THE MULTIPLE USES OF PARTICIPLES IN GREEK

Introduction.
 
When one is engaged in translating a piece of Ancient Greek into English, one is often surprised at the very widespread incidence of 'Participles' or 'Verbal Adjectives' in the text. Such participles are often at the centre of 'phrases', which are units of words distinguishable from 'clauses' in that, unlike the latter, they lack the presence of a 'finite verb'. For those of us who have been taught Greek syntax principally through the medium of Greek prose composition, the extent of such phrases, and the participles which are often within them, can be somewhat disconcerting, as our early learning of the language was largely structured around an understanding of clauses, firstly main clauses, and then subordinate clauses. In most of the standard grammatical textbooks of Greek, participles and their uses are dealt with on an incidental and relatively incoherent basis, and therefore the translator is likely to be unprepared for the apparently central part they tend to play in the structure of so much written Greek. This article intends to address in some detail the numerous uses to which participles are put in Greek and to highlight those uses with actual examples of how they work in practice. 
 
1.  The Participle - definition and description of its use.
 
In Greek the participle was called by the First Century B.C. Hellenistic grammarian Dionysius Thrax as 'ἡ μετοχή' (a participation), because 'it shares the specific character of verbs and of nouns' (μετέχουσα τῆς ῥημάτων καὶ τῆς τῶν ὀνοματων ἰδιότητος). A participle, like an adjective, is used to modify or qualify nouns, with which it agrees in case, number and gender, but, unlike an adjective, it can, in accordance with its verbal functions, a) take an object in the accusative or in any other case applicable to its verb, and b) express distinctions in aspect/time and in voice. In this context, the participle is one of the 'infinite' forms of a verb, i.e. it is not limited in terms of mood and person as are finite verbs. Other forms of the Verb Infinite in Greek are the 'Infinitive' and the 'Gerundive'. With regard to time, Greek verbs have separate participles to express present, past and future time; with regard to aspect such participles can also differentiate between process, event and state; and with regard to voice, Greek participles can be active, middle or passive. 
 
2.  Available forms of the participle.
 
In terms of inflexion, Greek verbs often have as many as eleven participles available, and this remarkable number, and the flexibility which they thus provide, helps to explain why their use is so common in Greek. In order to illustrate this, the participles of the paradigmatic verb 'λύω' (I loose, I free, I ransom [Middle]) are listed below, together with the three forms of the nominative singular relating to gender:
 
λύων, λύουσα, λῦον                                   Present Active                  Freeing
λύσας, λύσασα, λῦσαν                               Aorist Active                    Freeing, Having freed
λελυκώς, λελυκυῖα, λελυκός                      Perfect Active                   Having freed
λύσων, λύσουσα, λῦσον                             Future Active                    Being about to free
λυόμενος, λυομένη, λυόμενον                    Present Middle                   Ransoming
                                                                  Present Passive                 Being freed
λυσάμενος, λυσαμένη, λυσάμενον           Aorist Middle          Ransoming, Having ransomed
λελυμένος, λελυμένη, λελυμένον               Perfect Middle                  Having ransomed
                                                                  Perfect Passive                 Having been freed
λυσομένος, λυσομένη, λυσόμενον              Future Middle                  Being about to ransom
λελυσόμενος, λελυσομένη, λελυσόμενον Future Perfect Middle Having been about to ransom
                                                          Future Perfect Passive Having been about to be freed
λυθείς, λυθεῖσα, λυθέν                                Aorist Passive                   Being freed, Freed
λυθησομενος, λυθησομένη, λυθησόμενον  Future Passive                  Being about to be freed
(N.B. It should be noted that Greek lacks a participle relating to the Future Perfect Active. Such a participle could only be formed periphrastically.)

Partly because of the significant number of participles relating to each verb, the participle plays a greater part in Greek than in Latin, which only has three participles for any verb. Latin's lack of a Past Participle Active and a Present Participle Passive create significant restrictions in practice. It is also worth remarking that English verbs only possess two participles, a Present Participle (e.g. Loosening) and a Past Participle Passive (e.g. Loosened); indeed to create other participles in our own language it is necessary in practice to employ auxiliary verbs such as 'having', 'being', and 'been' on a periphrastic basis, and we often use participles in a fairly loose manner, making the two we do have do almost all the work grammatically. The Greeks, on the contrary, having so many of them, used them with great precision.   
 
