Accusative: duration as satellite

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Meaning


The accusative signals a duration as a satellite.

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’.
To say how long a situation has lasted one uses an ordinal without an article, but often accompanied by οὑτοσί. Note that Greek counts inclusively, i.e. the present year or the present day is also counted.

Syntactic behaviour

The governing word expresses an atelic or iterative action.
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: 


νῦν ἐγὼ πρῶτον ἐπὶ δικαστήριον ἀναβέβηκα, ἔτη γεγονὼς ἑβδομήκοντα

Nu ben ik voor het eerst voor het gerecht gekomen, op zeventigjarige leeftijd.



τὴν δὲ μητέρα τελευτήσᾱσαν πέπαυμαι τρέφων τρίτον ἔτος τουτί

Ik hield op mijn moeder te onderhouden toen ze twee jaar geleden overleed.



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.