or argu- 
mentative, and in neither case should we expect large numbers. 
In the Republic the percentage is about .44, varying slightly in 
the different books, the most are found in the 6th and the least in 
the 1st, Sympos. .59, Phaedr. .50, etc. In Aristophanes the 
number is small, the average varies between .10 in Lysistr., Thesm. 
and Ran., and .23 in Nub. Eccl., the others stand between these 

After the classic period the gen. abs. was used in about the 
same way, in narrative oftener, in didactic argumentative works 
less frequently ; such frequency as we find in some of the orators 
is probably nowhere reached. In the N. T. the same rule holds. 
The evangelists show large numbers between .70 and 1.15 ; St. 
John alone falling as low as .30. In the Epistles, all didactic, there 
are but few, many indeed have no examples at all : epp. to the 
Phil., Coloss., 2 Thess., 1 and 2 Tim., Philemon, Titus, James, 
1 and 2 John, Jude. The others have but few except Hebrews 
with .70. So much for the frequency of the use of the construc- 

If, as we saw, the gen. abs. began with the relation of time as 
the prominent, and indeed only one expressed, with a preference 
for the present participle, at the time of which we are now speaking 
all such distinction or preference had been wiped out, and the 
aorist was used with the same ease as the present, in fact narrative 
often shows a larger number of the former. The perfect does not 
occur so frequently, and many of these are virtually present, as 
«'fi<or, etc. When they are real perfects the idea is ordinarily that 
of time, but cause may be involved. 1 

Taken altogether the percentage of the various tenses in the 

1 From Classen's note on Thuc. I, 114, it might seem that he means that the 
perfect is used only in purely temporal relations. But cf. Isaeus, 7, 2, Sovtuv 
ruv v6[zov, with 7, 17, dedaiKOTvv tov vdfiotv ; the perfect too is sometimes used 
side by side with the aor., both apparently equally causal, as Dem. 50, 22. 


orators (exc. Hyp.) was found to be as follows : present, 52.9 per 
cent. ; aorist, 31.5 per cent. ; perfect, 14.9 per cent. ; future, 0.7 
per cent. Of the voices the act. has 64.85 per cent., the middle 
20.95 P er cent, and the passive 14.2 per cent. In the middle and 
passive the aor. predominates, in the passive the perfect also 
surpasses the present. The speeches in which the aor. is found 
oftener than the present are, Lys. 4, 16, 20, 32 ; Isocr. 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 
12; Is. 5, 10; Dem. 26, 32, 33, 38, 40, 41, 52, 56, 59; Lye. in 
Leocr.; Din. 1,2. In many cases the difference is not great; most, 
it will be seen, are in the private speeches, where these aorists 
occur largely in narration. In the same way we find e. g. in (N. T.) 
Matth. nearly twice as many aorists as presents. More perfects 
than aorists are found in Lys. 1, io, 18, 25, 26; Isocr. 7, 11 ; Is. 
4, 11 ; Dem. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 31, 38, 44, 53. 
This includes perfects in form with present signification, as dBa>s, 
also rJKav, Kdfievos and Kadripivos. The future occurs very rarely 
indeed, and generally with &>s or &o-irep. These will be treated 
later, but there still remain three cases without m, they are the 

following '. Is. J, 42, «icor<»s av noirjcrcucrde irpovoiav aXAa>? re km tovtcov 
• . . oikov avr)pt)KoTa>v km nenpaKorav km epri/xov 7rerrotr)K6Ta>v tj/iatv 8e 
XfXeiTOVpyrjKorav km XeiTOvpyrjarovrav, av u/xeis erriKvpaxrriTe . • . Dem. 24, 
189, dWa /xij irepl tovtiov vpa>v olcrovrav rrpi yj/ri<poy n 8et . . . evo)(\elv, 
and 45> * 2, irpoapaprvpovvTaii' 8e rovraw km ra>v BtKaar&v Sfioiats dKov<TO[jL€va>v 

ti r\v p.01 Kepdos to pij ede\eiv. All three of these go counter to the 
ordinary uses of the future participle, and the second is even more 
unusual in that it represents « with the future indie. ; it may well 
be questioned whether another such example can be found 
anywhere in Greek. 

In the century during which the orators wrote the conditional use 
of the participle in the gen. abs. is quite familiar ; without a 
negative, we may almost always be in doubt as to which relation 
was uppermost in the writer's mind, but when p) is used, unless 
indeed its use is brought about by a preceding conditional con- 
junction, verb in the imperative, or the like, the matter is made 
more certain. In later Greek fiij is used without conditional notion, 
even without its being induced by some one of the words 
mentioned. Sometimes too in classic Greek seems to be so 
used without conditional value, as in Dem. 18, 166, in Philip's 
reply, ^ is used in a causal sense, but it may be construed with 
the inf. following fiovkopivwi/, while in Is. 5, 16, hipas p.tj8epint 
6p.okoyoviuvr)s (Tvm, p.f/ follows 6p.o\oyovpev7]s grammatically as the 


regular negative used after that verb. In Dem. 22, 36, after the 
conjunction « we have first firfiiv followed by ovbi, notwithstanding 
the influence of the conjunction. Generally the relation of condition 
is expressed by a subordinate clause. We find in easy style but 
few gen. abs. that express this relation: in Lysias, 7,21 9,20 12,45.85 
19,24.53, these are in fact all. Of juj with the participle we find 
in Ant. four examples, in And. two, in Isaeus three, in Lycurgus 
and Dinarchus none, in Lysias two (underlined above), in Aeschines 
one. Demosthenes uses it more freely, but still not a few speeches, 
especially in private suits, have none whatever. In the N. T. it 
occurs a few times, but not as conditional: Matth. 13,19 (probably 
temporal), 18,25 ; Luke, 7,42 14,29 (after ha) ; Acts, 19,40 
21,14.34 27,7.20 (followed by ov, but in the expression x* l l xS > V0S 
ovk Skiyov iwiKeifievov, where the words ovk oklyov are felt as one) ; 
Rom. 5,13 9,n ; 1 Cor. 4,18 (ir); 2 Cor. 4,18; 1 Pet. 4,4, 
all are temporal, causal or concessive. To sum up, then, the 
expression of condition by the participle finds its most frequent 
use in carefully elaborated works, is not extensively used there, 
and except in certain fixed expressions was not much used in easy 
style and conversation. 

The concessive relation may be brought out more prominently by 
the use of the word Spots, and rendered undoubted by the use of 
Kaiitep. This is found with the gen. abs. in Isocr. 9,11 ; Dem. 1,10 
pr., 5,3 pr., 18,145 pr., 44,25.32.65 27,44 2 9,28 61,28 ; Aesch. 1,45. 
KaiVot in this sense is extremely rare in good prose, e. g. PI. Rep. 511 
D, common enough in the later period, once in N. T. Hebr. 4,3. 
The words <«u raira also generally, though not necessarily, give 
concessive force to the participle ; they are found Is. 3,38.76 
4,8 10,23; Isocr. 15,250; Dem. 20,96 21,119 24,26 34,17 48,54 
56,40; Din. 1,100. Another expression often found with the gen. 
abs., as with the participle in any construction, is SKXws re nal, 
which does not fix any relation, but practically excludes the con- 
cessive. We find it: Ant. 1,5; And. 4,9; Lys. 7,36 ; Is. 3,467,42; 
Isocr. 5,45 6,3.37 7.8 12,37 17.52; Dem. 3,12 17,25 20,144 59.48. 

Being a participial construction, the gen. abs. is often combined 
by conjunctions quite closely with participles in other constructions 
occurring in the sentence. We do not find this in Homer, and in 
lyric poetry, if at all, but rarely ; in the orators, however, it is met 
with quite frequently, and was often resorted to as a means of 
balancing the sentence ; examples are : Ant. 2 y 10 5,47, oft-e rijr 

jrdAeatt tyt)(pioafiivT}s otVe aino^ipa ovra 6,9 And. 1,2 3.20 ; LyS. 2,8.37 


3,254,116,457,41.43 12,2.6.9 14,2.38 18,5 19,23.26 20,19 25,31 
27,11; Is. 1, 2,37 3,36 4,23 7,11.15.44 8,1 10,23 l2 » 2 ; 
Isocr. 3,19 4,93.142.148 6, 8,117 9.55 12,89.102 
13,27 14,28 16,9.45 17,39; Dem. 3,27 12,22 19,218 20,137 
21,5.49.117 23,156.164.192 29,13 30,28.33 32,8.9.26 34,37-(5°) 
35,4 (of same person) 36,43 37,7.12.40 45,68 47,15.30.81 49,13.47 
50,6.21.68 52,12 55,2.21.26 57,42 59,55; Aesch. 1,78 2,169.176 

3,34.90 ; Lye. in Leocr. 99, xpqffajros B' aurcp tov 6eov, 6 S« nuOofxevos 

tovt eirpagt. Here Se is used like the Homeric oV in apodosis. 1 

With a participle in other constructions, but without a connecting 
conjunction, we find the participle of the gen. abs. somewhat 
oftener. It will suffice to give a few from each orator : And. 
1,106.109.138 4,13; Lys. 2,7.13.29, etc.; Is. 3,2 5,11, etc. ; Isocr. 
3,28 4,72, etc.; Dem. 18,, etc.; Aesch. 1,60.104. 
108.180, etc. ; Lye. in Leocr. 87.99. There are very few examples 
to be found in Ant, And., Lye. and Dinarchus. 