3.  Aspect and Time. 
 
Before looking in detail at the manifold uses of participles in Greek, it is necessary to outline how they relate to both aspect and time, as indicated in Section 1 above. The present participle represents the action as a process occurring simultaneously with the time of the main verb; the aorist participle as an action occurring simultaneously with, or prior to, the time of the main verb; the perfect participle relates to a state occurring in the present as the result of an action in the past; and the future participle is used when the action is subsequent to the action of the main verb, and often in order to express purpose or intention. Examples of these usages are set out below:
 
a)  ἐξῆλθον βοῶντες. They went out shouting. (Present participle: simultaneous process in past time.) 
 
b)  βοήσας εἶπεν.  He said with a shout.  (Aorist participle:  simultaneous event in past time.)
 
c)  τὴν γῆν καταλιπόντες ταχέως ἔπλευσαν. After leaving the land, they sailed quickly. (Aorist participle:  prior event in past time.)
 
d)  χαίρει ὥσπερ ἤδη πεποιημένων τῶν σπονδῶν. He is rejoicing as if a peace treaty has already been made.  (Perfect participle:  present state in present time.)
 
e)  ἥκουσιν ὑμῖν ἀγγελοῦντες.  They have come to tell you. (Future participle:  future intention in present time.)
 
Of all the matters concerning the use of participles in Greek, the above rules are perhaps of the greatest significance. The regular use of the Aorist participle to describe an event simultaneous to the time of the main verb, and which in English is therefore rendered by the Present participle, is perhaps the usage which most needs to be appreciated by the translator in this context.  
 
4.  Substantival and Adjectival uses of the Participle.
 
a.  The participle as a noun. 
 
In some instances the participle is used, together with the direct article, as a straight substitute for a noun. Examples are
 
i)   οἰ τεθνηκότες, the dead (lit. those who have died).  
 
ii)  οἰ θεώμενοι, spectators (lit. those who are watching).
 
b. Its use as a noun phrase in Indirect Statement. 
 
In Greek, verbs of knowing and perceiving are followed by an Accusative and Participle construction rather than the Accusative and Infinitive which follows verbs of saying and thinking. Some examples are shown below:
 
i) οἶδα αὐτὸν ἀφικόμενον.  I know that he has arrived (lit. I know him having arrived). 
 
ii) οἶδά σε σώφρονα ὄντα. I know that you are wise (lit. I know you being wise).
 
iii) ὄψονται τὴν γῆν τεμνομένην.  They will see that their land is being ravaged (lit. They will see their land being ravaged).
 
iv) ὄψονται τὰ σφέτερα διαφθειρόμενα. They will see that their own property is being destroyed (lit. They will see their own property being destroyed). 
 
With regard to the Indirect Statement, Greek differs from Latin in that, if the subject of the indirect statement is the same as that of the main verb, it is put into the Nominative rather than the Accusative case. In practice, however, it is not necessary to express the subject of the indirect statement at all, if it is the same as that of the main verb, although the pronoun αὐτός, αὐτή, αὐτό (self) may be used in the Nominative for the purpose of emphasis. This construction is well illustrated by the following sentences: 
 
i) ᾐσθόμην εἰς κίνδυνον καταστάς.  I perceived that I had got into danger.
 
ii) οἶδα αὐτὸς μὲν ὀρθῶς γιγνώσκων, ἐκείνους δὲ ἁμαπτάνοντας.  I know that I myself am right, and that they are wrong.
 
The following verbs of knowing and perceiving take a participle when used in Indirect Statement:
 
οἶδα                          I know
σύνοιδα ἐμαυτῳ       I am conscious of
ἀγνοέω                     I do not know
γιγνώσκω                 I come to know, I realise, I learn
ὀρθῶς γιγνώσκω      I am right
ἐπίσταμαι                 I understand, I know
συνίημι                     I understand
μανθάνω                   I learn, I understand
μέμνημαι                  I remember, I recall
ἐπιλανθάνομαι         I forget
αἰσθάνομαι              I perceive
ἀκούω                      I hear
ὁράω (aorist: εἶδον) I see
ἀποφαίνω                 I show, I reveal, I prove.
 
In addition to the above, some verbs which commonly take the Accusative and Infinitive also take the Participle on occasion. These verbs include:
 
ἀγγέλλω                   I report, I announce
ἀπαγγέλλω               I tell
πυνθάνομαι              I ascertain, I inquire, I learn.
 
