• Ancient Greek I
  • First and Second Declension Adjectives and Common Adjectives and Pronouns

Module 20

First and Second Declension Adjectives and Common Adjectives and Pronouns: αὐτός, οὗτος, ὅδε, ἐκεῖνος, and -ων, -ουσα, -ον

© 2021 Philip S. Peek, CC BY 4.0 https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0264.24

Adjectives

Αdjectives describe nouns and pronouns. Consider this sentence:

Anyone lived in a pretty how town.

Pretty and how are adjectives describing the noun town.

Adjectives in Greek

Adjectives must agree with the noun they modify in gender, number, and case. Consider this clause:

As I pondered weak and weary.

Weak and weary are adjectives modifying the pronoun I. In Greek these adjectives will agree in gender, number, and case with the pronoun I.

First and Second Declension Adjectives

There are two types of first and second declension adjectives, adjectives of three endings and adjectives of two endings. All first and second declension adjectives use the same endings 1st and 2nd declension nouns use.

Adjectives of Three Endings

Masculine

Set 7

S

Pl

N

-ος

-οι

A

-ον

-ους

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

V

-ε

-οι

Feminine

Set 1 or

Set 2 (-ε, -ι, -ρ)*

S

Pl

S

Pl

N

-η

-αι

-

-αι

A

-ην

-ᾱς

-ᾱν

-ᾱς

G

-ης

-ῶν

-ᾱς

-ῶν

D

-

-αις

-ᾱͅ

-αις

V

-η

-αι

-

-αι

Neuter

Set 8

S

Pl

N

-ον

-α

A

-ον

-α

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

V

-ον

-α

Masculine

Set 7

S

Pl

N

-ος

-οι

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

A

-ον

-ους

V

-ε

-οι

Feminine

Set 1 or

Set 2 (-ε, -ι, -ρ)*

S

Pl

S

Pl

N

-η

-αι

-

-αι

G

-ης

-ῶν

-ᾱς

-ῶν

D

-

-αις

-ᾱͅ

-αις

A

-ην

-ᾱς

-ᾱν

-ᾱς

V

-η

-αι

-

-αι

Neuter

Set 8

S

Pl

N

-ον

-α

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

A

-ον

-α

V

-ον

-α

  1. *In the feminine singular use the --endings when the stem ends in -ε, -ι, -ρ.

χαλεπός, χαλεπή, χαλεπόν and ἄξιος, ἀξίᾱ, ἄξιον

Note that you have already memorized the endings.