Very often it happens that one noun in the genitive abs. has 
several participles agreeing with it, and vice versa, though not so 
often, several nouns accompany one participle. In the matter of 
agreement the former presents no difficulty, the latter varies some- 
what in this respect. As a rule the participle agrees with the 

nearest noun, e. g. And. 1,138, Tpir)pmv ad Kara BaKarrav ova-mv koX 
Xflor&v— Isocr. 7,8 ; Is. 1,4 2,29 5,7, ordcrfcoy yevopJutjs Kaywvas, 6,21 

(8,44) 10,4.5 n,3o; Lys. 2,35 6,45 (19,44); Dem. 3,4 9,57 16,4 

I 9,75- 12 6 21,85.127 23,130.173 irapayevopevov ' Kdr)vohi>pov koi ran 
PaoiXe'cov 24,140 36,23 29,57 33-33 34,37 38,6 40,6 47,193 (49,22) 
(52,7) SS,^; Aesch. (1,43.162,2,47.137) 2,36.138 3,45.113, etc. 
This does not include such cases as would have the same participle, 
as, e.g. two plural nouns. In some cases a plural (or dual) participle 
agrees with two or more sing, nouns, or with a sing, and a plural 
noun, though nearer the former, e. g. Lys. 2,7 3,6, tvhov oio-S>v tj)s r« 

abe\(piorjs (cm ra>v aoe\<ptooiv, 12,72 ; Isocr. 5,95 11,11 ; Dem. 23,170 
25,68 49,13-24, acptKoptvonv A\k€tov (cat Idcrcoyo? (but 49,22, a<pucopevov 
yap 'aXm'tou Kal 'la<ra>vos . . . ^ot]6r)a-6vrov) 31 59,99 ; Aesch. 2,26.176, 

etc. With these compare such cases as Lys. 19,44; Dem. 23,173 
47,19 59,97 ; Aesch. 1,43 2,26, etc. 

Practically in this, as in most cases, the Greek wrote as he 

1 Blass, Att. Bereds. I, p. 210, seems to think that Thuc. 1,2.2, t^c- yap 
iftnopiag ovk ovarii o'vd' kntfuyvvvT£<; adsag aKkifiuou; would have been written by 
a later writer so as to make the construction of both members similar, but 
notice the large number of cases cited above from Dem., etc. 


deemed best for the purposes of rhythm, etc. The former case, 
in which several participles are found with one noun, is more 
frequently met and occurs in all the orators. It does not, however, 
appear so often as one might suppose on general impressions. 

So far we have regarded the subject of the gen. abs. as a noun 
or pronoun, personal or demonstrative, used in its stead, but the 
Greeks went farther than this and even made relative and inter- 
rogative pronouns the subject ; this is, however, again one of the 
possibilities of the construction not often made use of. We find 
the relative pronoun in Lys. 33,9 ; Isocr. 3,7, &> py Siarax^vrav, 
4,122.189 5,71 6,48 7,2.51 9,68 10.49 12,116 15,107.255; Dem. 
5» I 3 9.56 14,1 18,306 20,60 39,9. (In And. 2,3, Dem. 27,29 and 
Aesch. 3,258, the gen. can be regarded as depending on other words.) 
It will be seen that Isocrates is fond of this use, he has twice as many 
examples as Dem. Except the one case in Lysias the other 
orators do not use the relative in this way. The relative pronoun 
may also be object of the participle, as Isocr. 10,27, T ° Te 'f af V • • • 

datrpov Trjs iroXctos dnooTeWoiHTTjs — Dem. 18,132, ov \a$6vTos epov (18,323 

the rel. may be taken with the principal verb) — Din. 1,20, ols 
4toIixwv Svrav floTjOeiv, of? is governed by the infinitive depending on 
the participle. The subject of the gen. abs. may be the omitted 
antecedent of a relative in the sentence, as in Latin ' missis qui.' 
This does not occur often : Dem. 18,249, <jwrdiT<w 0?? ijv e'mpeKh, 
25.54 34.31 36,22 (Plat. Rep. 467 B, 469 D). 

Sometimes an interrogative pronoun is subject or object of the 
partic. in a gen. abs., just as we find it with the participle in other 
constructions, e. g. n bpav els txdos rjXdov. This too occurs rarely : 
Lys. 10,23=: 11,8; Is. 10,2 ; Dem. 21,143 (27.5 1 61,36 indir.). As 
object it is found: Dem. 2,25 19,7523,107 37,1447,43. Indirect 
interrogatives with relative word are found: Isocr. 16,16, 

dva/ivrja-dtjTe &>s ixovrtav rav irpaypdrav ktc ; Dem. 4,3 19,61, 4°>54> 

50,21.57 ; Aesch. 1,20. Both the relative and the interrogative in 
this place are evidences of the great advance made in the use of 
the construction since the time of Homer. Another such evidence, 
and even more rarely found, is the use of the articular infinitive as 
subject of the gen. abs. In the orators this occurs but five times : 

Lys. 12,13, ••* T0 ^ y f dirodavciv vnapxovros — IsOCr. 3> 6, eyytvofuvov . . • 
tov TTtiBciv, 6,3, a\\a>STe Kal tov yvm-m . . . KadearaTos — 15,254, iyytvofxevov 

. . . tov neidciv, which looks like a reminiscence of 3,6 ; Dem. 5,2. 
The examples of this use are altogether rare. Plato has a few, as 
Crito, 49 D ; Euthyd. 285 D ; Gorg. 509 C. Thuc. has at least 


one, 3,12.3, and from Dr. Nicolassen I learn that it occurs but 
once in Xenophon's works. 1 The use of an articular infinitive in 
this connection shows to what extent the language could make use 
of its existing material, and what possibilities it kept in reserve, 
«ven though it used them but rarely. 

A word now as to the order of the words in this construction. 
In general we may lay down the seemingly evident rule that the 
emphatic word is put in the emphatic place, but this would be 
somewhat vague. In narration, where the action is generally that 
to which attention is called, we find a large number of the type 

tlnovTos avrov ravra, <j>€vy6vrav 8« tovtcov, etc., t. e. With participle 

preceding. In expressions of time, like x«/«S»»os ovros, fjiiipas 
ycvofLivris, etc., where the noun is the important element, it is 
generally put ahead ; still, though this may be given as a rule, it is 
sometimes violated. In orators like Dem., and especially Isocrates, 
regard is generally had to rhythm, hiatus, etc. Usage varies in this 
matter, while in Her. bk. 1 about 55 per cent, are of the type first 
mentioned, in Thuc. bk. 7 there are but 43 per cent. ; again, in the 
N. T. they constitute 63 per cent. The same holds in the orators : 
in Antiphon about 40 per cent., in Andoc. 48 per cent-., etc. It is 
impossible to trace any fixed law beyond what has been said. 

In the early stages of the language the dependency of any 
genitive with a participle on some noun or verb was clearly felt and 
expected, when the governing word had not yet been uttered ; in 
the period, however, of which we are speaking, the absolute use 
had become so familiar and frequent that such a gen., even though 
really depending on a word in the sentence, was felt for awhile as 
absolute ; the mind referring it to the absolute use until the 
contrary was proved, instead of holding the matter in suspense 
for the time being ; on the other hand, even if the governing word 
preceded, if the gen. had the form of a gen. abs., it was probably 
often felt so even though the reader knew very well that it 
depended on another word. This is what Classen contended to 
be true for Homer. It must not be understood that such uses are 
really absolute ; they stand on the borderland and mediate between 
'the two, the mind recognizing both, e. g. Ant. 2 (3 12, toiovtw 8' 
ovros fiTjSfv avoaiov Karayvari. In early Greek this would have been 
held in suspense until Karayvdri was pronounced, but at the time of 
the orators it was felt as absolute until the verb was reached ; the 

1 See A. J. P., IV 242, for additional examples from Plato and the orators. 
Also see III 198. 


general effect, however, of the absolute use had been produced. 