For instance:
 
Κῦρον ἐπιστρατεύοντα ἤγγειλεν. He announced that Cyrus was marching against (them).
 
 
c.  The Participle used as an alternative to an Adjectival or Relative Clause. 
 
The participle can also be used adjectivally with the definite article to form noun phrases that are translated in English as Relative Clauses with pronominal antecedents. For instance:
 
i)  οἱ τὴν πατρίδα φιλοῦντες.  Those who love their country. 
 
ii)  ὁ ταῦτα λέγων.  He who is saying (or was saying) this. 
 
In such noun phrases, the negative is οὐ, when the sense is definite, and μή, when it is indefinite, e.g.
 
i)  οἱ οὐ Βουλόμενοι.  Those (particular persons) who do not wish. 
 
ii)  οἱ μὴ βουλόμενοι.  Whoever do not wish. 
 
The two illustrations of the participle used as a noun, given in Section 4a. above, are basically examples of this construction as well. 
 

5.  Adverbial uses of the Participle.

The most common and the most significant function of the participle in Greek is adverbial. Just as a participle is often used in Greek as a means of expressing what in English would be an adjectival or relative clause, so it is available as an alternative to subordinate adverbial clauses. When used in this way, it can be called the Circumstantial Participle, because it expresses the circumstances in which an action takes place, and its use in this way facilitates many different shades of meaning: time, cause, purpose, condition, manner, limitation. When a participle is so used, it is sometimes not clear exactly in what way it is being used. While the participle can be translated in a neutral manner, it is usually preferable for the translator to determine its sense within the context in which it appears. For instance, the words "εἰπὼν ἀπῄει" literally mean, "having spoken, he went away", but they can be translated as either "when he had spoken, he went away", "although he had spoken, he went away", or "as though he had spoken, he went away". This ambiguity can lead to differences in translations of the same piece. However, the various adverbial uses of the circumstantial participle are now considered.

a.  Temporal.

The use of participles as an alternative to a temporal clause is perhaps its commonest adverbial use. When translating into English, 'while' is the conjunction most likely to be used in tandem with a present participle; 'when', 'after', and 'before' are usual with aorist participles: e.g.

i.) οἴκαδε ἐπανελθόντες τὸν πατέρα ἐζήτουν. When they (had) returned home, they looked for their father.
 
ii) ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς μένοντες πολλὰ καὶ κακὰ ἔπασχον.  While (they were) staying in the country, they suffered many terrible things. 
 
b.  Causal.
 
When used to describe the cause or the ground of an action, a participle is often, but not always, introduced by "ἅτε" or "οἷον", inasmuch as, to signify the real cause, or by "ὡς", on the grounds that, to signify the alleged cause: e.g.

i) ἅτε πολλὰ καὶ κακὰ παθόντες, τοῖς πολεμίοις ἑαυτοὺς παρέδοσαν.  Because they had suffered many hardships, they surrendered to the enemy.

ii) τὸν Περικλέα ἐν αἰτίᾳ εἶχον ὡς πείσαντα σφᾶς πολεμεῖν.  They blamed Pericles because he had persuaded them to go to war.

c.  Conditional.

The participle may be used as a substitute for a conditional clause, i.e. the protasis of a conditional sentence. "Μή" is always used in the case of a negative condition: e.g.

i)  τοῦτο μὴ ποιοῦντες, οὐκ ἂν εὖ πράττοιεν.  Unless they did this, they would not prosper.

ii) οὐδέποτε μαθήσεται κιθαρίζειν, μὴ μελέτων.  He will never learn to play the lyre, if he does not practise (unless he practises).


d.  Concessive.

A participle is usually preceded by "καί or "καίπερ, although, when it is used concessively: e.g.

i) ἐποικτίρω αὐτὸν καίπερ ἐχθρὸν ὄντα.  I pity him though he is my enemy.

ii) καὶ πολλὰ και κακὰ πάσχοντες, οὐκ εἶξαν. Although they were suffering many hardships, they did not yield.


e.  Final.