Singular

M

F

N

N

χαλεπός

χαλεπή

χαλεπόν

A

χαλεπόν

χαλεπήν

χαλεπόν

G

χαλεποῦ

χαλεπῆς

χαλεποῦ

D

χαλεπῷ

χαλεπῇ

χαλεπῷ

V

χαλεπέ

χαλεπή

χαλεπόν

Plural

M

F

N

N

χαλεποί

χαλεπαί

χαλεπά

A

χαλεπούς

χαλεπάς

χαλεπά

G

χαλεπῶν

χαλεπῶν

χαλεπῶν

D

χαλεποῖς

χαλεπαῖς

χαλεποῖς

V

χαλεποί

χαλεπαί

χαλεπά

Singular

M

F

N

N

ἄξιος

ἀξίᾱ

ἄξιον

A

ἄξιον

ἀξίᾱν

ἄξιον

G

ἀξίου

ἀξίᾱς

ἀξίου

D

ἀξίῳ

ἀξίᾱͅ

ἀξίῳ

V

ἄξιε

ἀξίᾱ

ἄξιον

Plural

M

F

N

N

ἄξιοι

ἄξιαι

ἄξια

A

ἀξίους

ἀξίᾱς

ἄξια

G

ἀξίων

ἀξίων

ἀξίων

D

ἀξίοις

ἀξίαις

ἀξίοις

V

ἄξιοι

ἄξιαι

ἄξια

Singular

M

F

N

N

χαλεπός

χαλεπή

χαλεπόν

G

χαλεποῦ

χαλεπῆς

χαλεποῦ

D

χαλεπῷ

χαλεπῇ

χαλεπῷ

A

χαλεπόν

χαλεπήν

χαλεπόν

V

χαλεπέ

χαλεπή

χαλεπόν

Plural

M

F

N

N

χαλεποί

χαλεπαί

χαλεπά

G

χαλεπῶν

χαλεπῶν

χαλεπῶν

D

χαλεποῖς

χαλεπαῖς

χαλεποῖς

A

χαλεπούς

χαλεπάς

χαλεπά

V

χαλεποί

χαλεπαί

χαλεπά

Singular

M

F

N

N

ἄξιος

ἀξίᾱ

ἄξιον

G

ἀξίου

ἀξίᾱς

ἀξίου

D

ἀξίῳ

ἀξίᾱͅ

ἀξίῳ

A

ἄξιον

ἀξίᾱν

ἄξιον

V

ἄξιε

ἀξίᾱ

ἄξιον

Plural

M

F

N

N

ἄξιοι

ἄξιαι

ἄξια

G

ἀξίων

ἀξίων

ἀξίων

D

ἀξίοις

ἀξίαις

ἀξίοις

A

ἀξίους

ἀξίᾱς

ἄξια

V

ἄξιοι

ἄξιαι

ἄξια

  1. The accent is persistent and is given by the neuter nominative singular.
  2. When accented on the ultima, the genitive and dative, both singular and plural, take a circumflex.
  3. Final -οι and -αι count as short for purposes of accentuation except in the optative, a mood that you’ll learn in Part II of the 21st-Century series.
  4. The accent in the feminine genitive plural, unlike the genitive plural of first declension nouns, does NOT shift to a circumflex on the ultima.

Adjectives of Two Endings1

Note that the adjective endings for the masculine and feminine genders are identical.

Masculine/Feminine

Set 7

S

Pl

N

-ος

-οι

A

-ον

-ους

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

V

-ε

-οι

Neuter

Set 8

S

Pl

N

-ον

-α

A

-ον

-α

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

V

-ον

-α

Masculine/Feminine

Set 7

S

Pl

N

-ος

-οι

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

A

-ον

-ους

V

-ε

-οι

Neuter

Set 8

S

Pl

N

-ον

-α

G

-ου

-ων

D

-

-οις

A

-ον

-α

V

-ον

-α

ἄδικος, ἄδικον

Note that you have already memorized the endings.

Masculine/Feminine Singular

Neuter Singular

N

ἄδικος

ἄδικον

A

ἄδικον

ἄδικον

G

ἀδίκου

ἀδίκου

D

ἀδίκῳ

ἀδίκῳ

V

δικε

ἄδικον

Masculine/Feminine Plural

Neuter Plural

N

ἄδικοι

ἄδικα

A

ἀδίκους

ἄδικα

G

ἀδίκων

ἀδίκων

D

ἀδίκοις

ἀδίκοις

V

ἄδικοι

ἄδικα

Masculine/Feminine Singular

Neuter Singular

N

ἄδικος

ἄδικον

G

ἀδίκου

ἀδίκου

D

ἀδίκῳ

ἀδίκῳ

A

ἄδικον

ἄδικον

V

ἄδικε

ἄδικον

Masculine/Feminine Plural

Neuter Plural

N

ἄδικοι

ἄδικα

G

ἀδίκων

ἀδίκων

D

ἀδίκοις

ἀδίκοις

A

ἀδίκους

ἄδικα

V

ἄδικοι

ἄδικα

Mixed-Declension Adjectives

The masculine and neuter genders decline like nouns of sets 9 and 10. The feminine declines like short-alpha nouns of set 3, which you will learn in Module 21.

M

F

N

N

-ων

-ουσα

-ον

A

-οντα

-ουσαν

-ον

G

-οντος

-ουσης

-οντος

D

-οντι

-ουσῃ

-οντι

V

-ων

-ουσα

-ον

M

F

N

N

-οντες

-ουσαι

-οντα

A

-οντας

-ουσᾱς

-οντα

G

-οντων

-ουσῶν

-οντων

D

-ουσι (ν)

-ουσαις

-ουσι (ν)

V

-οντες

-ουσαι

-οντα

M

F

N

N

-ων

-ουσα

-ον

G

-οντος

-ουσης

-οντος

D

-οντι

-ουσῃ

-οντι

A

-οντα

-ουσαν

-ον

V

-ων

-ουσα

-ον

M

F

N

N

-οντες

-ουσαι

-οντα

G

-οντων

-ουσῶν

-οντων

D

-ουσι (ν)

-ουσαις

-ουσι (ν)