In examples like Ant. 5>43> itfirpoyiuvm pot tov epyov paprvpas iea\ 

(rvpfioiXovs ciroioi/irjv, the absolute feeling is still more prominent. 

The ordinary use of a participle with a noun not in the gen. abs., 
as above said, is also capable of expressing time, cause, etc., and 
does so, still these relations do not appear so prominent but they 
are subordinated. In the abs. construction, however, this is quite 
different, the expression of these relations is there the prominent 
feature, which became more essential the more the construction 
was gradually felt as the equivalent of a subordinate clause ; 
consequently it happens that to secure definiteness without having 
recourse to such a clause, a gen. abs. may occur in a sentence in 
which the subject of the gen. abs. is also subject or object of the 
verb or of a preposition. This may occur (i) with the noun 
repeated, or (2) without such repetition. 

I. The subject is found repeated most frequently in the oblique 
cases, but also a few times in the nominative, e. g. Dem. 52,5, 
anoKpwaiiivov Se Qopfiiavos . . . (<pt] 6 &oppiav (easy conversational style) 
59,7 (cf. Her. 2,11, where the two are separated at some length). 
With other cases we find this repetition : With the genitive, Dem. 

(10,53 dep. On adj.) 52,15 53,l8, fiovkopivwv twv hiKaarav . . . c8tr)0t)i> 

tyi> tS,v huca<rrav; Isocr. 17,35; with preposition : And. 1,20 2,10, 

&<ttc iifiwv (kovtiov eivai (^^ e£eivai) irori pot noKiTtvcrao'dai pe@ vpmv 

3,25 ; Dem. 8,66= 10,68 54,42 ; N. T. Rom. 5,8; with noun: Dem. 
47,32. With the dative, after verb : And. 3,31, raira 8e irao-xpvriov 

r/pav oi irctaavres fjpas riva axpekciav irapeaxov rjpiv — Dem. l8,20 23,167* 

47.69 50.3i-36.37.4049- 56 ; N. T. Luke, 22,10; Acts, 16,16; 
2 Cor. 4,18; Arist. Av. 562. After preposition : Isocr. 12,8 (Dem. 
43.79. separated) ; N. T. 1 Cor. 11,18. With the accusative, after 
the verb : Lys. 21,25 ; Dem. 18,143 19,211 21,76 23,89 35,46 40,53 

50,34.55 56,11 59,52.61 ; Aesch. 2,43, avaurdriras be rfpxiv ixovrwv Kairrjv 
eVt/SouXijv oil irpoopapivav . . . KareKXjjO-ev fjpas — N. T. Acts, 21,17 22,17- 

After preposition: Dem. 45,40 53,6 56,40 59,68; Aesch. 3,123; 
N. T. Luke 22,53 ; 2 Cor. 12,21. In some of these cases the gen. 
abs. follows, especially with i>s, as Dem. 21,76 35,46 45,40 52,15 

56.40. 1 

Instead of the same word we often find airos, ovtos or cWpof 

1 In Dem. 35,4 the dat. precedes, and, connected with it by a conjunction, is 
the gen. abs. : a6e?,ipij> bvn tovtq . . . xal ova av exovToe tovtov deit-ac vdpov — N. 
T. Acts, 22,17, is strange: iyivero depot vwocTptyavri nal 7rpoaevxopevov pov 
ycveaOat pe. 


referring to the subject of the gen. abs. in a different case con- 
struction. This is not so striking as the preceding case ; it occurs 
quite frequently. 

Examples of airros so used are : Genitive, Ant. 4,8.10 ; And. 1,5 ; 
Lys. 7,7; Is. 7,8; Isocr. 6,47 (10,39 su bj- of gen. abs. omitted) 

IO,6o (l2,IOO) l6,IO oiitom avofiots tov irarpos eKV€a6vTos a>s deiva 

8(8paKoros aiiTov KaTrjyopoitri, 18,5; Dem. 23,154 40,17; Lye. in 
Leocr. 86; N. T. Matth. 5,1 12,46; Luke, 24,36; Acts, 17,16 
28,3. Dative, And. 1,67 4,17 ; Lys. 2,44 13,26 20,26 22,8 ; 
Isocr. 6,18 10,20 14,57 i5> 112 I 7»37 19,18; Dem. 15,11 23,107.202 
27,36 42,27 50,36.49.50: Aesch. 1,104; Din. 2,18; N. T. Matth. 
8,1.5.28 9,18 17,22.26 18,21 21,23, 26,6 27,17 ; Mark, 5,2 9,9 13,1 ; 
Luke, 14,29 24,41; John, 4,51 14,22; Acts, 4,1 13,42 17,16. 

Accusative, Ant. ^y.W, p.CT6xov tov pupaniov tov <j)6vov Hvtos ovk hv 
SiKaias ovSe oaias diroXioiTe avrov — Lys. 32,4; Isocr. (4,140) 7,7^ 

">49(i5,3io); Dem. 5,2 15,11 18,33 (21,176)23,183 24,4328,1 
47,58 49,32 50,55 58,28 59,31 60,102; Aesch. 2,28 ; N. T. Matth. 
18,25 22,24 27,19; Mark, 5,2.18.21 9,28 10,17 13,3; Luke, 9,42 
15,20 18,40 19,33 24,5; John, 8,30 12,37; Acts, 7,21 18,6 19,30 
25,7.21 28,17. °^™ f an d (<etvos do not occur so often. Genitive, 
Isocr. 5,43 9,12 12,89 (16,11 with noun); Is. 3,50 9,20 11,38; 
Dem. 11,34 34,38-47 44,55 53,25 58,42- Dative, Isocr. 12,8.57.189 
15,5318,60; Dem. 23,56.149 25,17. Accusative, Is. 3,50; Dem. 
20,82 57,28. Sometimes, as in Isocr. 4,134, aMs etc. itself appears 
in the gen. abs., the noun in another case construction. From 
these lists it will be seen that of the several cases the dative occurs 
most frequently in this way, next the ace. and genitive, the nom. 
but rarely. 

II. When the subject of the gen. abs. is not repeated, a case 
which is possible only with verbs, this irregularity is still more 
prominent. In some of the cases the verb can be looked upon as 
absolutely used without object, but there are some in which this 
is not the case, and these leave the possibility of a doubt as to the 
conception in the others. This use, however, does not occur so 
frequently as the one we have just considered. First we look at 
the cases where we should expect the nominative : Dem. 42,8, to 

fiev dqbeXciv to OTjpetov opoXoyet, t6 &c dvoi£ai tx\v Bvpav ov\ bpokoyii fi>oTrep 
akkov twos tvtKa d(j)aipovvTOS rj tov ras dvpas dvott-ai, 58,31 29,52 43,67- 

The same is found in other writers : PI. Phaedr. 232 C ; Her. 1,90 

91.96 ; N. T. Matth. 1,1 8, pvr)o-rtv6tlo^r)s Ttjs ptjTpos irplv fj o-vve\duv 


avrovs (vpi8r) KTk ; Mark, 6,22 (Cod. Vat.) ; Acts, 21,34 28 >6 ; Hebr. 
11,4 (Cod. Alex.) 1 The gen. cannot be used in this way, for as 
no noun is repeated it would be not an absolute, but a dependent 
genitive. The dative might be expected in Ant. 1,12 ; Is. 1,32 
6,45; Dem. 6,20 12,15 I 8,294 22,16 24,138 58,27 59,7; Aesch. 
1,146; Arist. Ran. 128; Vesp. 746; N. T. Matth. 17,24; Luke, 

17.12 ; Acts, 24,25. In most of these cases the verb may be 
looked upon as used absolutely. A well-known example of 
the expected accusative occurs Dem. 18,135, ovkovv ore tovtov 