The Future Participle is regularly employed in classical Greek to express purpose or intention, and is therefore an alternative to the Final Clause construction of  "ἵνα", in order that, or "ὅπως", in order to, plus the Conjunctive. In such instances the Future Participle may be introduced by the conjunction "ὡς" so as to imply that the participle is expressing the alleged or presumed purpose of the subject of the sentence: e.g.

i) ἦλθον λυσόμενοι τοὺς πολίτας.  They came to ransom the citizens.

ii) ἥκουσιν ὡς ὑμῖν τὰ γενόμενα ἀγγελοῦντες.  They have come to tell you what happened.


f.  Comparative.

Comparative clauses in English, used to express manner, are expressed in Greek by the conjunction "ὤσπερ", as if, as though, with the participle: e.g.

i) οὐκ ἐθέλετ' ἀκούειν, ὥσπερ ᾔδη εἰδότες.  You are unwilling to listen, as if you knew it all already.

ii) ἐχρώμην αὐτῳ ὥσπερ ὄντι καίπερ οὐκ ὄντι ἀδελφῷ.  Though he was not my brother I treated him as if were.


6.  Use of the Participle in the Genitive Absolute.

The Genitive Absolute phrase is used in Greek when the noun which the participle is qualifying has no grammatical relationship to the rest of the sentence in which it is placed, i.e. it is not the subject, the direct object or the indirect object of the main verb. The term "absolute" comes from the Latin word "absolutus", meaning, in this context, detached, separate, or unconnected, i.e. the Genitive Absolute stands as an independent construction with no syntactical relationship to the rest of the sentence. As in the case of the many types of adverbial clauses outlined above, the Genitive Absolute can therefore be translated in English by clauses beginning with a range of subordinating conjunctions, e.g. "when", "while", "as", "since", "because", although", "if". As in the case of its above uses as adverbial clauses, the choice of which introductory word to use must be determined form the sense of the sentence as a whole, but sometimes the presence of a word such as  "καίπερ" makes it clear. Examples are as follows:

a) θάλποντος τοῦ ἡλίου, ὑπο ελάᾳ ἐκάθηντο.  As the sun was hot, they were sitting under an olive- tree.

b) ἡμέρας γενομένης, ὁ πατὴρ τὸν παῖδα ἔπεμψε ζητήσοντα τὰ πρόβατα. When day came (or At daybreak), the father sent his son to look for the sheep.

c)  οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ἔπλευσαν ἡγεμονεύοντος τοῦ Νικίου.  The Athenians sailed under the leadership of Nicias.

d) ληθέντων τῶν τειχῶν οἱ πολῖται ἐξέφευγον.  When the walls were taken, the citizens tried to escape.

e) ἀποθανόντος τοῦ Κύρου, οἰ στρατιῶται ἔφυγον.  When Cyrus was killed, the soldiers fled.

f) ὁ στρατηγὸς οὐκ ἤθελεν ἐπιτίθεσθαι τοῦ στρατεύματος οὐδένα σῖτον ἔχοντος.  The general did not wish to attack (the enemy) as his army had no food.

g) καίπερ θόρυβον ποιούντων τῶν προβάτων, ὁ αὐτουργὸς οὐκ ἔσπευδεν.  Although the sheep were making a noise, the farmer did not hurry.

h) νυκτὸς γενομένης, ἔδοξεν ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ἄστει μένειν.  When night came (or At nightfall), we decided to stay in the city.

i) ἑσπέρας γιγνομένησς, οἱ ξένοι εἰς τὸ ἄστυ ἀφίκοντο.  As evening was coming, the strangers arrived in the city.

j) τοῦ ἀνεμοῦ μείζονος γενομενοῦ, ἡ ναῦς, ὀλίγη οὖσα, ἐν κινδυνῳ ἦν.  As the wind was growing stronger, the ship, being small, was in danger.

As indicated by a number of the above examples, it was common in Greek to commence sentences and paragraphs by a genitive absolute relating to the time of day or year, and to the state of the sun, the wind or the sea. Phrases such as "τοῦ ἡλίου ἀνατέλλοντος" (at the rising of the sun or at dawn) and "τοῦ ἡλίου καταδύντος" (the sun having set or at sunset) are common. 


