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Accusative: reference as adjective complement
πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς
‘The fast-footed Achilles’ (Hom. Il. 1.84)
The accusative signals the characteristic or entity to which an adjective refers.
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’).
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]
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]