/ieWovroc Xt'yetj/ cmr)Kao-tv t] |8ovXjj kcu irpoo-tra^ev eTipcp. Here most 

MSS read avrov, but 2 omits it ; the Scholiast (ace. to Wester- 
mann) stigmatizes this as a o-vvragts imidv&vvot km o-o\oiKo<j>avfjs. 
When we remember that it occurs in one of the ablest pro- 
ductions of the Greek mind, written by one who well knew how 
to use his language, we cannot follow him so readily. It must 
be plain now why the gen. is used ; it brings out more promi- 
nently the participle and the temporal idea ; in the ace. the stress 
would have been on tovtov, and the participle with its temporal 
notion more in the background. Nor is this a solitary instance, it 
occurs Lys. 12,64 x 9>5° 2 3> 2 ; I s - I »4 2 ; Isocr. 10,60 12,218 ; Dem. 
7,21 (14,16) 16,19 18,99 23,213 27,17.53 29,1 38,16 39,3 44,41 

45.13 53.17 J N. T. Acts, 4,37 25,25 ; in Her. 1,3 ; Thuc. 1,134.3, 
etc. ; Plato, Symp. 174 D, etc. 2 

Sometimes the subject of a gen. abs. omitted in the abs. constr. 
itself appears in another case construction in the sentence, as in 
Lys. 1,38; Isocr. 9,29; Dem. 12,23 i5>!7 18,322.27,5345,1342,8 

47)47 • *paprvpr]o~av eStkav Trapa&ibovcu tov Gcd^/uov tt)v av$parrrov ov&aftov 

to o-5>pa irapa&ibovros, 51,56. With the gen., as in Isocr. 10,39, it is 
more doubtful whether the construction is absolute. 

Several cases may be mentioned which have not been treated 
above. If the subject of a gen. abs., repeated or not, is found as 
subj. or object of a verb in a clause different from that of the verb 
in which the gen. abs. is found, it need not be considered, unless, 

1 In Her. 1,178, Kserai ev neSiu fteyaXy fieyaBog kovaa peTOTrov etcaorov eiicooi 
Kal marbv aradiuv iovariQ rerpayuvov, Abicht explains the gen. as depending on 
the idea ttjq jikTumiv karcv, which is conceived as having gone before. This is 
not impossible, but it would be just as easy to explain it as an example of the 
case before us. 

2 In Dem. 47,58, rrjc ridris to xv/ifliov 'Xafiovaqs Kal ivdijikvrK . . . naridovTeg 
avrf/v ovto) SUSeaav . . . avri)v goes with both participle and verb, and hence 
does not belong here. 


indeed, there is a close connection between the two clauses and 
the gen. abs. can be looked upon as depending equally well on 
both verbs ; this is generally the case when the gen. abs. is in the 
principal clause, generally not when in the subordinate. Such are 
e. g. participial clauses : here the gen. abs. serves to bring out the 
right dependency, as in Dem. 40,13, yrjpavros 8c pov . . . ineivos piv 

to dvyiirpiov poi imduv yev6ptvov . . . fVeXevTi/o-ti'. Here the Sense 

would be changed by reading y^om : examples may be found in 
Lys., Isocr., Dem., Lye. So too clauses with <»ot<=, as Ant. 

5,17) tdfkovros yap pov ovto>s ovtoi bienpa^avro loan tovto pfj iyytveadai 

/xoi notrjo-at. The same is true of oratio obliqua clauses as well. 
Strictly speaking the use of ace. and infinitive does not form a 
clause in Greek, but is simply a case of inf. depending on verb. 
In or. obi. we find e. g. Dem. 47,64, dnaiTovvTos ipov . . . ovk %$r) 
cmohaoeiv pot. Here by reading the dative a change in dependence 

is made. With on, Dem. 50,47, Ke\fvaavros 8e pov . . . Xt'yct on fSovkoiro 

/xoi x"/"" Soiivai . . . Even in cases where the gen. abs. depends on 
an ordinary dependent infinitive the sense would be changed by 

changing the case, as Ant. I,IO, fHaoavtOTas iniXcvov yiyvco-6at e/iov 

■napovTos. If two gens. abs. are connected by a conjunction and the 
subject of one is also subject or object of a verb we need expect 

no Other Case, C g. in Lys. l8,2I, i>s ovv !)piS>v Tavn\vTr\v yvd>pt]v e^ovriov 
K.a\ ra>v tjp(T(pav npoyouav roiovrav yiyivr\p.iva>v (f>eiSe<rde rjp.S>v'. or the 

gen. abs. may be connected with a participle in another construc- 
tion and so render change unnecessary and impossible without 
completely altering the sentence, e. g. Isocr. 4,148, dtapaprav 8e ri}? 

ftovXrjs Kal tS>i> o~rpari<or5>v o-vp.p.(ivavT(ov . . . aTriovaiv avrois o-vveirep.\l/ev. 

Again, after a gen. abs. two verbs may occur and the subject of the 
gen. abs. be subject or object of one, as in Dem. 58,27, «' pfj 

bto(Uvu>y airiov . . . inelo-6r)8' vp-tls Kal TtaKiv airebore airois . . . Here 

change would be unnecessary. Other cases need not be considered. 
The greatest freedom in this matter we observe in Demosthenes 
and Isocrates. 

We now pass on to that use which Classen seems to regard as 
the original one, viz. without a noun expressed. The most 
important part of the construction is after all, as we have seen, 
the participle. The subject may be omitted if it can be made 
evident from the context ; with the participle this is impossible, 
the action cannot be inferred, and if it is a real omission the gen. 
can no longer be absolute, but belongs to one of the other 
categories. Cases where one participle is used with several nouns, 


or where a participle expressed in one clause is understood in 
another immediately following, as Lys. 25,31, UCivoi . . . 6\tyapxias 
ouo-ijr . . . oStoi de 8i)poKparias, are no exceptions. In the few cases 
where there really seems to be an omission it can be accounted 
for. The words Ui>v and a<av are used without &v, probably to 
avoid the repetition of the syllable &v ; we find numerous examples : 

And. 1,9, aKOirav t&v ov PovXopcvav, 2,IO; Lys. 8,5 12,63; IsOCT. 

15,307 ; Dem. 18,40 24,53 > Aesch. 2,84, and so in other writers. 1 
In cases where there is a real omission there ought to be something 
that will suggest the participle, as in Soph. Oed. Col. 83, £>s iptov 
fi6vi)s neXas, where the adverb suggests the participle, so in Oed. 
C. 1588, v(f>riyt)TTipos=Zv(pTiyoviMvov. The word a-vyKXtjrot was felt as 
the equivalent of a participle in the expression o-vyKkrp-ov eic/eAijo-iay. 
In Dem. 18,37.73 we have the words added ford o-rpa-niy&v, this 
plainly shows the feeling. 

In almost all the cases we can satisfactorily explain the omission 
of the participle ; in the few that remain inexplicable, especially 
Xen. An. 7,8.11, the participle is to be supplied. On the other 
hand the subject of a gen. abs. can be and is quite often omitted. 
This is done when the subject is general, as people, things, etc., 
just as we say \eyovo-t, or when it is an action that is specifically 
regarded as belonging to the omitted subject, as we say io-^ve, 
and secondly, and by far more frequently, -when the subject has 
been mentioned in what precedes and so is present to the mind. 
Of the former we notice Ant. 5,44 ; And. 4,3 : iv ra8t t<$ Kaipn otfre 

Kanfyopias yevoptvrjs oure <mo\oylas bo6el<rr)s 8iayjft)(pio-apevav Kpvj38t)v toctovtov 

xpovov S« <jr<pi)dr)vai kt(, where we readily understand as subject 
those who regularly did the voting, i. e. the people; Lys. 13,82 ; 
Is. 10,9; Dem. 18,322 (i. e. with reference to the Mac. faction) 
19,252 21,13 45.62; Aesch. 1,35 (in a law); Aristoph. Eq. 298: 
fiXcirovrav, Vesp. 774 : vovtos. Here belong the neuter impersonal 
uses, as dpr)pAvov, which will be treated later. The indefinite idea 

1 In the case Thuc. 3,82.1 : Kal h tiJ dpr/vy ovk av ixivruv irpdtpaoiv ovff 
eroiftav irapanaXelv . . . Kritger wants bvruv put in the text, and Classen says 
it is a very unusual omission of the participle and that ovk av ixforuiv is 
subordinate to ovS' hoijiuv. That the word bvruv is omitted is true, just as he 
might have said ovk av lx ovTe C "^ irol/iot and omit 6vre$, but I should explain 
this gen. as I would such a nom., not as absolute, but as the omission of a 
participle which agrees with the principal subject, not itself a new absolute 
clause. Why Classen would subordinate ovk av ex^vrav (oW av elxov) to oils' 
eroiftuv (ovS 1 el irot/toi %oav) and not the reverse is not clear. The example in 
Xen. An. 7,8.11 is somewhat more difficult. 


