Combining Linguistics, Paleography and Papyrology: The Use of the Prepositions eis, prós and epí in Greek Papyri

in Postclassical Greek

Abstract

The prepositions eis, prós and epí alternate with the plain dative case to express an animate goal of motion and transfer verbs in Greek. The preposition eis ‘to’ is commonly used for inanimate goals and to express ‘on account of what/whom’ a payment is made, prós ‘to’ is used for the transfer of an animate object to an animate goal and epí ‘for’ to express a special purpose of sending for someone. Exceptions to these general tendencies merit closer examination of the paleographical and linguistic context. In this paper, I provide several new interpretations, translations and readings of exceptional usages of these prepositions in Greek documentary papyri from Egypt.

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