« PreviousContinue »
(gg) When the standard of comparison is expressed by an infinitive with or without wore, certain adjectives appear in the positive degree, although their meaning is comparative; as Thucyd. Ι. 61: ταπεινὴ ὑμῶν ἡ διάνοια ἐγκαρτερεῖν ἃ διέγνωτε, “your spirit is too debased to abide firmly by what you have resolved.” Eurip. Andr. 80 : γέρων ἐκεῖνος ὥστε σ ̓ ὠφελεῖν παρών, “ he is too old to help you, if he were here."
(hh) In some few cases the numeral which is the standard of comparison is joined to πλέων or ἐλάττων (μείων) in the neuter singular without y; thus Thucyd. VI. 95: ἡ λεία ἐπράθη ταλάντων οὐκ ἔλαττον πέντε καὶ εἴκοσιν.
(2) We may sometimes substitute the adversative αλλά or ἀλλ ̓ οὐ for the comparative ἤ after μᾶλλον and πλέον, according as they are negative or affirmative; or an affirmative form of the comparison may be followed by καὶ οὐ or καὶ μή. Thus Thucyd. I. 83: ἔστιν ὁ πόλεμος οὐχ ὅπλων τὸ πλέον, ἀλλὰ δαπάνης. Isocr. ad Nicocl. § 42: πλησιάζειν βούλονται τοῖς συνεξαμαρτάνουσιν, ἀλλ ̓ οὐ τοῖς ἀποτρέπουσιν (where βούλονται involves μᾶλλον, (above, (f)). Thucyd. I. 74: ἐδείσατε ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καὶ οὐχ ἡμῶν τὸ πλέον. Id. 1. 120: τοὺς τὴν μεσόγειαν μᾶλλον καὶ μὴ ἐν πόρῳ κατωκημένους.
(kh) Similarly πλήν may take the place of ἤ, as in Eurip. Heracl. 233: ἅπαντα ταῦτ ̓ ἐστὶ κρείσσω πλὴν ὑπ ̓ ̓Αργείοις πεσεῖν.
(77) To express a preference in general we may have πρό cum gen.; to express a choice, ἀντί cum gen.; to indicate excess we may have παρά cum accus. or ἐπί cum dat., after the comparative; as Plat. Crit. p. 54 Β: μηδὲν περὶ πλείονος ποιοῦ πρὸ τοῦ δικαίου. Soph. Ant. 182: μείζον ̓ ἀντὶ τῆς αὑτοῦ πάτρας φίλον νομίζειν. Thucyd. I. 23: ἐκλείψεις πυκνότεραι παρὰ τὰ μνημονευόμενα. Hom. Od. VII. 216 : οὐ γὰρ στυγερῇ ἐπὶ γαστέρι κύντερον ἄλλο.
(mm) By a very singular refinement the negative où is inserted in the clause indicating the standard of comparison, when it is implied that the circumstance qualified by uâλov is to be rejected or negatived in comparison with that to which it stands in contrast. Accordingly this idiom is generally found when the comparative clause is negative or interrogative, or contains some term of reprobation. Herod. IV. 118: ἥκει ὁ Πέρσης οὐδέν τι μᾶλλον ἐπ ̓ ἡμέας ἢ οὐ καὶ ἐπ ̓ ὑμέας, the Persian is come against us not a whit
more, as compared with the manner or degree in which he has not also come against you." Xen. Hellen. VI. 3, § 15: Tí ovv deî ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον ἀναμένειν, ἕως ἂν ὑπὸ πλήθους κακῶν ἀπείπωμεν, μᾶλλον ἢ οὐχ ὡς τάχιστα εἰρήνην ποιήσασθαι; “why should we wait until we are worn out by the multitude of our misfortunes, rather than (why should we) not make peace as soon as possible?” Thucyd. III. 36: ὠμὸν τὸ βούλευμα πόλιν ὅλην διαφθεῖραι μᾶλλον
où TOùs aiTíovs, "that the resolve was savage to destroy a whole city, rather than not (in colloquial English "rather nor") the guilty persons,” so that it is really equivalent to μᾶλλον πόλιν ὅλην καὶ οὐ μᾶλλον τοὺς αἰτίους οι οὐ τοὺς αἰτίους μόνον ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ὅλην Tóλw (cf. (ÿ)). In Aristot. Eth. Nic. IV. 1, § 9, we find xaì pậov δὲ τὸ μὴ λαμβάνειν τοῦ δοῦναι· τὸ γὰρ οἰκεῖον ἧττον προΐενται μᾶλλον ἢ οὐ λαμβάνουσι τὸ ἀλλότριον, where the or has its proper force, and this idiom is only apparent; for the meaning is, “people find it easier to abstain from receiving, than to give what they already have; for they less readily part with their own property, than they fail in receiving what belongs to somebody else."
