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Uses of ὡς

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Uses of ὡς

Postby jeidsath » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:21 pm

I have been spending time for the past few days back-translating English to Greek as an alternative to composition practice. I use the actual Greek as my model for all review. One thing that I'm noticing is all the different constructions that use ὡς in Xenophon.

On the first page of the Anabasis:

ὡς acc. subst. -- "as (but not in fact)"
ὡς opt. -- reported speech (with διαβάλλει)
ὡς future participle -- purpose
ὡς past indict. -- temporal conj. "when"
ὡς opt. -- used like ὅπως in violation of normal Attic usage
ὡς superlative -- to strengthen it
ὡς present participle -- giving the reason

Other than reading through the LSJ article on ὡς before breakfast every morning for a month, does anyone have some advice for helping me to get a handle on this? Can ὡς by used as a general replacement for ἵνα, ὅστε, ὅπως, etc.?
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: Uses of ὡς

Postby Hylander » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:51 pm

1. ὡς acc. subst. -- "as (but not in fact)"
2. ὡς opt. -- reported speech (with διαβάλλει)
3. ὡς future participle -- purpose
4. ὡς past indict. -- temporal conj. "when"
5. ὡς opt. -- used like ὅπως in violation of normal Attic usage
6. ὡς superlative -- to strengthen it
7. ὡς present participle -- giving the reason

## 1, 2, 3 and 7 -- a representation of the state of mind or understanding or intention of an agent without necessarily indicating validation by the narrator (although I think they could be used to represent a past mental state or intention of the narrator).

One other use unrelated to any of the above: a preposition indicating travel "to" a person.

At the end of the LSJ article, there is an etymological note to the effect that the various uses of this word represent different etymologies.
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Re: Uses of ὡς

Postby mwh » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:42 am

And that’s just for starters. There’s also exclamatory use (ὡς πολλὰ ἐστίν “How many there are!"), and more.

You might find it helpful to break down uses like this:
ὡς used to introduce subordinate clauses, as 2 = ὅτι (ind.speech), 4 = ἐπεί “when," and 5 with subj./opt. (purpose)—sequence rules apply with all these;
ὡς with participles, as 3 & 7, lending a certain nuance to the participle (and making no difference to the construction);
and other uses, as 1 (cf. 3 & 7), and 6 (= ὅτι with superl.).
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Re: Uses of ὡς

Postby jeidsath » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:11 pm

Thank you both. To keep things apart practically, I'm going to try to think of what other words are (mostly) equivalent to a particular "ὡς" usage each time I come across it.

It almost seems that, like with prepositions and case, it's the construction that is the first class citizen, while the adverb/conjunction is there for flavor.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: Uses of ὡς

Postby Hylander » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:30 pm

It almost seems that, like with prepositions and case, it's the construction that is the first class citizen, while the adverb/conjunction is there for flavor.


I'm not sure I understand this.
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Re: Uses of ὡς

Postby Isaac Newton » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:10 am

jeidsath wrote:I have been spending time for the past few days back-translating English to Greek as an alternative to composition practice. I use the actual Greek as my model for all review. One thing that I'm noticing is all the different constructions that use ὡς in Xenophon.

On the first page of the Anabasis:

ὡς acc. subst. -- "as (but not in fact)"
ὡς opt. -- reported speech (with διαβάλλει)
ὡς future participle -- purpose
ὡς past indict. -- temporal conj. "when"
ὡς opt. -- used like ὅπως in violation of normal Attic usage
ὡς superlative -- to strengthen it
ὡς present participle -- giving the reason

Other than reading through the LSJ article on ὡς before breakfast every morning for a month, does anyone have some advice for helping me to get a handle on this? Can ὡς by used as a general replacement for ἵνα, ὅστε, ὅπως, etc.?


Another "use" of ὡς is .. as / also (to in fact be). Perhaps you had this use in mind when you wrote "ὡς superlative -- to strengthen it." Take a look at the following for instance:

καὶ ζητοῦντες αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι ἐφοβήθησαν τοὺς ὄχλους ἐπειδὴ ὡς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον


Matthew 21:46

καὶ θέλων αὐτὸν ἀποκτεῖναι ἐφοβήθη τὸν ὄχλον, ὅτι ὡς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον.


Matthew 14:5

Σκληροτράχηλοι καὶ ἀπερίτμητοι καρδίαις καὶ τοῖς ὠσίν, ὑμεῖς ἀεὶ τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ ἀντιπίπτετε, ὡς οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν καὶ ὑμεῖς.


Acts 7:51


Μήτι τὸ ὕδωρ δύναται κωλῦσαί τις τοῦ μὴ βαπτισθῆναι τούτους, οἵτινες τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον ἔλαβον ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς;


Acts 10:47


διότι γνόντες τὸν Θεὸν οὐχ ὡς Θεὸν ἐδόξασαν ἢ ηὐχαρίστησαν, ἀλλὰ ἐματαιώθησαν ἐν τοῖς διαλογισμοῖς αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ἡ ἀσύνετος αὐτῶν καρδία.


Romans 1:21

etc..
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν
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Re: Uses of ὡς

Postby jeidsath » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:52 pm

Thank you for all of the examples, Isaac.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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