You are here
Vocative: appellation (as extra-clausal constituent)
νεανίσκε, ὁ πατήρ σε μεθύων ἔσπειρε
‘Young man, your father begot you while drunk.’ (Plut. )
The vocative signals the addressed person or god.
The vocative is often preceded by the particle ὦ, which can be left untranslated.
Appellation of oneself
In poetry one can address oneself by invoking one's own name or parts of one's own person or personality: θυμέ ‘my soul!’, ὦ γεραιὲ ποῦς ‘my old foot!’
Series of vocatives
Longer utterances in the vocative (or in the nominative of exclamation) signal astonishment.
ὦ μῶρε μῶρε, μὴ θεῶν κίνει φρένας
ὦ παῖ, ζήτει σεαυτῷ βασιλείαν ἴσην· Μακεδονία γάρ σε οὐ χωρεῖ.
Child, seek a kingdom with your measure. For Macedonia is too small for you.
Ζεῦ Ζεῦ, θεωρὸς τῶνδε πραγμάτων γενοῦ.
O Zeus, look at these matters.