A

-οντας

-ουσᾱς

-οντα

V

-οντες

-ουσαι

-οντα

  1. Add these endings to the stems of the first and second principal parts of ω-verbs. When you add them to the stem of these principal parts, you have created an adjective.
  2. Note that technically these forms are participles, which are defined as verbal adjectives. For now treat these forms like any other adjective, making sure that you know what noun the participle agrees with in gender, case, and number; or supplying a noun based on the participle’s gender and number; or supplying a noun from context for the participle to modify. In Part I of the 21st-Century series, participles are glossed like so, ἄρχων, ἄρχοντος ὁ ruling; ἄρχουσα, ἀρχούσης ἡ ruling; ἄρχον, ἄρχοντος τό ruling.
  3. The letter nu ν, in the masculine and neuter dative plural is a nu-movable. It may be added to the ending when the following word begins with a vowel or at the end of clauses or verses. Otherwise it is left off.
  4. Τhe forms of the participle of εἰμί, ὤν, οὖσα, ὄν being, are the same as the above but with accents and breathings present.
  5. The dative plural -ουσι (ν) is a contraction of -οντ- + -σι (ν), where the nu and the tau drop out and omicron lengthens to a spurious diphthong ου.

Practice with Adjective and Noun Agreement. Using the adjective καλός, -ή, -όν, pick the form that agrees in gender, case, and number with the nouns below. In order to complete the exercise correctly, you need to identify the right gender, number, and case of each noun. Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

  1. γραῦς
  2. πόλιν
  3. ἀνδρί
  4. γυναικός
  5. παῖς
  6. χρήμασι (ν)
  7. ὁδῷ
  8. πράγματος
  9. μητέρες
  10. πατέρας

Vocabulary

ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός

παῖς, παιδός

γραῦς, γραός

πατήρ, πατρός

γυνή, γυναικός

πόλις, πόλιος

μήτηρ, μητρός

πρᾶγμα, πράγματος τό

ὁδός, ὁδοῦ

χρῆμα, χρήματος τό

Substantive Adjectives

Sometimes the noun the adjective modifies is not present. If no noun is present, then do one of these three things:

1.

supply it based upon the gender and number of the adjective:

a.

καλός the good (man)

οἱ καλοί the good (men)

b.

καλή the good (woman)

αἱ καλαί the good (women)

c.

τὸ καλόν the good (thing)

τὰ καλά the good (things)

2.

supply the appropriate noun from context:

In a conversation between Jason and Medea, Jason tells her that she only has herself to blame: αὐτὴ τάδʼ αἱρέῃ you yourself chose these things. Medea responds with these words,

τί δράουσα;

By doing what?

Context makes clear that we are to supply an ἐγώ, which refers to the person speaking, Medea.

3.

leave the noun understood: οἱ καλοί the good; αἱ καλαί the good; τὰ καλά the good.

Practice Translating Substantive Adjectives I. For each of the below, supply the noun based upon the gender and number of the adjective. Check your translations with the answers found below.

  1. τὰ καλά
  2. τὰ κακά
  3. οἱ ριστοι
  4. αἱ σοφαί
  5. ξένος
  6. πρώτη
  7. τὸ χαλεπόν
  8. θεραπευτική
  9. τὰ κενά
  10. οἱ χαλεποί

Vocabulary

ἄριστος, ἀρίστη, ἄριστον best

θεραπευτικός, θεραπευτική, θεραπευτικόν inclined to serve or take care of + gen.; courteous; therapeutic, healing

*κακός, κακή, κακόν bad, evil, cowardly

*καλός, καλή, καλόν beautiful, good, noble

κενός, κενή, κενόν empty, free of + gen.

ξένος, ξένη, ξένον foreign, strange

*πρῶτος, πρώτη, πρῶτον first, for the present, just now

σοφός, σοφή, σοφόν wise

χαλεπός, χαλεπή, χαλεπόν difficult, harsh

Answers.

  1. The good things
  2. The bad things
  3. The best men
  4. The wise women
  5. The stranger
  6. The first woman
  7. The difficult thing
  8. The healing woman
  9. The empty things
  10. The difficult men

Practice Translating Substantive Adjectives II. Translate each of the sentences below. Make sure that you understand why each word is translated as it is. Once you have finished, check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key. Read through the sentences at least two more times, solidifying your understanding of the meaning of each.