§ X. The Superlative Degree.
416 The main distinction between the comparative and superlative adjective in Greek consists in this, that, while the comparative and superlative may both express the degree in which the quality is possessed by the subject simply, as yeλolótepos tis, "a somewhat ridiculous man; καλλίστη γυνή, " a very beautiful woman:" the comparative always presumes or expresses a relation to some standard of comparison from which the subject is for the time separated, and the superlative implies that the subject, to which this highest degree of a quality is attributed, forms the last term of a series containing all the lower degrees, so that the Greek superlative may sometimes be connected with a genitive plural, denoting a class of things to which the subject could not belong. This occasionally produces an apparent contradiction when we apply the English idiom, which often coincides with the Greek in the use of the superlative, to those special cases, where the English always reverts to the comparative. For example, Herod. IV. 142, κακίστους καὶ ἀνανδροτάτους κρίνουσιν εἶναι ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων, may be rendered literally, "they judge them to be the basest and most cowardly of all men." But when Thucydides says (1. 1)
of the Peloponnesian war, that he expected it to be acioλoyotaтov τῶν προγεγενημένων, we cannot render this “ most worthy of mention of all those that had gone before it," for the present and future do not, according to our view, admit of classification with the past: but we must either translate, "a war most worthy of mention of the long series of wars preceding and ending with it," or "worthy of mention in the highest degree, if compared with the previous wars," which is much the same as "more worthy of mention than its forerunners." Similarly when Eschylus makes Atossa say (Pers. 180) that the two visionary women, whom she saw in her dream, were μεγέθει τῶν νῦν εὐπρεπεστάτα πολύ, we cannot render this "most conspicuous in stature of those who now exist," for they obviously did not exist; but we must either translate it "conspicuous in stature in the highest degree, if compared with existing women," or "more conspicuous in stature than any living
The following usages of the Greek superlative are most deserving of notice:
(aa) The genitive, which follows the superlative, may denote not the class or series to which the subject belongs, but some other standard of comparison suggested by the sentence; thus Plat. Gorg. p. 461 Ε: τῆς Ἑλλάδος πλείστη ἐστὶν ἐξουσία τοῦ λέγειν 'Alývŋow, “there is a liberty of speech at Athens in the highest degree as compared with the rest of Greece." Dem. de Coron. § 78: σίτῳ πάντων ἀνθρώπων πλείστῳ οἱ ̓Αθηναῖοι χρῶνται ἐπεισάκτῳ, "the Athenians consume imported corn to the largest amount as compared with the rest of the world." Xen. Symp. VII. 40: owμa ἀξιοπρεπέστατον ἰδεῖν τῆς πόλεως ἔχεις, " you have a person stately in the highest degree as compared with (the other persons in) the city."
(bb) As in the comparative (415, (dd)), so in the superlative we may use the reflexive pronoun to indicate the standard of comparison, when we wish to contrast the highest with the usual condition of a person or thing; as Plat. Leg. p. 715 D: véos v πᾶς ἄνθρωπος τὰ τοιαῦτα ἀμβλύτατα αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ ὁρᾷ, “ when young, every man is at his dullest with regard to seeing such things.” Xen. Mem. I. 2, § 46: εἴθε σοι τότε συνεγενόμην ὅτε δεινότατος σαυτοῦ ταῦτα ἦσθα, “I wish I had enjoyed your society at the time when you were at your cleverest in these things."