7.  Use of the Participle in the Accusative Absolute.

Impersonal verbs use a participle in the Accusative, expressed in the Neuter Singular, in place of the Genitive. Impersonal verbs most commonly used in this way are: "δοκεῖ", it seems best, "ἔξεστι(ν)", it is possible, it is allowed/ permitted, and "δεῖ", it is necessary, it is a duty: e.g.

a) δόξαν τὸν παῖδα ἐς τὴν ἄγραν πέμψαι, ὁ Κροῖσος μάλιστα ἐφοβεῖτο.  When he had decided (lit. It having seemed best) to send his son to the hunt, Croesus was very afraid. ("δόξαν" is the aorist participle of δοκέω".)

b) ἐξὸν ἐς την ἀγραν ἰέναι. ὁ Ἄτυς εὐθὺς ὁρμᾶται. Permission having been given (lit. It being permitted) to go to the hunt, Atys sets out at once.

c) δέον τὸ θηρίον αἱρειν, ἐς τὸ ὄρος ἔσπευδον.  Since it was necessary (lit. It being necessary) to catch the beast, they hurried to the mountain.

Other Accusative Absolutes used in this way are:

ἀδυνατον ὄν   It being impossible (from "ἀδυνατον ἐστίν", it is impossible)
παρόν             It being possible/ allowed (from "πάρειμι", I am present)
προσηκόν       It being fitting (from "προσήκω", I have arrived, I am near)
παρασχόν       An opportunity offering (aorist participle from "παρέχω", I provide, allow, grant)
εἰρημένον       It having been stated/ laid down (perfect participle of "λέγω", I speak).


8.  Some idiomatic uses of the Participle.

a.  Supplementary participles which extend or limit the meaning of a verb.

Participles are used, like the Prolative infinitive, to carry on the meaning of certain verbs. (The word "prolative" comes from the Latin word "prolatus", the past participle of "proferre", to carry forward or complete [the meaning of the predicate].) Greek verbs that are followed by participles used in this prolative manner are as follows:

τυγχάνω     I happen
παύω          I bring to an end, I stop
παύομαι      I cease, I leave off
λήγω           I cease
ἄρχω           I begin
ἄρχομαι       I begin
διατελέω      I continue, I keep on
αἰσχύνομαι  I am ashamed at
φαίνομαι      I am plainly, I am shown to be , I am proved to be
δῆλος εἰμί    I am clearly
ἀνέχομαι      I endure
περιοράω     I overlook, disregard
χαίρω           I rejoice
ἥδομαι          I am pleased
φθάνω          I anticipate
λανθάνω       I elude the notice of, I remain hidden

Below are some examples of participles being used after these verbs:

i) οὐκ ἀνεχομαι ζῶσα.   I shall not endure to live.

ii) ἔτυχον ὁπλιται ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ καθεύδοντες.  Some hoplites happened to be sleeping in the market.

iii) διατελεῖ ὀργιζόμενος.  He continues to be angry.

iv) ἔτυχεν ἐλθών.  He happened to have come.

v) ἔτυχον ἐπὶ τοὺς Πέρσας στρατευόμενοι.  They were just then campaigning against the Persians.

vi) ἐπαύσαντο μαχόμενοι κελεύσαντος τοῦ στρατηγοῦ. They ceased fighting at the general's command.

vii) ἐφάνη σφόδρα αἰσχυνόμενος.  He was plainly very much ashamed.

viii) ἐχαίρομεν πάντες ἀκούσαντές σε ἀσφαλῶς αφικόμενον.  We all rejoiced to hear that you had arrived safely.

ix) τί διατελεῖς ταὐτά με ἐρωτῶν;  Why do you keep on asking me the same questions?

x) οἱ τυχόντες αὐτοῦ ἀκούσαντες σφόδρα ἐθαύμαζον.  Those who chanced to hear him were greatly surprised.

xi) ἐπαύσαντο πολεμοῦντες ἅτε ἀμφοτέρων τῶν στρατηγῶν ἀποθανόντων. They ceased making war because both the generals had been killed.

xii) δῆλοι εἰσιν οἱ πρέσβεις ψευδῆ λέγοντες.  The ambassadors were clearly telling lies.