  1. ἀθάνατός ἐστι καλὴ ψυχήν.
  2. καλά ἐστι τὰ χαλεπά.
  3. τοῖς σοφοῖς οἱ φίλοι εἰσὶ ἄριστοι.
  4. οὐ ξένα ἐστὶ τὰ τῶν φίλων.
  5. λόγος γάρ ἐστι ἔργου κενόν.
  6. τοῖς βροτοῖς χρόνος ἐστὶ θεραπευτικὸς τῶν πάντων.

Vocabulary

ἀθάνατος, -ον immortal, undying

*καλός, καλή, καλόν beautiful, good, noble

*ἄνθρωπος, ἀνθρώπου human, person

κενός, κενή, κενόν empty, free of + gen.

ἄριστος, ἀρίστη, ἄριστον best

*λόγος, λόγου word, speech, story; reason, account

βροτοί, βροτῶν οἱ mortals

ξένος, ξένη, ξένον foreign, strange

*ἔργον, ἔργου τό deed, task, work; building; ἔργον in truth, in deed

*πάντα, πάντων τά everything

*ἐστί (ν) he is; she is; it is; there is, it is possible

σοφός, σοφή, σοφόν wise

θεραπευτικός, θεραπευτική, θεραπευτικόν inclined to serve or take care of + gen.; courteous; therapeutic, healing

*φίλος, φίλου friend

*χρόνος, χρόνου time

χαλεπός, χαλεπή, χαλεπόν difficult, harsh

*ψυχή, ψυχῆς soul

Common Adjectives and Pronouns

Below are four common adjectives and pronouns. Each can be either an adjective or a pronoun, depending upon its function in context. Though there are minor differences you need to note, you have already memorized the endings that occur on most forms below.

αὐτός, αὐτή, αὐτό

Singular

M

F

N

N

αὐτός

αὐτή

αὐτό

A

αὐτόν

αὐτήν

αὐτό

G

αὐτοῦ

αὐτῆς

αὐτοῦ

D

αὐτῷ

αὐτῇ

αὐτῷ

Plural

M

F

N

N

αὐτοί

αὐταί

αὐτά

A

αὐτούς

αὐτάς

αὐτά

G

αὐτῶν

αὐτῶν

αὐτῶν

D

αὐτοῖς

αὐταῖς

αὐτοῖς

Singular

M

F

N

N

αὐτός

αὐτή

αὐτό

G

αὐτοῦ

αὐτῆς

αὐτοῦ

D

αὐτῷ

αὐτῇ

αὐτῷ

A

αὐτόν

αὐτήν

αὐτό

Plural

M

F

N

N

αὐτοί

αὐταί

αὐτά

G

αὐτῶν

αὐτῶν

αὐτῶν

D

αὐτοῖς

αὐταῖς

αὐτοῖς

A

αὐτούς

αὐτάς

αὐτά

  1. As an adjective in the attributive position, it means same: αὐτὸς ἄνθρωπος, the same man; αὐτή the same woman; τὸ αὐτό the same thing.
  2. In the predicate position or when standing alone in the nominative, it means –self: ἄνθρωπος αὐτός ὁράει, the man himself sees and αὐτὴ ὁράει, she herself sees.
  3. In all cases except for the nominative and vocative, it functions as the third person pronoun, just as the pronouns he, she, it, they, do in English: αὐτοὺς εἶδον, I saw them.
  4. Except for αὐτό missing a nu, αὐτός, αὐτή, αὐτό declines like a regular first and second declension three ending adjective.
  5. The neuter nominative and accusative, both in the singular and in the plural, are the same.
  6. τὰ αὐτά (ταὐτά) means the same things.

οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο

Singular

M

F

N

N

οὗτος

αὕτη

τοῦτο

A

τοῦτον

ταύτην

τοῦτο

G

τούτου

ταύτης

τούτου

D

τούτῳ

ταύτῃ

τούτῳ

Plural

M

F

N

N

οὗτοι

αὗται

ταῦτα

A

τούτους

ταύτας

ταῦτα

G

τούτων

τούτων

τούτων

D

τούτοις

ταύταις

τούτοις

Singular

M

F

N

N

οὗτος

αὕτη

τοῦτο

G

τούτου

ταύτης

τούτου

D

τούτῳ

ταύτῃ

τούτῳ

A

τοῦτον

ταύτην

τοῦτο

Plural

M

F

N

N

οὗτοι

αὗται

ταῦτα

G

τούτων

τούτων

τούτων

D

τούτοις

ταύταις

τούτοις

A

τούτους

ταύτας

ταῦτα

  1. When an adjective, it is placed in predicate position: οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος this man and αὗται αἱ κῶμαι these villages.
  2. As a pronoun it means he, she, it, they: πέμπω ταύτην I send her.
  3. Except for τοῦτο’s missing a nu, οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο declines like a regular first and second declension adjective.
  4. The neuter nominative and accusative, both in the singular and in the plural, are the same.
  5. The stem of the neuter nominative and accusative plural is ταυτ- not the expected ταύτων.
  6. The feminine genitive plural is τούτων, NOT the expected ταύτων.
  7. οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο often looks back to what was just said: ταῦτα οὕτω ἔλεξε she said the previous was so.

ἐκεῖνος, ἐκείνη, ἐκεῖνο

Singular

M

F

N

N

ἐκεῖνος

ἐκείνη

ἐκεῖνο

A

ἐκεῖνον

ἐκείνην

ἐκεῖνο

G

ἐκείνου

ἐκείνης

ἐκείνου

D

ἐκείνῳ

ἐκείνῃ

ἐκείνῳ

Plural

M

F

N

N

ἐκεῖνοι

ἐκεῖναι

ἐκεῖνα

A

ἐκείνους

ἐκείνας

ἐκεῖνα

G

ἐκείνων

ἐκείνων

ἐκείνων

D

ἐκείνοις

ἐκείναις

ἐκείνοις

Singular

M

F

N

N

ἐκεῖνος

ἐκείνη

ἐκεῖνο

G

ἐκείνου

ἐκείνης

ἐκείνου

D

ἐκείνῳ

ἐκείνῃ

ἐκείνῳ

A

ἐκεῖνον

ἐκείνην

ἐκεῖνο

Plural

M

F

N

N

ἐκεῖνοι

ἐκεῖναι

ἐκεῖνα

G

ἐκείνων

ἐκείνων

ἐκείνων

D

ἐκείνοις

ἐκείναις

ἐκείνοις

A

ἐκείνους

ἐκείνας

ἐκεῖνα

  1. When an adjective, it is placed in predicate position: ἐκεῖνος ἄνθρωπος that man and ἐκεῖναι αἱ κῶμαι those villages.
  2. As a pronoun it means he, she, it, they: πέμπω ἐκείνην I send her.
  3. Except for ἐκεῖνο’s missing a nu, ἐκεῖνος, ἐκείνη, ἐκεῖνο declines like a regular first and second declension adjective.
  4. The neuter nominative and accusative, both in the singular and in the plural, are the same.

ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε

Singular

M

F

N

N

ὅδε

ἥδε

τόδε

A

τόνδε

τήνδε

τόδε

G

τοῦδε

τῆσδε

τοῦδε

D

τῷδε

τῇδε

τῷδε

Plural

M

F

N

N

οἵδε

αἵδε

τάδε

A

τούσδε

τάσδε

τάδε

G

τῶνδε

τῶνδε

τῶνδε

D

τοῖσδε

ταῖσδε

τοῖσδε

Singular

M

F

N

N

ὅδε

ἥδε

τόδε

G

τοῦδε

τῆσδε

τοῦδε

D

τῷδε

τῇδε

τῷδε

A

τόνδε

τήνδε

τόδε

Plural

M

F

N

N

οἵδε

αἵδε

τάδε

G

τῶνδε

τῶνδε

τῶνδε

D

τοῖσδε

ταῖσδε

τοῖσδε

A

τούσδε

τάσδε

τάδε

  1. ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε is the article, , , τό, with -δε added to it.
  2. When functioning as an adjective, ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε is placed in predicate position: ὅδε ἄνθρωπος this man, αἵδε αἱ κῶμαι, these villages.
  3. As a pronoun it means he, she, it, they: πέμπω τούσδε, I send them.
  4. The neuter nominative and accusative, both in the singular and in the plural, are the same.
  5. ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε often times looks forward to what comes next: τάδε λέξω I will say the following.

Practice Translating Pronouns and Adjectives. Translate the below. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key, making sure that you understand why each word translates as it does. Now go back and read each sentence two or three times, noticing with each rereading how much better your understanding of the sentence becomes. Make this a habit and you will improve quickly.

