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Infinitive with deontic modality: adjective complement
δεινὸς γὰρ οἶνος καὶ παλαίεσθαι βαρύς
‘Wine is terrible thing, and difficult to overcome.’ (Eur. Cycl. 681)
The infinitive can serve as the complement of an adjective, with various semantic roles which are normally expressed by a dative (especially goal and reference).
The adjectives in question express suitability or worthiness: ἱκανός ‘suitable’, δυνατός ‘capable’, δεινός ‘skilful’, ἄξιος ‘worthy’, ῥᾴδιος ‘easy’, χαλεπός ‘difficult’ etc. The same applies to the expression οἷος τέ εἰμι ‘I am capable’.
In Greek the infinitive is often used in its active form where we would expect a passive infinitive in English.
This construction shows that the infinitive is both a formal and a functional continuation of a noun in the dative.
αἴτιος ἐδόκει εἶναι τὴν μάχην συνάψαι
He seemed to be guilty of starting the fight. [provisional translation]
... ὅτι πολλοῖς ἂν μᾶλλον ἐχρῆτο ἢ τῷ ἐμῷ πατρί, ῥᾴδιον γνῶναι
NO DUTCH TRANSLATION [provisional translation]
οὐ λέγειν τύγ’ ἐσσὶ δεινός, ἀλλὰ σιγᾶν ἀδύνατος
You do not excel as a speaker, but you are not at all capable of keeping silent.