'things' is understood in Is. 8,30: k<m ovras ixovrav, Dem. 24,12; 
Soph. Antig. 1179; Aesch. Ag. 1393. If the omitted subject do 
not fall under this head, it must have been mentioned or at least 
implied in the preceding. This occurs far more frequently than 
the former case. We find it Ant. 5,(45) (where we may regard 
the gen. as depending on aJ^a) ; And. 4,8.17; Lys. 1,38 2,(26)49 
4,175,1 (6,26)7,24 9,14 12,45.64 17,5.(7) 19-3146 31.28; Is. (2,37) 
6,(36)-52 8 . x -3 6 IO > 21 ; Isocr - (4.97) 9j21 ( IO >39) I2,(84).i37. 
(264X268) (15,87) (16,40) ; Dem. 4,2 9,5 10,38 12,23 15.12.17 
i8,288.(3o6).322 19,118.151.152.(298)309 21,93 23.(67)89-93-94-i59 
(24,80) (25,21) 27,53 29,14 30.16 (32,15) (33.33) 38.8-16 42^ 
43.10 44.4149 45.13-44 47,8.(34) 47-5 1-56- 7 1-77 (49.2) 55,23.26.30' 
(56,35) (59,7) ; Aesch. 2,(27).50. In the cases bracketed the word 
either may be as well regarded as depending on a noun, or the 
subject with another participle has occurred in the gen. abs., thus 
making it hardly a case of omitted subject. Where the examples are 
underlined, the subject itself not expressed in the gen. abs. occurs 
in the sentence in another case. These have been treated above. 
The same use is found in other writers of both prose and poetry. 
Aristophanes has some 13 cases, though he has not very many 
gen. abs. taken altogether. So the N. T. has a few examples : 
Matth. 17,14 (ace. to Cod. Vat.) 26 ; Acts, 21,10.31 25.17 ; Rom. 
9,11. In this matter too Demosthenes leads, with Isocrates and 
Lysias next, the others using it rarely or not at all, as in the case 
of Dinarchus and Lycurgus." 

Post-Homeric is the use of the genitive absolute with i>s. In 
Homer this particle is rarely used with any form of the participle, 
e. g. n 21, 1rjKefiax ov • • • Kva-ev i>s . . . (f>vy6vra, and then not as it 
is used later. Probably the construction arose with the full force 
of i>s as a particle of comparison ; so we see it in the example just 
quoted. i>s K\«m;r &>v drnfotf"? (Is. 4,28) then would have been felt 

Originally as a>s K\(7trt]s av hv mrrjx^V ( or o]ta\6tai) ovras aTrr/x^l- This 

was, however, gradually lost, and &>s with a participle became the 

1 Sandys and Paley regard this as a case of neuter impersonal participle. 

8 The difficult passage, Plato, Rep. 436 D : oiie av imoSexoi/jteOa <5f ov Kara 
ravra iavrav ra roiaiira r6rt uev6vruv re nal <ptpojisvuv aTM. . . . said of the 
movement of tops, etc., which are at the same time at rest and in motion, 
Stallbaum explains so as to make rd Toiavra adverbial, and the gen. therefore 
abs. without subj. [Ast drops to roiavra ; but it may have slipped from its 
place after airodexoifie$a. Cf. below : oittiev tov toiovtuv 7ley6fievov iKirlqS-Et. 

B. L. G.] 


expression for the view of the subject, be the view true or false. 
It is of course not conditional (cf. Gildersleeve, Justin M. I 4,8)„ 
for the negative is oi, and if we give a conditional rendering we 
put in an element not present in the Greek. With are and ofoi' 
cause is emphasized, with i>s not necessarily. In the orators the 
former do not occur with the gen. abs., i>s quite often ; with the 
present participle it is found: Lys. 2,60 12,2.14 ( l8 > 21 ) 31.28; 
Is. 3,3 (6,36); Isocr. 2,12 6,86 10,3.60 12,215 i5. I2 -3 2 3 I7> 2 6 
18,43 20,2; Dem - 7.3344 O) 8 > 61 IO >49 12,23 17.7-12.(28) 
18,86.174.178 19,132.15600.156.304 21,8.76.127 23,89.177 25,44 
27,20.62 28,17 32,7 33,30 35,18 46,9 47,77 48,46 (49,56) 50,24 
53,10 55,20 59,97 61,22;' Aesch. 1,141 3,225; Din. 1,89.(95). 
With the perfect participle : Lys. 10,28 14,31 18,21 (26,10) ; 
Isocr. 12,89.264 15,12 18,43; Dem. 4,13 7,33 21,127 30,8(38,8) 
56,33.35 59,111 ; Lye. in Leocr. §45; Din. 2,7. With the aorist 
participle: And. 1,29; Is. 6,52 7,3 8,1 11,28; Isocr. 12,153.153 
i5,ioo(&).no; Dem. i8,i68(&).207 23,58^) 38,16.16 45,40 
47,5i(&-). With the future participle : And. 1,62; Lys. 14,10.10; 
Is. 7.15; Isocr. 6,100 15,100.149; Dem. 10,63 2 i, 2 i6 27,53, 3°. 2& 
32,7 61,22 ; Din. 2,22. Antiphon does not use the construction, 
Lycurgus but once. Demosthenes uses it most frequently. We 
see from the above lists that the present participle occurs thus 
with as more frequently than all the others combined. This will 
in general be found to hold good everywhere in Greek prose, 
in some cases the disparity is greater ; in Plato's Republic to a 
fair number of presents there occur two futures and no aorists. In 
the N. T. &>s occurs in this way but five times : Acts, 27,30 ; 1 Pet. 
4,12 pr. ; 2 Pet. 1,3 pf. ; 1 Cor. 4,18 pr. (jiij) ; 2 Cor. 5,20 pr. In 
Aristoph. Av. 562 (pr.), 1513 pr. ; Ran. 128 pr., (1118 pr.); Plut. 
369 pf. 

Not infrequently it happens that an imperative is used in the 
clause with i>s and the gen. abs., e. g. Isocr. 15,149: &>s ovv ovras 
avrwv huvrdria-ojuvvv oKonei, 323: <£eper<o. Just in the same way a 
verb of saying, as \iye, may be used, as Arist. Aves, 15 13: if 
aKoiovros X« r c. Sometimes, Kiihner says, we meet such examples 
where we should expect o« or is with a finite verb, and that it is used 
so with eibivai, eVi'oracr&u, etc. In so far as K. means by this that 

1 Sandys and Paley explain, Dem. 16,16 : Tavra 6' r/fiav leyovrav ...mi a^tovvrav 
. . . «# uveiv . . . Trepl Se ruv avTiXryafikvav (if eTolfiav ivrav KpiBijvat . . . o>c eroifiav 
bvTov as to be taken with fauv teyovrwv, thus it would be in the absolute case. 
Schaefer and Voemel take it with tov avnleyojikvav. 


when a writer begins with such a verb we should expect him to 
express a certain idea, while in reality he expresses another, he is 
right ; that he does mean this he shows by adding that here too 
i,s is to be conceived as in every other case. When &s with 
gen. abs. follows such verbs they are used absolutely without 
object clause, e. g. Plato, Rep. 327 C : as rolvvv /*jj aKovaofUvav ovra 
Siavoeiode, it is not ' think that we will not hear,' but make up your 
mind in the belief that, etc. The accusative with &>s, Isocr. 5,114 : 
Xeyo 8' olx i>s dwrjo-opaiov <re, is to be taken as object of the verb. In 
Dem. 17,28 we have i>s with gen. abs. and no verb. Rehdantz says 
of this, in the index to his edition of Dem. 1-9 : ' i>s bei dem Parti - 
cipium seltener nach Verbis des Sagens.' The words are : 

vnop.evovp.iv . . . TroAXaff. ov yap Si) eort ye elnelv as Adrji/rjtri a<pB6vav ovrav 

tS>i> £i\a>v . . . dXX' (oovto ... If ir be taken with the participle in 
this sentence, the effect is the same as if any other verb had been 
used, but ws may be regarded as a conjunction introducing a 
subordinate clause with a verb (imopevovpev) understood. 

