[B-Greek] Dative participial clauses

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Jul 5 07:52:58 EDT 2007


On Jul 4, 2007, at 7:15 PM, Elizabeth Kline wrote:

>
> Carl Wrote
>
>> ... you seemed to be arguing that the dative participles
>> and nominals  of those clauses were independent syntactically from
>> the main clause; my observation that they more likely ARE linked
>> syntactically with main-clause verbs taking dative complements was
>> intended to counter that claim of syntactic detachment.
>
>
>> I really think that this matter deserves a fuller
>> investigation beyond the Biblical corpus into Hellenistic prose --
>> and I think that such a study ought also to take into account older
>> Classical Greek usage as well as Classical Latin prose usage, which
>> may very well have influenced those NT writers who had some  
>> schooling.
>
> Two samples of pre-verbal dative participles from Thucydides which
> appear to be syntactically independent of the following clause:

Nice dredging; so here's the initial Classical Greek evidence for  
dative participial clauses. What is this, a TLG search?

Preliminary unscientific foreword: Classical author Thucydides  
certainly is; prototypical he is anything but. On the other hand,  
these are from narrative rather than from speeches, and these texts  
are themselves readily intelligible enough. At first glance these  
participial clauses do indeed appear to be syntactically independent  
from what follows.

> Th. 4.120.1-2
> 	Περὶ δὲ τὰς ἡμέρας ταύτας αἷς
> ἐπήρχοντο Σκιώνη ἐν 2 τῇ Παλλήνῃ
> πόλις ἀπέστη ἀπ’ Ἀθηναίων πρὸς
> Βρασίδαν. 3 φασὶ δὲ οἱ Σκιωναῖοι
> Πελληνῆς μὲν εἶναι ἐκ Πελοποννήσου,
> 4 πλέοντας δ’ ἀπὸ Τροίας σφῶν τοὺς
> πρώτους κατενεχθῆναι 5 ἐς τὸ χωρίον
> τοῦτο τῷ χειμῶνι ᾧ ἐχρήσαντο
> Ἀχαιοί, καὶ αὐτοῦ οἰκῆσαι.
> ἀποστᾶσι δ’ αὐτοῖς ὁ Βρασίδας
> διέπλευσε 2 νυκτὸς ἐς τὴν Σκιώνην ...
>
> TH. 4.120.1-2
> 	PERI DE TAS hHMERAS TAUTAS hAIS EPHRCONTO SKIWNH EN 2 THi PALLHNHi
> POLIS APESTH AP' AQHNAIWN PROS BRASIDAN. 3 FASI DE hOI SKIWNAIOI
> PELLHNHS MEN EINAI EK PELOPONNHSOU, 4 PLEONTAS D' APO TROIAS SFWN
> TOUS PRWTOUS KATENECQHNAI 5 ES TO CWRION TOUTO TWi CEIMWNI hWi
> ECRHSANTO ACAIOI, KAI AUTOU OIKHSAI. APOSTASI D' AUTOIS hO BRASIDAS
> DIEPLEUSE 2 NUKTOS ES THN SKIWNHN ...
>
> Note in Th. 4.120.2
> ἀποστᾶσι δ’ αὐτοῖς
> APOSTASI D' AUTOIS

We have here an account of a revolt of the Athenian tributary city  
Scione from Athenian imperial rule toward Brasidas, the Spartan  
general who was campaigning in the Thracian-northern Aegean area in  
the early years of the Peloponnesian War. While APOSTASI D' AUTOIS  
might be viewed as independent, I think it might also be understood  
as an instance of "Dative of advantage or disadvantage" (Smyth  
§1461). "To assist them (the Scioneans) in their revolt, Brasidas  
sailed directly toward Scione ... "

> Th. 8.24.6
> εἰργομένοις οὖν αὐτοῖς τῆς
> θαλάσσης καὶ κατὰ γῆν
> πορθουμένοις ἐνεχείρησάν τινες
> πρὸς Ἀθηναίους ἀγαγεῖν τὴν πόλιν·
>
> Th. 8.24.6
> EIRGOMENOIS OUN AUTOIS THS QALASSHS KAI KATA GHN PORQOUMENOIS
> ENECEIRHSAN TINES PROS AQHNAIOUS AGAGEIN THN POLIN:
>
> Here we see two dative participle clauses prior to the main verb.
> EGCEIREW can take a dative argument but in this passage it construes
> with the infinitive AGAGEIN.

This again might be a Dative of advantage or a Dative of reference.  
TINES must refer to Chian citizens undertaking this action of  
stirring up revolt of the city to the Athenians following significant  
losses in battle to Athenian troops on the island. "Since they (the  
Chians) were hemmed-in by sea and under siege on land, some (of the  
Chians) endeavored to bring the city over to the Athenians ... " That  
is, these citizens trying to bring about the revolt were trying to  
help out their beleaguered fellow-citizens.

While the main clauses do not contain verbs that must construe with a  
dative complement, an argument might yet be made that these datives  
work syntactically with the main clause(s). On the other hand,  
there's certainly no question that both of these dative participial  
clauses function much as do "Genitive absolutes" or genitive  
participial clauses, and one might say that both are temporal: "when  
they had revolted" and "while they were hemmed-in and under siege."


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/





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