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Prepositions with the genitive: source


ἀπ᾽ ἐχθρῶν δῆτα πολλὰ μανθάνουσιν οἱ σοφοί

‘Wise man certainly learn a lot from their enemies.’ (Aristoph. Birds 376)

The prepositions ἀπό, παρά and ἐκ with the genitive signal a source or distance.

Lexical usage

Ultimate, sometimes distant source:

  • ἀπό (from, away from); [unspecified point of departure]
  • παρά (from [someone]). [no direct contact]

Direct source with which one is in contact:

  • ἐκ (from out, out); [specified point of departure]
  • πρός (from before [animate beings]). [direct contact]

Source from above or below an element (rare after Homer):

  • κατά (from ... downwards, down along ... );
  • ὑπό (from below).
Example Sentences: 

σοφοῦ παρ’ ἀνδρὸς προσδέχου συμβουλίαν

Accept the advice of a wise man. ֍

εἰπὼν δὲ τὰ ὄντα αὐτός τε ἐσῳζόμην καὶ τὸν πατέρα ἔσῳζον καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους συγγενεῖς, καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐκ φόβου καὶ κακῶν τῶν μεγίστων ἀπήλλαττον.

By telling the truth I saved myself and my father and my other relatives, and I freed the city from fear and the greatest disaster.

τρία γὰρ τὰ κάλλιστα ἀπὸ τοῦ στόματος ἄνεισιν, ἀναπνοὴ καὶ φωνὴ καὶ φίλημα.

This most beautiful triad comes forth from the mouth: breath, voice and kiss. ֍

δύο γὰρ ἑτέρους οὐκ ἂν εὑρεθῆναι δοκῶ ῥήτορας ἐκ μὲν ἀδόξων καὶ μικρῶν ἰσχυροὺς καὶ μεγάλους γενομένους

I am of the opinion that there are no two other orators who would have been capable of becoming stronger or more powerful starting from such an [insigificant] position.

ὡς δὲ ἐκεῖνος ἀσπασάμενος καὶ προσειπὼν αὐτὸν ἠρώτησεν εἴ τινος τυγχάνει δεόμενος, “μικρόν,” εἶπεν, “ἀπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου μετάστηθι.”

When Alexander greeted him and asked him to say if there was anything he desired, (Diogenes) answered: 'please stand a little out of my sunlight'.