Confer exempla haec:

Vinctus pedes senator fugere non potuit.

Augustus multos annos regnans rem publicam sibi subiecit.

Accusativus Graecus a Graecis esse dicitur. Discentes linguam Graecam accusativum similem quidem invenimus, cui nomen accusativus respectus. Nonne conexio ea iusta est?

Accusativus temporis quoque dici potest notare quendam respectum alicuius adiectivi aut participii, scilicet respectum temporis.

Estne hic accusativus ullo modo conexus illi Graeco? An habet utraque constructio omnino discretam historiam linguisticam?

Interesse nostra potest Germanos quoque quodam accusativo temporis uti:

Jeden Tag erklärte Cato im Senatsgebäude: „Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.“

English summary: is the accusativus graecus in any way related to the temporal accusative? It could be argued that both express an aspect of something.


1 Answer 1


Tibi Anglige respondeo, quo facilior responsus meus sit lectu ceteris.

Latin has an ablativus respectus construction. An example is given my Latin sentence above: there 'lectu' means "from the point of view of reading".

Greek has essentially the same construction, but it uses accusative instead (there is no ablative in Greek). This construction often goes by the name accusativus respectus in Greek grammar.

This structure was occasionally borrowed from Greek to Latin. Grammatically a more descriptive name would be "accusativus respectus" since it does the exact same thing as the original Latin construction with ablative. The name "accusativus Graecus" refers to the fact that the construction is "Greek style". The freedom to choose accusative or ablative can be convenient in poetry, but more importantly the Greek accusative makes a reference to Greek language and culture. In some cases this might be desirable to make the expression sound more noble than everyday Latin.

I see no connection between the Greek accusative and the temporal accusative. The Greek one was borrowed from Greek as explained above but the temporal accusative is originally Latin.

This is how I learned these constructions, but unfortunately I cannot give a reference. (And if I could, it would probably be a book in Finnish.)

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