  1. πέμπομεν τάδε τὰ θηρία ἐκείνῃ.
  2. οὗτος μὲν στρατηγὸς ἐθέλει χρήματα. ἐκεῖνος δὲ δύναμιν.
  3. πέμπετε τάδε ἐκείνοις.
  4. ἐκεῖνοι ἐθέλουσι τοῦτο τ ὕδωρ.
  5. ἐκεῖναι φεύγουσι τὸν τύραννον.
  6. ἐκεῖνος κρείττων ἐστὶ οὗτος.
  7. ἥδε πέμπει τὰ ἅπαντα δῶρα ἐκείνῃ.
  8. αὐτὴ γραῦς πέμπει τούτους.
  9. γραῦς αὐτὴ πέμπει τούτους.
  10. πέμπουσιν αὐτὸν αὐτῇ.

Vocabulary

*ἅπας, ἅπασα, ἅπαν all, each, every, whole

*πέμπω, πέμψω send

γραῦς, γραός old woman

*στρατηγός, στρατηγοῦ general

*δύναμις, δυνάμιος (δυνάμηος, δυνάμεως) might, strength, power; force, army

τύραννος, τυράννου tyrant

δῶρον, δώρου τό gift

ὕδωρ, ὕδατος τό water

*ἐθέλω, ἐθελήσω wish, be willing

*φεύγω, φεύξομαι flee

θηρίον, θηρίου τό wild animal

*χρῆμα, χρήματος τό thing; (pl.) goods, money, property

κρείττων, κρεῖττον better, stronger, greater

Medea

The character of Medea (Μήδεια) was a subject of great interest to the ancient Greeks and their artists. She was not a Greek but was born in Kolkhis at the eastern extremity of the Black Sea. Her father Aietes, Αἰήτης, a sorcerer and son of Helios, was king of Kolkhis and the keeper of the golden fleece. To Medea and Kolkhis came Jason with the Argonauts, in the Argo, the first ship, to get the fleece so that he could take over as king of Iolkos. According to one version of the story, upon his arrival Medea fell in love with him, betraying her family when she helped him win the golden fleece and escape. In their flight, Medea killed her brother, Apsyrtos, and spread the chopped-up pieces of him over the sea so that her father’s ship would be delayed in collecting the body parts. Medea and Jason settled in Iolkos—Jason’s hereditary land. Although Jason returned with the fleece as demanded, Jason’s uncle Pelias, still cheated him of his right to the kingship. In revenge Medea persuaded Pelias’ daughters to kill their father by tricking them into thinking that they were rejuvenating—not killing—him. Jason and Medea, along with their two to fourteen children, were exiled from Iolkos and took up residence in Corinth where Jason would abandon his wife Medea, to marry King Kreon’s daughter.

Many myths had variant accounts of Medea’s life. In other versions of the Medea myth, Aietes was warned by an oracle that a stranger would kill him and steal the golden fleece. To protect himself, Aietes decreed that all foreigners were to be sacrificed to Artemis and installed his daughter Medea as the priestess of the cult. Medea opposed the cruelty of human sacrifice and secretly used her position to rescue as many Greeks as she could. Her father found her out and so she sought asylum in the temple of Helios, her ancestor and family god. Here the Argonauts found her. She joined them. The Argonauts fought the Kolkhians and in the battle Aietes was killed. In another version Medea willingly performed the killing of foreigners until Jason arrived. As she was about to kill him, Eros or Aphrodite intervened to save him. In another version, Jason sailed to Kolkhis to get the golden fleece. To assist him, Aphrodite gave him her iynx—a love charm with which he could take away Medea’s respect for her parents and win her love.

There are at least four different endings to the story of Medea. Euripides may be the one who invented the version found in his play, Medea. In Euripides’ play, Medea kills her children so as to obtain revenge on her husband Jason’s infidelity and to prevent anyone else from killing them. In another version the play ends with Medea’s killing Kreon and his daughter, the princess and Jason’s new bride. In a third, the play ends with Jason and Medea’s marriage. And finally, a fourth ends with Jason’s abduction of Medea from Kolkhis. When considering myth, be aware that the writers were free to reinvent and retell the stories as suited their fancy and needs.

