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Genitive: place as satellite

Syntactical Level

ἐσχάτης δ’ ὁρῶ | πυρᾶς νεώρη βόστρυχον τετμημένον

‘’ (Soph. El. 900-901)

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

That man does not know where on earth he is. ֍

αὐτὸς δ’ ἀντίον ἷζεν Ὀδυσσῆος θείοιο

τοίχου τοῦ ἑτέροιο

Then he [= Achilles] sat down opposite the divine Ulysses, against the other wall. [provisional translation]