You are here

Prepositions with the genitive: standard of comparison


μήτε παῖδας περὶ πλείονος ποιοῦ ... πρὸ τοῦ δικαίου

‘Don't value your children higher than justice, either.’ (Plat. Crito 54b)

The prepositions ἀντί, ἐκ and πρό with the genitive signal a standard of comparison. Less frequent is περί.

Lexical usage

The preposition ἐκ is mainly used with verbs of evaluating, and is then translated 'on the basis of''.
The preposition περί only has this meaning in Homer and always signals a comparison with all possible standards of comparison ('...-er than all other...').

Example Sentences: 

τὸ κατεργάσασθαι ἐν τῇ πόλει αἱρετώτερον εἶναι τὸν καλὸν θάνατον ἀντὶ τοῦ αἰσχροῦ βίου

[It's a realisation of Lykourgos] that he made a noble death in the city preferable to a shameful life. [provisional translation]

δοκίμαζε τοὺς φίλους ἔκ τε τῆς περὶ τὸν βίον ἀτυχίας καὶ τῆς ἐν τοῖς κινδύνοις κοινωνίας

Judge your friends by (their response to) misfortunes in your life and the dangers which you share with them. ֍

ἰητρὸς δὲ ἕκαστος ἐπιστάμενος περὶ πάντων


[In Egypt] everyone is a physician, knowledgeable above all others.