Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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SUPERLATIVE 1085

The superlative expresses either the highest degree of a quality (the relative superlative: ὁ σοφώτατος ἀνήρ the wisest man) or a very high degree of a quality (the absolute superlative, which does not take the article: ἀνὴρ σοφώτατος a very wise man). The relative superlative is followed by the genitive of the person or thing surpassed ( cross1315, cross1434). On the agreement, see cross1050.

a. The class to which an individual, marked by the superlative, belongs, may be designated by a genitive of the divided whole ( cross1315): ὁ σοφώτατος τῶν Ἑλλήνων the wisest of the Greeks. So often by πάντων: πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἀγνωμονέστατοι the most senseless of all men Lyc. 54. On the superlative with ἄλλων, see cross1434.

b. With two the comparative exhausts all the degrees of comparison: hence πρότερος and πρῶτος, ὕστερος and ὕστατος, ἑκάτερος each of two, and ἕκαστος each of several, are carefully to be distinguished.

1086

Strengthened Forms.—The superlative may be strengthened by prefixing ὅτι or ὡς, rarely (also ὅσον or ὅπως in poetry): ὅτι πλεῖστοι as many men as possible, ὅτι τάχιστα as quickly as possible, ᾗ ἄριστον the very best way X. C. 7.5.82 (ὅπως ἄριστα A. Ag. 600). ὅτι or ὥς is always added when a preposition precedes the superlative: ὡς εἰς στενώτατον into as narrow compass as possible X. O. 18.8. ὡς and ὅτι may be used together: ὡς ὅτι βέλτιστον ἐμέ γενέσθαι for me to become as good as may be P. S. 218d.

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a.With ὡς and , rarely with ὅπῃ (not with ὅτι), a form of δύναμαι or οἷός τέ εἰμι, may be employed: διηγήσομαι ὑ_μῖν ὡς ἂν δύνωμαι διὰ βραχυτάτων I will relate to you in the briefest terms I can I. 21.2.

1087

ὁ̄ιος may strengthen the superlative: ὁρῶντες τὰ πρά_γματα οὐχ οἷα βέλτιστα ἐν τῇ πόλει ὄντα observing that affairs are not in the very best state in the city L. 13.23. If ὄσος or ὁπόσος take the place of οἷος, a form, or a synonym, of δύναμαι is usually added: ἤγαγον συμμάχους ὁπόσους πλείστους ἐδυνάμην I brought the very largest number of allies I could X. C. 4.5.29. ὁποῖος is rare (Thuc., Plato).

1088

εἷς ἀνήρ in apposition to the person designated may be added to strengthen the superlative: Ἀντιφῶν πλεῖστα εἷς ἀνὴρ δυνάμενος ὠφελεῖν Antiphon being able to render (most aid as one man) aid beyond any other man T. 8.68.

1089

ἐν τοῖς is used before the superlative in all genders and numbers (esp. in Hdt., Thuc., Plato): ὠμὴ ἡ στάσις . . . ἔδοξε μᾶλλον, διότι ἐν τοῖς πρώτη ἐγένετο the revolution seemed the more cruel since it was the first T. 3.81, ἐν τοῖς πλεῖσται δη' νῆες ἅμ' αὐτοῖς ἐγένοντο they had the very largest number of ships 3. 17.

1090

μάλιστα, or πλεῖστον, μέγιστον, occurs with the superlative: οἱ μάλιστα ἀνοητότατοι the very stupidest P. Tim. 92a. In poetry βαθυ- has the effect of a superlative: βαθύπλουτος exceeding rich A. Supp. 555.

1091

καί even, πολλῷ, μακρῷ ( cross1513), πολύ ( cross1609), παρὰ πολύ, πάντα (τὰ πάντα), the correlative ὅσῳ also strengthen the superlative.

1092

In poetry (rarely in prose) a superlative may be strengthened by the addition of the genitive of the same adjective in the positive: ὦ κακῶν κάκιστε oh, vilest of the vile S. O. T. 334.

1093

Reflexive comparison (cp. cross1078) occurs with the superlative: ἀμβλύτατα αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ ὁρᾷ his sight is at its dullest P. L. 715d.

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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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