This is not a hermeneutics question, but rather, a Greek grammar question inspired by a verse from the Bible. Adverbial clauses are common to English, Ancient Greek, and Latin, and I believe there is an adverbial clause in this verse. My question is: how common is it for an accusative noun to stand on its own with a modifying participle, inside an adverbial clause?

(Eph. 1:16) οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου,

I do not cease giving thanks for you, a remembrance being made in my prayers,

In the above verse from Ephesians, the clause μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου seems to be adverbial, as it modifies the action of the previous clause. It describes how he is giving thanks, by making a remembrance in his prayers.

You can see that the noun μνείαν ("remembrance") is in the accusative, which strikes me as interesting. It is this observation which prompted me to ask my question, of how common it is to find an accusative noun introducing an adverbial dependent clause.

I would be interested in the feedback of any Greek scholars here, or any Latin scholars who find a parallel in the Latin language. I have not encountered examples like this of adverbial clauses, but perhaps you have in your readings of Attic Greek, Koine Greek, or Latin.

I am also tempted to call it an a.c.p — accusativus cum participio. Is there such a thing!?


1 Answer 1


Ephesians 1:16: οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν (ὑμῶν) ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου. (The second ὑμῶν is missing in the best Mss.)

The Vulgata has: non cesso gratias agens pro vobis, memoriam vestri faciens in orationibus meis.

KJV: [I] cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers (continuing the first-person construction in the previous verse).

The participle of a transitive verb can of course take a direct object in the accusative case. Here, μνείαν is the direct object of the middle participle ποιούμενος. Greek often uses the middle voice of the verb ποιέω followed by a deverbal noun to paraphrase the underlying verb; in this case μνείαν ποιούμενος is literally “making for myself memory”, for “remembering”.

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    Oh, I see. I took ποιούμενος to be passive, not middle. I thought of it more as an adjective agreeing with the noun μνείαν (i.e. "a remembrance being made") instead of a middle verb taking a direct object ("making for myself memory"). I see how the Greek phrase μνείαν ποιούμενος is paraphrasing the sense of "remembering". Interesting to learn that this is a common Greek construction. Thank you for your good answer!
    – ktm5124
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 19:34
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    μνείαν is accusative sing., ποιούμενος is nominative sing., so they do not agree.
    – fdb
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 20:21
  • 1
    Right! I noticed that after your answer. But it escaped my attention before.
    – ktm5124
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 20:23

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