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Dative: possessor as modifier

Syntactical Level

τῶν μοι παίδων ἕνα παράλυσον τῆς στρατηίης τὸν πρεσβύτατον

‘Exempt one of my sons from military service, the eldest.’ (Hdt. 7.38.3)

The dative signals a possessor as a modifier.

Syntactic usage

The noun with which this modifier stands is invariably in the genitive. This indicates that Greek has recourse to a dative in order to avoid a double genitive.

Example Sentences: 

ἄρχεται δὲ ὁ πόλεμος ἐνθένδε ἤδη Ἀθηναίων καὶ Πελοποννησίων καὶ τῶν ἑκατέροις ξυμμάχων

From then on, war broke out between the Athenians, the Peloponnesians and both their comrades. [provisional translation]