Practice Translating. Translate the sentences below, which have been adapted from Euripides’ Medea (Μήδεια). Remember the meanings and functions of the cases presented in Module 7. Use your memory to identify endings and their functions. If you forget an ending or a function, consult the Adjective, Adverb, Noun, and Pronoun Chart in Appendix VIII and the Case and Function Chart in Appendix I. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key, making sure that you understand why each word translates as it does. Now go back and read each sentence two or three times, noticing with each rereading how much better your understanding of the sentence becomes. Make this a habit and you will improve quickly.

Ἰάσων: καλῶς γε τῷ ὑπηρετήσεις λόγ, εἰ σοι γάμον καταλέγω; σὺ οὐδὲ νῦν τολμάεις μεθιέναι καρδίας μέγαν χόλον.

Μήδεια: οὐ σὲ τοῦτ’ ἔχειἀλλὰ βάρβαρον λέχος πρὸς γῆρας οὐκ εὔδοξον ἐκβήσεταί σοι.

5

Ἰάσων: εὖ νυν τόδʼ οἶσθα· μ γυναικὸς ἕνεκα ἐγὼ γαμέω κόρην βασιλέων. αὐτὴν νῦν ἔχω, ὅτι, ὥσπερ πολλὰ σοὶ λέγω, σῴζειν θέλων σ καὶ τέκνοις τοῖς ἐμοῖς ὁμοσπόρους φύειν τυράννους παῖδας, ἔρυμα δώμασιν.

Μήδεια: πολὺ οὐ βούλομαί μοι λυπρὸν εὐδαίμονα βίον ἔχειν μήδὄλβον εἰ αὐτὸς τὴν ἐμὴν κνίζει φρένα.

10

Ἰάσων: οἶσθα μετεύχεσθαι καὶ σοφωτέρα φαίνεσθαι; δεῖ γὰρ τὰ χρηστὰ μή σοι λυπρὰ φαίνεσθαί ποτε καὶ δεῖ σέ, εὐτυχέουσαν, μὴ δυστυχέα εἶναι δοκέειν.

Μήδεια: ἔστι σοί με ὑβρίζεινἐπειδὴ σο μὲν ἔστʼ ἀποστροφή, ἐγὼ δἔρημος τὴν φεύξομαι χθόνα.

Ἰάσων: αὐτὴ τάδʼ αἱρέῃ· δεῖ μηδένʼ ἄλλον αἰτιόεσθαί σε.

15

Μήδεια: τί δράουσα; ἄλλον γαμέω καὶ προδίδωμί σε;

Ἰάσων: οὔτοι πότε ἀρὰς τυράννοις ἀνοσίους ἀράει;

Μήδεια: καὶ σοῖς ἀραία γʼ εἶναι δοκέω δόμοις.

Adverbs and Verbs

*αἱρέω, αἱρήσω take, seize, grab, capture; (mid.) choose

μωραίνω, μωρανέω be silly, be foolish

αἰτιάομαι, αἰτιάσομαι accuse, censure, blame; allege as cause

νυν now

ἀράομαι, ἀράσομαι pray

*οἶδα know, think; know how to + inf.

*βούλομαι, βουλήσομαι want, prefer; wish, be willing

οὔτοι πότε never indeed

γαμέω, γαμέω or γαμήσω, marry; (mid.) give in marriage, marry (a man)

πολύ very

*δεῖ it is necessary + ‘x’ in gen. or dat. or acc. + inf., δεῖ ἐλθεῖν it is necessary to come

πότε see οὔτοι πότε

*δοκέω, δόξω seem, think; seem best, think best + inf.

προδίδωμι, -δώσω betray, abandon, give up (to an enemy)

ἐκβαίνω, ἐκβήσομαι step out of; turn out, come out

σῴζω, σώσω save, keep; keep safe

*ἔστι it is possible

τολμάω (τολμέω), τολμήσω dare, be daring, undertake + inf.

*ἔχω, ἕξω or σχήσω have, hold; be able + inf.; καλῶς ἔχειν to be well

ὑβρίζω, ὑβριέω treat violently, outrage, insult; act excessively

καταγορεύω, καταγορεύσω tell, announce; denounce, accuse

ὑπηρετέω, ὑπηρετήσω serve as a rower; minister to, serve + dat.

