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Genitive: object with compound verbs


ἀκριβῶς οἶδ’ ὅτι κατέγνωτ’ ἂν αὐτοῦ.

‘I know very well that you would have condemned him.’ (Aeschin. 1.79)

The genitive signals an object with a number of compound verbs (in particular with ἀπο-, ἐκ-, κατα-, προ- etc.).

Lexical usage

The semantic role of the object depends on the meaning which the prefix has in the compound in question. Common prefixes include ἀπο- and ἐκ- (source), κατα- (malefactive) and προ- (place or standard of comparison). Less frequent are ἐπι- and περι-.
Verbs of accusing and condemning are often compounded with κατα-: καταδικάζω, καταγιγνώσκω, καταψηφίζομαι 'to condemn'; καταγελάω 'to ridicule', καταφρονέω 'to despise', κατηγορέω 'to accuse'

Syntactic usage

The genitive cannot be converted into the subject of a passive predicate, although a different object can: θάνατος αὐτῶν κατεγνώσθη (the sentence of death was passed on them).

Example Sentences: 

ἡ γλῶσσά σου μὴ προτρεχέτω τοῦ νοῦ

Take care that your tongue is not too quick for your mind.

ὁ δὲ τῶν μὲν θάνατον κατεδίκαζε, τῶν δὲ φυγήν

He condemned some to death, others to exile. ֍

πολλάκις δὲ καὶ τοὐναντίον χαίροντες τῷ ἔργῳ τοῦ δημιουργοῦ καταφρονοῦμεν

Frequently - and in a self-contradictory way - we look down on the labourer, while we take pleasure in his work. ֍

αἰτηθεὶς ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν λύτρα εἴκοσι τάλαντα κατεγέλασεν ὡς οὐκ εἰδότων ὃν ᾑρήκοιεν

When the pirates demanded 20 talents' ransom, [Caesar] ridiculed them because they did not realise whom they were holding hostage. ֍