With &<rnep the idea of comparison is still more prominent than 
with as ; it occurs less frequently than the latter in the orators and 
generally elsewhere. With the present participle we meet it: 
Lys. (2,26) 24,14 25,31 26,1 27,11 ; Isocr. 4,178 7,1 12,90 15,89 ; 
Dem. 30,36 42,8.14 51,17 57,65. With the perfect participle: 
Lys. 12,64 2 5. 2 3 26,1; Isocr. 7,1 4,178 10,49 18,46; Dem. 

17,21 19,226 (ao-nepaveC) 31,12 35,26 36,17 42,2 51,17 54,20 

(ao-wepaveC) 57,65. With the future: Lys. 26,1; Dem. 36,17, 
and with the aorist, Isocr. 4,178. With this particle, then, 
of the orators the gen. abs. is found only in Dem., Isocr. and 
Lysias. It does not occur in Aristophanes or in the N. T. are 
and ola do not occur in the orators with the genitive absolute, but 
in some authors, especially Plato, they are met with often. enough, 
e.g. Plato, Rep. 350 D, 411 D, 458 C, 586 D ; Symp. 223 C; 
Her. 1,123.171.190; Thuc. 7,85.3. (24,2 the MSS read flore), etc. 
Like &<rnep, we find only in Lys., Isocr. and Demosthenes the 
use of av with the participle in this construction. This too is 
post-Homeric, and belongs to prose. It puts in the participial 
construction relations that other languages must express by 
subordinate clauses, thus losing much in conciseness and beauty. 
It is not used much. It occurs in the orators only in the following: 
Pres. partic, Dem. 7,44(0)5) 18,96 19,156.156 23,189; aorist: Lys. 
12,78; Isocr. 15,100 (ij); Dem. 9,1 18,168 23,58 (w?) 30,13 47,51. 
All the examples except two are in Demosthenes, and most of 


these in the great public speeches. In Dem. 40,10, km tov irarpbs 
ovk &v (fxia-KovTos iret<r8r)vai, the particle belongs to the infinitive, it 
precedes the present participle as it would have preceded the 
present indicative in the finite form. 

By the side of this gen. abs. there is in Greek another absolute 
case used quite differently, viz. the accusative absolute ; it is a later 
development which does not occur in Homer, and is essentially 
a prose construction, taken up to some extent in poetry as in 
tragedy and comedy in the trimeters, but not much, and is even 
limited in its use in prose. Whatever may have been the origin 
of its use, it is certain that its development was hastened by the 
necessity of having a distinction between a neuter impersonal 
participle and a masculine participle whose subject is omitted. 
These would have coincided in the genitive ; the use of the 
accusative removes all difficulty. It is used in classic Attic prose 
as follows : 1st, and regularly with neuter impersonal participle, 
signifying possibility, necessity, obligation, etc., to which we might 
apply the term potential ; these ordinarily have a concessive force. 
2d, we see this extended to other neuter impersonal participles, 
but there is a feeling of doubt evinced by the use of the gen. side 
by side with the ace. ; lastly (3) we observe the attempt made to 
set the ace. entirely on a level with the genitive. This experiment 
failed, it was limited to a few writers, Thucydides, Xenophon and 
Plato, from whom we must be ready to expect all manner of 
syntactical peculiarities. Thus we find Thuc. (4,125) saying 
Kvpa>6h d' oi&cv for the regular genitive. 

The neuter impersonal participles occurring in the orators are 
in the order of frequency of occurrence : i£6v (used almost as 
often as all the rest put together), blov, irpoo-tjuov (r\>x6v — adverb), 

7rap6v, ov, \Ttpoura\6iv, perov, pikov, perapekov, yevopevov (And. I,8l), 8i<apt- 
o-pevov, S6£av, pcraSoi-av, eicyevopevov, 8erj<rav, ef-eo-opevov, iyy evupevov, npoeipt)- 

psvov. ov (which occurs quite often in Plato) is sometimes omitted, as 
in Dem. 4,10, u>s nkevoreov ; Isocr. 6,86. Of neuter impersonal parti- 
ciples belonging to class 2 we find a number in the genitive in the 
orators : Lys. 4,7, dBfjXov ovtos — Dem. 17,28, Sitiprjphov — 23,169, 

ovtos vopipov — 23,143 24,80, ddvvarov ovtos — 35> 5 2 > ycypapplvov — 56,18, 
7rpo8rj\ov ovtos — 50,17, do-ayye\0evra>v — 59,116; Aesch. 1,21.43.139, 

and in other writers ; in Thuc. several times in the plural, as in 
1,7.2 116,3 (cf. Dem. 50,17). In exactly similar instances we find 
the accusative, as Thuc. 1,1252, hthoypevov — 140,2 7,18.2 7,77.6 
€lprjp*vov= 5,30.1 =5,39.3 7,44.4, advvaTov Sv. Of the third class 


we find but few that must really be regarded as such, many of 
those given, e. g. by Kiihner, II, p. 648, need not be considered 

absolute ; SO Her. 2,66 : ravra 8e ycvopaia ntvdea peyaka tovs Alyvrrriovs 
KaraXapfiavei, 415*- 1 • aPTindifieva 6c ravra avno-rjKcoois ytverai, are Called 

accusative absolute by him, but Abicht, who knows that there is 
something similar in the 7th book that cannot be called an 
accusative, says they are nominatives, and thus enriches the stock 
of absolute cases by one. The case in book 7 is in chapter 157 : 

aXr/s piv yap yevoutvrj nana f/ 'EXXas x fi P l**ya\t] ovvdyerai, SO 4»5°* 

Why not make all these appositives ? Abicht does this in 3,95 : 

to 8e xpvtriov . • . \oyi£6ficvov . . ■ to yjrrjyua evpio-Ktrai iov ... Why 

not in the other cases ? 

With the genitive we have seen that the feeling may be that of 
an absolute case use even if the case can be otherwise explained, 
because there was a gen. abs., but with other cases we have no 
right to make such an assumption, indeed we have observed that 
if it was thought necessary to produce such feeling the gen. was 
used, though another case might have been expected according to 
the ordinary rules of syntax. Consequently we can explain cases 
like Isocr. 5,114 ; Soph. Oed. Col. 1119 ; Aristoph. Ach. 1182, etc., 
which seem to be accus. absolute, in some other way, generally as 
object of the verb. In the three authors mentioned, however, 
there is an unmistakable effort to place such accusatives absolute 
by the side of the genitive, an effort which never succeeded. 

The ace. often occurs quite closely combined with the genitive 
absolute, as in And. 4,20; Lys. 7,43 18,5; Is. 3,46: SXXas n xal 

\invav Tovriov to>v SikSiu aiavbvvtov ovoS»> (eat i£6v, 6,3 ; Isocr. 4,94.1 82 

6,86 11,35 15.89 18,60; Dem. 3,27 19,304 (27,60) 50,22 51,17 
56,18 58,17 59,27. Both abs. case constructions and the ordinary 
use of the participles are sometimes found connected, as" in Lys. 
18,5; Isocr. 4,93 6,86; Dem. 59,27. 

From what has been said it will be seen that there is in the 
several orators a very great difference in the use of this construc- 
tion, as well in frequency as in the manner of use. The early 
orators, Antiphon and Andocides, use it in a simple, easy way ; 
no cases of i>s or of &v, or of relative or interrogative pronoun as 
subject, etc. In the latter we find only one difficult use, viz. 4,20, 
where wore with participle in the genitive follows a genitive absolute, 
but the speech is undoubtedly not genuine. In Lycurgus we find 
the same condition of things, and with but few exceptions in 
Lysias and Isaeus also. What a contrast the others, Isocrates, 
Demosthenes, Aeschines and Dinarchus, make to these ! Above 


all we notice in them the tendency to put together many genitives 
absolute. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in his treatise on Isaeus, 
in speaking of a certain passage in fr. XII of our collection, after 
criticising its opening takes up the words : r/uijpapxoviros yap pov eVi 

