Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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1637

The prepositions express primarily notions of space, then notions of time, and finally are used in figurative relations to denote cause, agency, means, manner, etc. Attic often differs from the Epic in using the prepositions to denote metaphorical relations. The prepositions define the character of the verbal action and set forth the relations of an oblique case to the predicate with greater precision than is possible for the cases without a preposition. Thus, μετὰ δὲ μνηστῆρσιν ἔειπε he spake among the suitors ρ 467 specifies the meaning with greater certainty than μνηστῆρσιν ἔειπε. So ὁ Ἑλλήνων φόβος may mean the fear felt by the Greeks or the fear caused by the Greeks; but with ἐξ or παρά (cp. X. A. 1.2.18, Lyc. cross130) the latter meaning is stated unequivocally. The use of a preposition often serves to show how a construction with a composite case ( cross1279) is to be regarded (genitive or ablative; dative, instrumental, or locative).

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Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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