κνίζω, κνίσω scrape, gash, scratch; pound; grate; tickle; tease; provoke

*φαίνω, φανέω show, reveal; (pass.) come to light, appear

*λέγω, λέξω or ἐρέω say, tell, speak

*φεύγω, φεύξομαι flee, take flight; avoid, escape; be in exile, live in banishment; be a defendant

μεθιέναι to let go, to release

φύω, φύσω bring forth; beget; produce, put forth; grow

μετεύχομαι, μετεύξομαι change one’s wish

Adjectives, Nouns, Pronouns

*ἄλλος, ἄλλη, ἄλλο another, other

being successful, prospering

ἀνόσιος, ἀνόσιον unholy, profane

*θέλων, θέλοντος wishing, willing

ἀποστροφή, ἀποστροφῆς turning back or away; escape, refuge

καρδίακαρδίας  heart

ἀρά, ἀρᾶς curses

κόρη, κόρης girl; daughter

ἀραῖα, ἀραία, ἀραῖον prayed to; accursed

λέκτρον, λέκτρου τό couch, bed, marriage-bed

βάρβαρος, βαρβάρου barbarian

λέχος, λέχεος (-ους) τό bed, marriage-bed

*βασιλεύς, βασιλῆος (βασιλέως) king, chief

*λόγος, λόγου word, speech, story; reason, account

*βίος, βίου life

λυπρός, λυπρά, λυπρόν wretched, poor, sorry

γάμος, γάμου wedding, marriage

*μέγας, μεγάλου big

γῆρας, γήραος τό old age

ὄλβος, ὄλβου happiness, bliss; wealth

*γυνή, γυναικός woman, wife

ὁμόσπορος, ὁμόσπορον related

δράουσα, δραούσης doing, accomplishing, acting

*παῖς, παιδός child

δυστυχής, δυστυχέος (-οῦς) unlucky, unfortunate

σοφωτέρα, σοφωτέρας wiser

δῶμα, δώματος τό house

τέκνον, τέκνου τό child

*ἐμός, ἐμή, ἐμόν my

τύραννος, τυράννου tyrant

ἔρημος, ἐρήμη, ἔρημον (-ος, -ον) empty; deserted; devoid of + gen.

φρήν, φρενός midriff, heart; mind

ἔρυμα, ἐρύματος τό fence, guard, safeguard

χθών, χθονός earth, ground

εὐδαίμων, εὐδαίμονος fortunate, wealthy, happy

χόλος,χόλου gall, bile, anger, wrath

εὔδοξος, εὔδοξον of good repute, honored, famous, glorious

χρηστά, χρηστῶν τά useful, good, honest, worthy

εὐτυχέουσα, εὐτυχεούσης

  1. The asterisk indicates the top 250 most frequently occurring vocabulary, which you are to memorize.

Practice Parsing Greek Sentences. Parse each word of the sentence found below. For nouns and pronouns, give case and function. For verbs, give person, number, tense, mood, and voice. For adverbs and conjunctions, identify them. For prepositional phrases, give the preposition and the preposition’s object. For adjectives, specify the noun they agree with in gender, number, and case.

αὐτὴ τάδʼ αἱρέῃ· δεῖ μηδένʼ ἄλλον αἰτιόεσθαί σε.

Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

Module 20 Top 250 Vocabulary to be Memorized. Like learning the alphabet and endings, memorizing vocabulary is essential to acquiring language. The better you memorize the top 250 most frequently occurring vocabulary words, the greater mastery of the language you will have.

Adjectives and Pronouns

ἄλλος, ἄλλη, ἄλλο another, other

αὐτός, αὐτή, αὐτό he, she, it; -self (pred.); same (att.) often + dative

ἐκεῖνος, ἐκείνη, ἐκεῖνο (κεῖνος, κείνη, κεῖνο) that, those; he, she, it, they

ἐμός, ἐμή, ἐμόν my

ἕτερος, ἑτέρᾱ, ἕτερον other, another

ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε he, she, it; this, these

ὅσος, ὅση, ὅσον so many, as many as

οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο he, she, it; this, these

τοιοῦτος, τοιαύτη, τοιοῦτο of such a kind or sort


1 Many of these start with alpha privative, equivalent to the English prefixes -un and -in, when -in negates the adjectival stem: ἄδικος, ἄδικον unjust; ἀθάνατος, ἀθάνατον immortal; ἄθεος, ἄθεον atheist.

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