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Accusative: reference as adjective complement

Syntactical Level

πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς

‘The fast-footed Achilles’ (Hom. Il. 1.84)

The accusative signals the characteristic or entity to which an adjective refers.

Lexical usage

Mainly the following are used as accusatives of reference:

  • parts of the body (e.g. τὰ ὄμματα ‘to the eyes’, τὰ ὦτα ‘to the ears’, πόδας ‘to the feet’);
  • human characteristics (e.g. ὄνομα ‘by name’, γένος ‘by descent’);
  • words denoting circumstances (e.g. τὸν νοῦν ‘in thought’);
  • measurable characteristics (e.g. ἀριθμόν ‘in number’, μέγεθος ‘in size’, εὖρος ‘in width’, ὕψος ‘in height’, μῆκος ‘in weight’).
Example Sentences: 

τυφλὸς τά τ᾽ ὦτα τόν τε νοῦν τά τ᾽ ὄμματ᾽ εἶ

You are blind in your ears, in your mind and in your eyes. [provisional translation]

εἰ δὲ τὴν φύσιν μὲν ἐχθροί, τὸν δὲ νοῦν εἰσιν φίλοι

If they are our enemies by nature, they are our friends in soul. ֍

οὐδέ γε ὁ ἰδία πονηρὸς ἄν ποτε γένοιτο δημοσίᾳ χρηστός.

He who is dishonest in private matters would not make a virtuous politician.

οἱ γὰρ τρωγλοδύται Αἰθίοπες πόδας τάχιστοι ἀνθρώπων πάντων εἰσὶ

NO DUTCH TRANSLATION [provisional translation]