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Accusative: duration as satellite

Syntactical Level

ἐβασίλευσε δὲ μῆνας ὀκτὼ τὸ σύμπαν.

‘He reigned for eight months in all.’ (Plut. Lyc. 3.4)

The accusative signals a duration as a satellite. The governing word expresses an atelic or iterative action.

Lexical usage

The word in the accusative usually indicates time, e.g. ‘month’ or ‘year’. An age is expressed by γεγονώς with the accusative of duration: εἴκοσιν ἔτη γεγονώς ‘twenty years old’.

Syntactic usage

In a few cases the accusative of duration can be converted to the subject of a passive construction (e.g. καὶ ἤδη τρεῖς μῆνες ἐπετετριηράρχηντό μοι, Dem. 50.23).

Example Sentences: 

ἐκεῖ περιέμεινα πέντε καὶ τετταράκοντα ἡμέρας

He stayed there for forty-five days. ֍

οἱ Θηβαῖοι μείναντες οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας ἀπῆλθον οἴκαδε

The Thebans did not stay for many days and then returned home. ֍

Ἱέρων [...] ἐβασίλευσε τῶν Συρακοσίων ἔτη ἕνδεκα καὶ μῆνας ὀκτώ

Hieron ruled Syracuse for eleven years and eight months. ֍

καὶ γὰρ ἡμεῖς δύο μόνας ἡμέρας ἐν εὐδίᾳ πλεύσαντες, τῆς τρίτης ὑποφαινούσης πρὸς ἀνίσχοντα τὸν ἥλιον ἄφνω ὁρῶμεν θηρία καὶ κήτη πολλὰ μὲν καὶ ἄλλα

And indeed, we had only been sailing for two days - in good weather - and when the third day arrived, at dawn, we suddenly saw wild animals, and also many whales.

ἐνιαυτὸν μὲν οὖν καὶ μῆνας ὀκτὼ τοῦτον διήγομεν τὸν τρόπον .

So thus we spent a year and eight months.