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Genitive absolute: concession as a satellite

Syntactical Level

ὅμως δὲ καίπερ τοιούτων ὄντων πειρατέον διαιτᾶν ἕκαστα εἰς δύναμιν.

‘Still, even if the situation is as it is, I have to judge the details to the best of my ability.’ (Strab. 12.8.7)

The genitive absolute, often preceded by περ or καίπερ (or καί or καίτοι), signals a concession as a satellite.

Syntactic usage

ὄντος, the participle van εἰμί, may be omitted if the genitive absolute is accompanied by a particle.

Historical background

In Homer and tragic texts καί … περ is sometimes separated by the participle or by a word connected with it.


The predicate of the sentence to which a concessive genitive absolute belongs is often accompanied by adverbs such as ὅμως, εἶτα, ἔπειτα, ἔμπας or οὕτως.

Example Sentences: 

ὅμως δὲ κἀμοῦ μὴ παρόντος οἶδ’ ὅτι

τοὐμὸν φυλάξει σ’ ὄνομα μὴ πάσχειν κακῶς

Although I am not present, I still know that my name will guard you from suffering greatly.

οἱ στρατηγοὶ καὶ ἡ βουλὴ πάμπαν ἀταλαιπώρως ἐπίστευσαν, καίπερ ὄντος ἐγγυτάτω τοῦ στρατοῦ

The praetors and the senate had a carefree trust in the matter, although the army was very close. ֍

ἀποδυσαμένου δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν ὅστις ἄλλον ἐθεᾶτο, πολλῶν μὲν παίδων, πολλῶν δὲ ἀνδρῶν γυμναζομένων

When he stripped naked there was nobody who looked at another, even when many boys and many men were naked.

ἀλλὰ καίπερ τοιούτων ὄντων τῶν πραγμάτων, ὅμως ἔφασαν πεπεῖσθαι.

[translation underway]

ἡμεῖς δέ, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, εἰ μὲν ὁ τετελευτηκὼς ἐποιήσατό τινα, καίπερ οὐ διδόντος τοῦ νόμου συνεχωροῦμεν ἂν αὐτῷ.

[translation underway]

ἀλλʼ ὅμως τούτων τοιούτων ὄντων, ὅπερ εἶπον, ἡμεῖς ὑπεμένομεν ἅπαντα.

[translation underway]