(cc) Pre-eminence in a class may be expressed by prefixing ἐν τοῖς to the superlative without a change of gender, or by adding εἷς with some word indicating the subject; thus Thucyd. 1. 6: ἐν τοῖς πρῶτοι Αθηναῖοι τὸν σίδηρον κατέθεντο, “ the Athenians first among these (men) laid down iron weapons.” Id. III. 81 : ἔδοξε μᾶλλον (ὠμὴ εἶναι ἡ στάσις) δίοτι ἐν τοῖς πρώτη ἐγένετο, “ the sedition seemed to be more savage, because it happened the first among these (things)." The same rule applies to the superlative adverb μάλιστα, as Thucyd. vi. 90 : 'Αρίσταρχος, ἀνὴρ ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα καὶ ἐκ πλείστου ἐναντίος τῷ δήμῳ, " Aristarchus, a man among them in the highest degree and for the longest time opposed to democracy.” Asch. Pers. 325: Κιλίκων ἔπαρχος εἷς ἀνὴρ πλεῖστον πόνον ἐχθροῖς παρασχών, “ the governor of the Cilicians for one man (among all men) having caused most trouble to the enemy.” Thucyd. III. 39: ἀποφαίνω Μυτιληναίους μάλιστα δὴ μίαν πόλιν ἠδικηκότας ὑμᾶς, “I prove that the Mytilenæans for one state (among all states) have most wronged you."
(dd) With the negative où the superlative adjective or adverb assumes emphatically the opposite value; thus οὐχ ἥκιστα means “ especially,” οὐκ ἀδυνατώτατος means " most opulent or powerful.” Hence we have οὐχ ἥκιστα as a substitute for μέγιστα in co-ordi nate sentences, as Thucyd. 1. 68: προσήκει ἡμᾶς οὐχ ἥκιστα εἰπεῖν ὅσῳ καὶ μέγιστα ἐγκλήματα ἔχομεν.
(ee) The superlative may be used with relatives or relative particles to express the highest degree possible, so that we may supply δυνατός ἐστι oι δύναται γενέσθαι. Thus Plat. Symp. p. 220 Β: πάγου οἵου δεινοτάτου, “ in the sharpest possible frost (οἷος δύναται γενέσθαι δεινότατος). Similarly ὡς τάχιστα, “as quickly as possible" (Xen. Cyr. 1. 6, § 26); ὅπως ἄριστα, “ in the best way possible” (Esch. Agam. 611); ᾗ ἄριστον (Xen. Cyr. II. 4, § 32); ὅσον τάχιστα (Soph. Εl. 1457); ὅτι πλεῖστον χρόνον (Xen. Cyr. vi. 1, § 43); ὅποι προσωτάτω (Eurip. Androm. 924); οὕτως ὅπως ἥδιστα (Soph. Trach. 330); ὡς ἂν μάλιστα (Thucyd. VI. 57); ὅτι ἐπ' ἐλάχιστον (Id. III. 46); ὡς ἐν ἐχυρωτάτῳ (Xen. Cyr. I. 6, § 26). But the verb denoting possibility is often found, so that the sentence is complete; thus Thucyd. VII. 21: vaûs as δύναται πλείστας. Xen. Mem. III. 8, § 4: ὡς ἔνι ἀνομοιοτάτη. Id. Αnab. Ι. 3, § 15: ἡ δυνατὸν μάλιστα. Id. Mem. iv. 5, § 2: ὡς οἷόν τέ γε μάλιστα.
ON THE CATEGORICAL PROPOSITION, AND ON THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PREDICATES.
§ I. General Principles.
417 IN the categorical proposition there are, as has been already mentioned (above, 400, (y)), three kinds of predicates:
(A) Primary, when there is nothing between the subject and predicate, except the copula, either expressed or implied.
(B) Secondary, when the predicate is connected with the subject through a verb which already contains a primary predicate.
(C) Tertiary, when in the second case there is also a πρóλis or anticipation of a distinct predication of something additional. Accordingly,
(A) Primary predicates are the following: (a) Attributive nouns, whether substantives or adjectives. (b) Participles and other verbals. (c) Verbs of the indicative mood.
(B) Secondary predicates are the following: (a) Adverbs. (b) Cases of nouns and participles (1) without or (2) with prepositions.
(C) Tertiary predicates are oblique cases of substantives, adjectives, and participles.
§ II. A. Primary Predicates. (a) Nouns.
418 When a noun is predicated directly, the copula is either a verb expressing existence, subsistence, &c., such as eiuí, yiyvoμai, ἔφυν, κυρῶ, πέλω, ὑπάρχω, μένω, διαμένω ; or a verb expressing appellation, designation, nomination, appointment, &c., such as xaλοῦμαι, ἀκούω, κλύω, ὀνομάζομαι, προσαγορεύομαι, ποιοῦμαι, καθ ίσταμαι, ἀποδείκνυμαι, εὑρίσκομαι, νομίζομαι, πέμπομαι, αἱροῦμαι, χειροτονοῦμαι, λαγχάνω. Verbs of the former class are usually