Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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A substantive in the genitive limits the meaning of a substantive on which it depends.


The genitive limits for the time being the scope of the substantive on which it depends by referring it to a particular class or description, or by regarding it as a part of a whole. The genitive is akin in meaning to the adjective and may often be translated by an epithet. Cp. στέφανος χρυ_σίου with χρυ_σοῦς στέφανος, φόβος πολεμίου with πολέμιος φόβος, τὸ εὖρος πλέθρου with τὸ εὖρος πλεθριαῖον ( cross1035). But the use of the adjective is not everywhere parallel to that of the genitive.


In poetry a genitive is often used with βία_, μένος, σθένος might, etc., instead of the corresponding adjective: βίη Διομήδεος mighty Diomede E 781.


In poetry δέμας form, κάρα_ and κεφαλή head, etc., are used with a genitive to express majestic or loved persons or objects: Ἰσμήνης κάρα_ S. Ant. 1.


χρῆμα thing is used in prose with a genitive to express size, strength, etc.: σφενδονητῶν πάμπολύ τι χρῆμα a very large mass of slingers X. C. 2.1.5. Cp. cross1322.

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The genitive with substantives denotes in general a connection or dependence between two words. This connection must often be determined (1) by the meaning of the words, (2) by the context, (3) by the facts presupposed as known ( cross1301). The same construction may often be placed under more than one of the different classes mentioned below; and the connection between the two substantives is often so loose that it is difficult to include with precision all cases under specific grammatical classes.

a. The two substantives may be so closely connected as to be equivalent to a single compound idea: τελευτὴ τοῦ βίου ‘life-end’ (cp. life-time) X. A. 1.1.1. Cp. cross1146.

b. The genitive with substantives has either the attributive ( cross1154), or, in the case of the genitive of the divided whole ( cross1306), and of personal pronouns ( cross1185), the predicate, position ( cross1168).


Words denoting number, especially numerals or substantives with numerals, often agree in case with the limited word instead of standing in the genitive: φόρος τέσσαρα τάλαντα a tribute of four talents T. 4.57 (cp. cross1323), ἐς τὰ_ς ναῦς, αἳ ἐφρούρουν δύο, καταφυγόντες fleeing to the ships, two of which were keeping guard 4. 113. So with οἱ μέν, οἱ δέ in apposition to the subject ( cross981).

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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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