Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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γέ 2821

γέ (postpositive and enclitic) is an intensive and restrictive particle with the force of at least, at any rate, even, certainly, indeed; but often to be rendered by intonation. γέ may indicate assent, concession, banter, scorn, deprecation, irony, etc. γέ emphasizes single words or whole phrases or clauses.

a. Single words. So often with pronouns, as ἔγωγε I at least (excluding others), ἐμέ γε cp. mi-ch, ὅ γε even he (Hom.), οὗτός γε, and with a repeated pronoun (S. Ph. 117). Other words, as ὅ τι βούλει γε whatever you like Ar. Ran. 3, πλήθει γε οὐχ ὑπερβαλοίμεθ' ἂν τοὺς πολεμίους in numbers at least we should not surpass the enemy X. C. 2.1.18.

b. With phrases or clauses. Thus, ὡς μή μ' ἄτι_μον, τοῦ θεοῦ γε προστάτην, οὕτως ἀφῇ με that he may not thus send me away in dishonour—who am the suppliant of the god S. O. C. 1278, ἀνθρώπους τί_νυσθον, ὅτις γ' ἐπίορκον ὀμόσσῃ ye who punish men who swear falsely Γ 279.


γέ may be used twice in the same sentence. Thus, ἐπεί γ' ἀρκοῦνθ' ἱκανὰ τοῖς γε σώφροσιν since indeed that which suffices their wants is enough for the wise E. Phoen. 545. Cp. Hdt. 1.187, Ar. Vesp. 1507.


γέ stands between article and noun, as οἵ γ' ἄνθρωποι (after a preposition, as ἔν γε τῷ φανερῷ); between noun and adjective, or after the adjective, as ἀνήρ γε σοφός, or ἀνὴρ σοφός γε; after a possessive pronoun, as ἐμός γε θυ_μός; after μέν, δέ, τέ, as ὅτι δέ γε ἀληθῆ λέγω. When γέ influences a whole clause it stands as near as possible to the introductory conjunction; as εἴ γε, ἆρά γε.


γέ in contrasts and alternatives; as σὺ δ' ου' λέγεις γε (αἰσχρά), δρᾷς δέ με thou dost not indeed say, but do shameful things to me E. And. 239, ἤτοι κρύφα γε ἢ φανερῶς either secretly or openly T. 6.34, ἢ σοφοὶ ἢ τί_μιοι ἢ γέροντές γε or wise or held in honour aye or old P. Hipp. M. 301a (here γέ indicates a change in an alternative series; cp. οὔτε . . . οὔτε . . . οὐδέ γε and καὶ . . . γε cross2829).

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γέ in replies and comments (yes, well). Thus, δοκεῖ παρεικαθεῖν; ὅσον γ', ἄναξ, τάχιστα does it seem best to you that I should give way? Aye, my lord, and with all speed S. Ant. 1102. Here καὶ . . . γε is common, as καὶ οὐδέν γε ἀτόπως yes, and no wonder P. Th. 142b.


ὅς γε (rarely ὅστις γε) has a causal force, much like qui quidem, quippe qui. Thus, ἄτοπα λέγεις . . . ὅς γε κελεύεις ἐμὲ νεώτερον ὄντα καθηγεῖσθαι you are talking absurdly in bidding me who am the younger take precedence X. M. 2.3.15. So with other relatives, as οἷος, ὅσος, ὥσπερ.


γέ sometimes marks an ellipse (S. Ph. 1409). When the verb of the apodosis is omitted, the protasis often has γέ (so usually in Aristophanes, e.g. Nub. cross267).


When γέ is followed by other particles, it belongs with the emphasized word, and the other particles retain their original force; as τούς γε μέντοι ἀγαθούς yet the brave at least X. A. 1.9.14. So γε δή, γε μὲν δή, γέ τοι (often used like γοῦν in giving a reason for a belief), γέ τοι δή. With the imperative, γέ is rare except when it is followed by another particle, as ὅρα_ γε μήν S. O. C. 587.


After other Particles.—For example:

δέ γε: here γέ usually does not emphasize δέ but either a single word or the whole clause; as ἡμῖν δέ γε οἶμαι πάντα ποιητέα but we at least, in my opinion, should adopt every means X. A. 3.1.35. δὲ . . . γε is often used when two things are compared, in order to show that one is more important than the other.

καὶ . . . γε sometimes means yes, and and sometimes γέ emphasizes the intervening word. Thus, κοὐδέν γε θαῦμα yes, and no wonder S. O. T. 1132, καὶ στίβου γε οὐδεὶς κτύπος and of footsteps there is no sound S. Ph. 29. καὶ . . . γε often emphasizes one item in a series, and especially the last item, Here καὶ . . . γέ προς (καὶ πρός γε) and besides is common. Cp. P. G. 450d, 469 b.

μέν γε lends force to a contrast (P. S. 180d); sometimes it has the force of that is to say, for example (T. 6.86).

Frequent combinations are ἀλλ' οὖν . . . γε, μέντοι . . . γε, μὴν . . . γε, οὐκοῦν . . . γε.

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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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