Kr)<f>i<ro8oTov ap\ovros Kal Xoyou dnayyeXdfvros &>s npa TfTiKevTijKns eitjv iv 
tt; vavpa^ia, ov<rr)s poi irapaKaTaSrjKrjs nap Eipadtl tovtw /ere. This he 

does not think at all simple, and shows how he would change it to 

make it less artificial, viz. : ore yap eTpiypapxpvv Kal ajrijyyeAi) toTj 
e'vddde i>s apa t. i. ev T. v. ixM pov n. Eipadrjs ovroai KT(, I. €. he changes 

the gen. abs. This is interesting, inasmuch as it shows that Dion, 
felt that it was more natural to write out the subordinate clause, 
but he can hardly mean that these are artificial or unnatural, for 
such examples can be gotten from the easiest authors, and even 
from Lysias with whom he is contrasting Isaeus. It would seem 
then that he has reference principally to the putting together of 
several genitives absolute in one sentence. In the works that we 
possess Lysias is as guilty of this proceeding as Isaeus, who only 
has 4,i2 3 7,43 3 , while Lysias has 2,2g'.38 3 .5i 3,18 s i6,i5 3 .i6 4 (the 
cases where only two are used have not been considered). In 
this respect, then, we can see but little difference between the two, 
indeed, ordinarily Isaeus is quite easy. 1 Antiphon has no example of 
thisheapingupofmanygen.abs.; Andoc. i,5i 3 .i38 3 4,3 3 ; Lycurgus, 
none; Isocr. 4 ,7i 4 .93 6 .i78 5 5,45 s 6,31' 7,68 s 8,97 s 9>i7 3 10,41 s 
I4,i3'.4i 3 15,100' i6,i6 5 .i8'; Dem. 3,8 3 .27 3 i8,45 4 .i70 3'.so 3 
21, 13 4 23,104' 24,9 6 .26 3 33,3 3 36,23' 37,2' 40,6 s 44,29 3 .6i 3 45>3'-4 3 
47,42 3 .5i 3 49,13 s 50,i7 3 .20 3 .22 6 .67 s 52,7 s 55,2o s .23 s 58,26 s 59,3 8 - 6 9 3 ; 
Dinarchus, i,i 4 4 s .io s .20 3 (very involved).25 s ; Aeschines, 1,85'. 
108 3 2,i3 3 .26 8 .79 4 .86 s .i38 3 .i4o e .i76 3 3,ii7 3 .i26 s .i29 3 .i48 s . Compare 
this with the other orators and the difference must at once be 
noticed. Cases like Aesch. 2,26 and 140 are probably unequalled 
by anything in Greek. In the historians it is rare indeed, even 
three together are something unusual, as e. g. Thuc. 1,9.2 7,27.4 
we must look long for four, and some of the examples of the 
orators are altogether impossible. The same is true of the N. T., 
where one easy case occurs, Luke, 3,1, and it is never found in 

An ornament of style sometimes made use of when two gen. abs. 
occur together is the chiastic arrangement. Sometimes, no doubt, 

1 Not in one sentence but closely following one another we find a number of 
gen. abs. in Is. 5,16 sqq. 7,l7sqq. 44 8,25 8,38, in other orators we find such 
cases in Aesch. 2,76.122; Dem. 19,263 21,215 30,36 40,6 47,10.64 48,26 49,62 
59,3-97 ; Isocr. 4,43-71 6,31.44. 


this was naturally done, but in a large number of cases it is more 
probable that it was intentional. Examples are met with in 
all the orators, except Lycurgus, but in no one with great 
frequency ; examples are : Ant. 4,8.3, "ip^avros be tovtov ko.1 tS>u <i\\wv 

airdvTG>v Karrjyopovvrwv — LyS. l6,IO, ^(oplwv l&xyp&P KareiKi}p.p.ev(t>v . . . 
Ayr)<rtKdov 8 epfiaXovros . . • \jrr)(pi<rapeva>v to>v apxovrav . . . <\>ofiovp*va>v 

anamav; And. 2,n 3,20; Is. 1,4.12 5,76,12.29 8,27 11,23; Isocr. 
3.33 4>42-(i78) 6,31.(1 1 1)7,68 9,14.56 10,(20)40.41 12,1314,21.(27) 
15,129 16,7.1846 18,6.(11) 19,22.39; Dem. (1,18) 3,8 (7,33) 8,36 
21, i9,(5o).i52 23,172 33.3-I9 2 38,(6)-7 41. H 44.37 
45,12 47,3445 5 .4-55; Aesch. (1,180) 2,132142.122.138.163 
3,34.117. (125. I26 5 ).i6i ; Din. 1,4.(20). Ant, Lys. and Din. use 
this but rarely. 

Of the two ways of expressing the same general idea, gen. 
abs. and subordinate clause, the former as the briefer gradually 
appropriated certain recurring phrases, and under ordinary 
circumstances such expressions then adhered to it. This is true 
of all periods of the language. We find a number of them in the 
Orators, e, g. xeipaivos euros, vvktos, t)p*pas yevopevrft, etc. It will be of 
interest to consider the more prominent cases. Ordinarily when 
a Greek wished to say that a certain act took place while some one 
was living, he used the gen. abs. in expressing the latter clause, 
£S>vtos , etc. This we find everywhere from Homer on : Horn. A 48, 
77438; in the orators, Ant. 2y6; Lys. 9.14; Dem. 18,72 40,13 
4 2 .27 44.55 55.3-I5; Is - 2,27.37 6,11.26.36 8,8.44 ". 12; Aesch. 
1,14 3,219; Arist. Pax, 109; Eccl. 635. Sometimes we find the 
clause ems eft or ore eft, as in Lys. 17,3. Again the word ' to die,' 
in subordinate temporal clauses is largely expressed by the gen. 
abs. The word used varies, ordinarily it is TeXemjo-an-oj, also 
anoSavovros (always, as one might expect, in Antiphon), redpeSyros 
and TeBvrjKoros. Examples are: Ant. 1,5 2,8.11 4,8.105,60; And. 
3,20 4,13; Lys. 1,14 2,74 14,27 21,8 32,7.15; Is. 1,4.12.15 2,3 
3,2.106,,198,1 10,4 6,9; Aesch. 1,1002,26 3,77.225. 
The same is true of Dem. and Isocr. and of the historians. The 
subordinate clause is not so much used unless it is necessary to 
bring out the proper relation clearly. Other expressions are : 
Toirav ovtos e'xovrav (causal and concessive, if conditional it is 
generally written out, as PI. Prot. 325 B ; Dem. 4,29 16,15 ; Isocr. 
15,218, etc., sometimes also if causal) ; it occurs, And. 2,13 ; Lys. 
7,28 (19,11 wapxovrap) ; Isocr. 12,205 15,62.181 ; Dem. 5.3 18,250. 

315 19,280 21,3 23,112 25,6 41,4 43,27 44,17.61 (55,8 inapx6t>T<op') 

57>3 J Aesch. 3,5.149 ; but Dem. 14,37, e'nc&q toSt' ov* ovtws lx«. 


Xpopov diayevopivov (SieX&Woy), LyS. 1,15 \3>^9' ctb>v iraptkrjkvBorav) ', 

Is. 2,10 11,9 pl» > Isocr. 10,41 15,169 (f'yy.) pi.; Dem. 5,5 (SieX#.) 

23.153 (SteX^.) 27,63 36,26 (7ra/><FX,X.) 45,4 (yiyxo,*.) 47,30 (eyyo-.) 

3 2 (f'yy-) 53.4 Opoftux.) 55,26 59,3 OpoeX.) ; Aesch. 3,221 (Vyy.) pi. ; so 
Her. 1,, etc.; Thuc. 1,82.2 113,1 126,8, like this: wpoiovros 
tov xpovov: Lys. 1,1 1 ; Is. 2,9; Dem. 39,14; Aesch. 1,633,58; (Thuc. 
1,24.3 Trpoe\8.); PI. Phaedr. 255 A; (Ar. Nub. 1289 fmopplovros). 
irpoiovros tov Xoyou : Ant. 5,10; Isocr. 17,19; Dem. 33,3 44,5 
50,31 59,20; Aesch. 1,2.42.82 (2,5 dnoKoyias). Similarly we often 

find 5e§G)KOT<4>Z' ftiftoVTUiP T(OP VOfltaV (pOVTKtV T. V., IS. 7.2), KtkevOVTUiV T. p., 

oi/K emvrav t. p. , fjfifpas yepopjptjs, xiifi&pos oitoj (no less than five times 

in Aristophanes in five different plays in spite of the fact that Ar. 
does not use the construction, relatively speaking, very much), 

elpifVT)! oSotjs, yevoptvris, Br/poKpaTias ovo-rjs, all occurring quite often. 

