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Genitive: exclamation (cause)


ἰὼ ἰὼ δυστόνων κακῶν, ἄναξ

‘What terrible suffering, my king!’ (Aesch. Seven 1005)

The genitive signals an exclamation, usually preceded by an interjection.

Lexical usage

Common interjections include φεῦ and οἴμοι ‘alas!’.

Syntactic usage

In tragedy the genitive after οἴμοι or ὤμοι ‘alas!’ refers to the second or third person. For the first person the nominative is used.
According to most grammars (including Rijksbaron and others 2003) this genitive has a causative role.

Example Sentences: 

φεῦ τοῦ ἀνδρός

Oh, what a man! [provisional translation]

ὦ Ζεῦ βασιλεῦ, τοῦ φθέγματος τοὐρνιθίου

King Zeus, what birdsong! ֍

φεῦ φεῦ τῶν Ἄργει μόχθων

Alas, alas, the suffering of Argos! ֍

τῆς ὕβρεως, οὐ παύσῃ γελῶν;

What a disgrace! Stop laughing! ֍