Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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FLUCTUATION IN THE USE OF THE ARTICLE: OMISSION OF THE ARTICLE 1126

The article is often omitted (1) in words and phrases which have survived from the period when ὁ, ἡ, τό was a demonstrative pronoun; (2) when a word is sufficiently definite by itself; (3) when a word expresses a general conception without regard to its application to a definite person. The generic article is frequently omitted, especially with abstracts ( cross1132), without appreciable difference in meaning. Its presence or absence is often determined by the need of distinguishing subject from predicate ( cross1150), by the rhythm of the sentence, etc.

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1127

The article is omitted in many adverbial designations of time, mostly with prepositions (except ἡμέρα_ς by day, νυκτός by night).

Thus, περὶ μέσα_ς νύκτας about midnight, ἅμα ἕῳ just before daylight, ὥρᾳ ἕτους at the season of the year. So with ὄρθρος daybreak, δείλη afternoon, ἑσπέρα_ evening, ἔαρ spring; and ἐκ παίδων from childhood. Most of the above cases are survivals of the older period when the article had a demonstrative force.

1128

The article is very often omitted in phrases containing a preposition: ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ λόγου in the beginning of the speech D. 37.23, ἔξω βελῶν out of reach of the missiles X. A. 3.4.15, Ἠιόνα τὴν ἐπὶ Στρυ_μόνι Eion on the Strymon T. 1.98.

1129

Words denoting persons, when they are used of a class, may omit the article. So ἄνθρωπος, στρατηγός, θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god). Thus, πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν man is the measure of all things P. Th. 178b.

1130

Adjectives and participles used substantively have no article when the reference is general: μέσον ἡμέρα_ς midday X. A. 1.8.8, ψυ_χρόν cold, θερμόν heat P. S. 186d, πέμψαι προκαταληψομένους τὰ ἄκρα to send men to preoccupy the heights X. A. 1.3.14. Rarely when an adverb is used adjectively: τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἄρδην ὄλεθρος the utter destruction of the enemy D. 19.141.

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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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