In psephisms we have the fixed expressions <pvX^r vpvravevoio-ijs, 
and o-vyKkrjTov eKK^rjo-las ; in speaking of a law, forms like Mmmro» 
elwSvros, or ypd\jravTos or KeXevovror, as And. 2,23; Isocr. 18,2 ; Dem. 
23,172 38,23; Aesch. 3,108; Lye. in Leocr. 113; Din. 1,39. 
Like (fjv and reXevTfiv, napeivai and 6£kav are very often put in the 
gen. abs. instead of using a subordinate clause, as in ip.ov impivros, 
this is the usual form for Has iraptjv eya. In Homer too, in spite of 
the fact that there are so few gen. abs. altogether, we find repeti- 
tions in a number of instances, as e'ptov airop.r)vi<ravros, I 426, T 62 ; 

7TepireXKopeva>v ivtavr&v, B 55 1 > irtptTtWo/uvov Ircor, X 295, £ 294! 
7r€pi7r\opej>ov iviavrov, X 248 ; TroXXwy Kara oikov eaprcop, ft 7*7. r *95> 

0)272. (k 470, and £ 163 = t 307 are at least similar.) In the N. T. 
we often find en XaXoOiro? avrov, 6\jfias yevofxevrjs. All these cases are 
examples of the tendency in language to fix its expressions, and 
in any full treatment of the subject cannot be overlooked. 

Reference has been made on several occasions to the popular 
use of this construction. In seeking to determine this we must 
bear in mind that anything which approaches complexity is 
avoided by the people ; as long, therefore, as the gen. abs. remained 
a brief expression, giving the equivalent of a temporal subordinate 
clause, but expressed as part of the principal clause, it appealed to 
the popular sense, and in this way was no doubt used at all periods 
of the language. The later improvements, however, which made 
it gradually so complex, were never adopted by them, nor indeed 
is it likely that they used it in the simple cases very often. We 
have reason to believe that in most cases they resolved the expres- 
sion into a subordinate clause. This opinion finds confirmation 
in those works which show us the language of conversation : 


Aristophanes, Plato, especially his introductions, Lucian, etc. In 
none of these do we find many, and all are such as are spoken of 
above. Putting together many would be impossible for ordinary 
conversation, and if resorted to would have the effect of an 
imitation of the extravagances resorted to by the orators. How 
is it now that we find so many in some of the private orations, 
while the great public speeches show less ? This is due in a 
measure to the requirements of narrative (see p. 320), narrative 
forming a large part of most of such speeches, but this does 
not explain all. There can be no doubt that when a private 
citizen had to appear before court, the rhetor who wrote the 
speech for him often tried to make him appear at his best, and so 
made him use expressions that, while not impossible, would not 
have been readily employed in ordinary conversation. This is but 
natural, and one of the easy ways of making a man appear some- 
what unusual is to make him use many gen. abs. ; this is especially 
true when a bad speech-writer wrote such a speech. It is certainly 
a noteworthy fact that, except 55, all those private orations (not 
less than seven) which show percentages over 2.00 are spurious. 
In the case of 55 we must recognize a desire of imitating a higher 
style carried too far ; compare with it the speech praised even by 
the ancients as a model private speech, the 54th, and observe the 
great difference. Relatively there are but one-fourth as many in 
the latter, there are no cases of heaping together many : in 55 
several ; in 54 no cases of participle without a noun, in 55 several ; 
so there are several cases of ^ with the participle in the latter, but 
none in the former. From all these facts we can but draw the 
conclusion already arrived at. Notice too how Dionys. Hal. 
changes the three genitives abs. in Is. fr. XII, saying that they are 
not natural. 

In the great public speeches an inordinate use of the construction 
was avoided, unless the writer had a special object in view in using 
many, as making a climax, etc. In Lysias and Isocrates the greater 
number in the private speeches is largely to be explained by the 
fact that there is more occasion for its ordinary use. The fact that 
Aristophanes uses it but little may be due to some extent to the fact 
that his works are not prose, but had it been frequently used by 
the people we should certainly have had more. Present participles 
abound ; of all those in Aristophanes but six are aorists (one is 
doubtful) and six perfects, the rest, some 76, are presents. In 
narration many aorists occur, but even there the present very often 
predominates. With the people its use, no doubt, consisted to a 


considerable extent of such standing expressions as were mentioned 
above, together with easy temporal expressions, as yt\a>vro$ 8' aizov, 
etc. Uses like &v etc., were not admitted, nor do they occur in the 
private orations. We find av in Dem. 47, but the speech is 
spurious. This same simplicity we find later in the N. T. 

As in the orators, so we find the use of this construction an 
important factor in the style of a writer in any sphere of literary 
activity. We have seen that the historians generally show fair 
percentages, while the philosophers have less, yet the simple, grand 
funeral oration of Pericles in Thuc. lib. II, though as long as some 
of the orations of the orators, has no example of this use. [Dem.] 
Epitaphios (60) has a small number, [Plato's] Menexenus many 
more, and [Lysias'] Epitaphios a very large number indeed. One 
cannot but feel the difference between Thucydides and pseudo- 
Lysias in this respect ; while the former in his condensed pithy 
sentences avoids all necessity for its use, the other by introducing 
narrative finds abundant opportunity for it ; but enough has been 
said of this. 

Before closing this paper let us make a brief comparison between 
the Greek gen. abs. and the Latin ablative abs. In principle the 
same, they are widely different in use : hand in hand with the loss 
of the participle in Latin goes the lack of the varied and delicate 
use of this participial construction. Whatever may have been the 
origin of the Latin abl. abs., it started life with the same chances 
of development in certain directions that the Greek had, but with 
few changes it remained what it was throughout. What could the 
Roman do with the Greek abs. case in translating ? And every one 
knows how largely their literature and language were influenced 
by translations. The utter absence of all participles for past time 
in the active and present time in the passive made it an absolute 
necessity (except where they had deponent verbs), unless the 
construction were changed, to change the voice and so change 
the nature of the thought. In Latin the temporal use is para- 
mount to the others, i>s, wo-nep, and av are finesses of language for 
which the Latin had no equivalent, and if it be urged that av, for 
instance, is found but rarely in Greek with the participle of a gen. 
abs., it is certainly a possibility which the great writers took care 
to make use of. In Greek, cases of the participle of the verb tlvai 
make up about 10 per cent, of the occurrences, and with the 
compounds, as well as forms of ytyveodai, the sum reaches about 
20 per cent. In the absence of a participle to sum, the Latin 


makes use of a number of abls. abs. in which the predication 
musi, be assumed, as in ' me iudice.' It is sometimes difficult 
to tell whether we have an abl. abs. or an abl. of manner, as 
in 'his testibus,' and distinctions of present and aorist as in 
ovtos and yevo/iivov are lacking. Very common in Latin historical 
works are such short expressions as 'signo dato,' 'hostibus 
victis,' 'litteris missis,' 'tactis sacris,' 'stipendio imposito,' 'con- 
serto proelio,' etc.; in Greek but few, the expression is made 
fuller and less jerky by the use of the article, a particle 
like Se, ydp, etc., or by some other word. Passive participles, 
which make up so large a percentage of the Latin use, do not 
occur frequently in Greek (see p. 323). Where the Latin uses such 
a passive the Greek would generally have used an active participle, 
making the subject of the abl. abs. object of the participle. On 
the other hand, most of the Greek gens. abs. would be resolved in 
Latin into subordinate clauses. If we examine the examples of 
the abl. abs. that occur frequently, we will find a very different set 
from that which was given above : tovtiop ovtios lx° vra > v becomes 
'quae cum ita sint,' while 'his rebus gestis' is not often given by 
Tovrav irpax6ivTa>v, as Is. 2,28 ; Dem. 37,6 39,3 ; generally an active 
participle or a form of ylyvea-dai is employed ; £5>vtos toO vm-pos is ren- 
dered not by 'patre vivente,' but 'patre vivo,' and more frequently 
resolved into a clause with ' dum ' ; the same is true of most of the 
other expressions. Like the Greek, the Latin at times used the 
abl. abs. where the same word was subject or object of the sentence, 
but careful writers avoided this use; authors like Plautus, who 
wrote naturally, have it, Cicero rarely ; in Greek, if its use could 
add to the liveliness of the representation it was used by all kinds 
of prose writers, by Demosthenes as well as by Herodotus. 

We have then, in this construction, another of the many 
evidences of what this gifted nation could make out of the linguistic 
material it possessed. With every chance for leaving it simple, 
unadorned, without anything to distinguish it from the similar uses 
of other languages, the Greeks developed it, making use of all 
that lay in their power, until it became a very important element 
in the build of a Greek sentence, a variant for a large number of 
subordinate sentences, simple or complex, possessed of the means 
of varying its signification in many ways by the particles mentioned, 
and unequalled by the absolute construction of any language of 
the Indo-European family. 

Edward H. Spieker.