Genitive: place as satellite

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ἐσχάτης δ’ ὁρῶ | πυρᾶς νεώρη βόστρυχον τετμημένον

Op de bovenkant van het altaar zag ik een een vers afgeknipte haarlok.


The genitive signals a place as a satellite. This is mostly a matter of epic and poetic language.

Lexical usage

Many adverbs of place are in origin genitives: ποῦ; ‘where?’, αὐτοῦ ‘there’, οὐδαμοῦ ‘nowhere’. The genitive of place may, in its turn, accompany an adverb of place (although when it does so it is often interpreted as a genitive of totality).

Historical background

This usage seems to have its origin in the genitive of totality, i.e. the genitive of the whole; the adverbs of place, however, seem to have originated from the genitive of source (Brucale 2014).

Example Sentences: 


οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ τῆς γῆς ἐστιν

Die mens weet niet waar ter wereld hij is.



αὐτὸς δ’ ἀντίον ἷζεν Ὀδυσσῆος θείοιο | τοίχου τοῦ ἑτέροιο

Dan ging hij [= Achilles] tegenover de goddelijke Odysseus zitten, tegen de andere wand.