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Prepositions with the accusative: direction


ἐπὶ τὰ δεῖπνα τῶν φίλων βραδέως πορεύου, ἐπὶ δὲ τὰς ἀτυχίας ταχέως

‘Go slowly to your friends' banquets, but swiftly to their misfortune.’ (Stob. Flor. 3.1.172)

A direction is signalled mainly by the prepositions εἰς, ἐπί, παρά, πρός and ὡς with the accusative.

Lexical usage

The prepositions ἐπί, κατά and πρός 'to' are not terminative, i.e. they do not imply that the objective of the motion has been reached, in contrast to prepositions such as εἰς 'into'.

Simple direction

- εἰς (into, inside, to);
- ἐπί, πρός (to ; ἐπί sometimes also 'onto');
- παρά, ὡς (to ).

Complex direction

- ἀμφί (to both sides of);
- ἀνά (onto);
- κατά (underneath);
- μετά (between); [in epic and late poetry]
- μέχρι (up to);
- ὑπέρ (beyond, over]); [rare after Homer]
- ὑπό (underneath, behind).

Example Sentences: 

ἄνδρε γὰρ λεπτὼ λογιστὰ δεῦρ’ ἀφῖχθον ὡς ἐμέ

Two men, fine orators, have come here to me. ֍

κρύπτειν ἀμαθίην κρέσσον ἢ ἐς τὸ μέσον φέρειν.

Hiding ignorance is better than making it known. ֍

μηδεὶς ἄλλος ἀνθρώπων καθίσειεν εἰς τὸν Κύρου θρόνον πλὴν Ἀλεξάνδρου.

Other than Alexander nobody may sit on Cyrus' throne. ֍

οὗτοι γὰρ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν πολιτῶν εἰς τοὺς πολεμίους ἐξήλασαν.

They sent many citizens into exile to hostile regions.

ἀπικομένη δὲ παρὰ τοῦτον ἡ Φερετίμη ἐδέετο στρατιῆς ἣ κατάξει σφέας ἐς τὴν Κυρήνην.

Pheretime went to him and asked for an army to take them to Cyrene.

ὤρυττον ἔσωθεν [...] ἄλλην κατὰ γῆς τάφρον ὑπὸ τὸ τεῖχος.

They began to dig a subterranean passage from the inside, which went underneath the wall.

ἀνὰ τὸν ποταμὸν γὰρ δὴ οὐκ οἷά τε ἐστὶ πλέειν οὐδενὶ τρόπῳ ὑπὸ τάχεος τοῦ ποταμοῦ.

For due to the rapidity of the river it was in no way possible to sail upstream.