As far as I know, the nature of man could be translated in at least two ways in Attic Greek:

  1. ἡ φῠ́σῐς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου

  2. ἡ τοῦ φῠ́σῐς ἀνθρώπου

The second version seems to have been more idiomatic in Ancient Greek; so my question is whether or not this is true; and also if both versions are grammatically correct.

  • 5
    Are you sure about the second one? I don't recall seeing that. I would perhaps write ἡ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου φῠ́σῐς.
    – Cerberus
    Jul 1, 2017 at 13:00
  • 2
    Agreed, ἡ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου φῠ́σῐς is also possible, but not ἡ τοῦ φῠ́σῐς ἀνθρώπου. TLG is down for me right now but I'll check it later and see which was more common, though I suspect the first.
    – cmw
    Jul 1, 2017 at 13:20
  • And in .1. isn't the definite article repeated? ἡ φῠ́σῐς ἡ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
    – Hugh
    Jul 1, 2017 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


As an ancient Greek teacher I can tell you that the sentence #1 is correct. But #2 although it is grammatically correct, it's syntax is not. The sentence that would be the best translation in Attic is the ἡ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου φῠ́σῐς (it's grammar AND syntax are both correct and also sounds better).

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