In the case of some the supplementary participles introduced by the verbs in the above list, the participle sometimes contains the main idea of the predicate, e.g. the participles following "τυγχάνω". In the case of the last two verbs in the above list, "φθάνω, and "λανθάνω", it is usual for the construction of the sentence to be inverted, when translated into English: e.g.

xi)  ἐφθάσααμεν ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν.ἔφθασεν ἡμᾶς ἀφικόμενος. He arrived before us (lit. He anticipated us arriving).

xii) ἐφθάσαμεν ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν.  We reached the city first (lit. We were the first coming to the city).

xiii) ἔλαθεν αυτοὺς φυγών.  He escaped without them seeing him (He eluded their notice escaping).

xiv) αἱ νῆες ἔλαθον τοὺς πολεμίους εἰς τὸν λιμένα εἰσελθοῦσαι.  The ships came into the harbour without being seen by the enemy (lit. The ships escaped the notice of the enemy coming into the harbour).

In a similar manner, the translator may choose to invert a sentence in the case of other verbs (Cf. 8.b. ii. below).

b.  Verbs with different meaning when followed by the infinitive or the participle.

Two verbs, "αἰσχύνομαι" and "φαίνομαι", actually mean different things when followed a) by an infinitive, and b) by a participle.

"αἰσχύνομαι" plus the infinitive means "I am ashamed to do something (and therefore I don't do it), whereas "αἰσχύνομαι" plus the participle means "I am ashamed at doing a thing (which one does do); e.g.

i) αἰσχύνομαι λέγειν.  I am ashamed to say (and therefore I don't).

ii) αἰσχύνομαι λέγων. I say with shame that ...  (and I do).

"φαίνομαι" plus the infinitive means "I appear", whereas "φαίνομαι" plus the participle means "I am plainly, I am shown to be, I am proved to be".

iii) φαίνεται σοφὸς εἶναι. He appears to be wise.

iv) φαίνεται σοφὸς ὤν. He is manifestly (or He is shown to be) wise.

"φαίνομαι" is very often used in an impersonal construction. When "φαίνεται" is followed by the infinitive it is equivalent to "δοκεῖ" or "videtur" in Latin, i.e. "it seems"; when followed by the infinitive it is equivalent to "δῆλον ἐστιν" or "apparet" in Latin, it is manifest, evident, clear, plain, or certain. Thus, in its use with the infinitive "φαίνεται" denotes subjective belief,  whereas in its use with the participle it designates objective certainty. In Platonic dialogues, "φαίνεται" is used to signify "Yes", although it is unclear which of these two states is implied. Perhaps either, according to the context.

c.  Use of the present participle to mean "with".

"ἔχων", the Present Participle Active of "ἔχω", I have, I possess, is frequently used as equivalent to the English preposition, "with" and to the Latin "cum" plus the Ablative. The same participles of "ἄγω", I lead, I bring, and "φέρω", I carry, I bring, are used similarly; e.g.

i) ἀφίκετο ἐχων τριακοσίους ὁπλίτας.  He arrived with three hundred hoplites.

ii) ὤφθη πολλάκις ξίφος ἔχων.  He was often seen with a sword.

iii) ὁ στρατηγὸς προὐχώρει ἄνδρας μυρίους καὶ δισχιλίους ἄγων.  The general advanced with (an army of) eleven thousand men.

iv) οἱ δοῦλοι ἀφίκοντο πολλὰ καὶ καλὰ δῶρα παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως φέροντες.  The slaves came with many splendid presents from the king.

d.  Use of the participle as as an adverb.

As is the case of adjectives in general, the participle, which is a verbal adjective, is often used as a simple adverb. Examples are as follows:

i) φθάσας ἀφίκετο.  He arrived first.

ii) ἀνύσας ἄνοιγε.  Open quickly.

iii) ἀρχόμενος ἔλεγεν.  He used to say when he began.

iv) λαθὼν ἐποίησε.  He did it secretly.

v) τελευτῶν εἶπε. At last he said.


Conclusion.

This article has sought to demonstrate the central role which the participle plays in classical Greek. The inflexive prolixity of the participle was undoubtedly one reason why it was used so frequently, and the ability of writers to employ it with such precision was linked to this. Once one has become accustomed to the widespread use of the participle in Greek, one begins to appreciate how similar the structure of Greek sentences is to that of our own language, where the use of participial phrases as an alternative to subordinate clauses is so common. In Latin, because of the relative paucity of participial forms, subordinate clauses are perforce more frequent, and where participial phrases are used, many of them involve the Ablative Absolute construction, which is employed much more in Latin than its equivalent, the Genitive Absolute, is in Greek. For an analysis of the "Ablative Absolute", the reader is invited to look at the article so entitled which was published on this blog on 20th May 2012.
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