ἐπί

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See also: επί, επι-, and ἐπι-

Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the Proto-Indo-European *h₁epi. Cognate with Sanskrit अपि ‎(ápi), Avestan 𐬀𐬌𐬞𐬌 ‎(aipi), Old Persian [script needed] ‎(apiy), Old Armenian եւ ‎(ew), the Latin ob, and Old English (English by).

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Preposition[edit]

ἐπῐ́ ‎(epí)

  1. (with genitive)
    1. on, upon (on the upper surface of)
      καθέζεται ἐπὶ θρόνου.
      kathézetai epì thrónou.
      He sits down on the throne.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 1.46
        ἔκλαγξαν δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὀϊστοὶ ἐπ᾽ ὤμων χωομένοιο
        The arrows rattled on the shoulders of the angry god as he moved.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 24.356
        ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε δὴ φεύγωμεν ἐφ᾽ ἵππων
        Come, let us flee on our chariot.
    2. on (supported by)
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 10.153
        ἔγχεα δέ σφιν ὄρθ᾽ ἐπὶ σαυρωτῆρος ἐλήλατο
        But their spears were driven into the ground erect on their spikes.
    3. (mostly post-Homeric) in
      • 406 BCE, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 1705
        ἇς ἔχρῃζε γᾶς ἐπὶ ξένας ἔθανε
        He died on the foreign ground that he desired.
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 2.121E.2
        τὴν θυγατέρα τὴν ἑωυτοῦ κατίσαι ἐπ᾽ οἰκήματος
        He put his own daughter in a brothel.
    4. at, near
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 22.153
        ἔνθα δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτάων πλυνοὶ εὐρέες ἐγγὺς ἔασι καλοὶ λαΐνεοι
        And there near these selfsame [springs] are broad washing-tanks, fair and wrought of stone.
    5. (of ships) at (dependent upon)
      ὁρμεῖν ἐπ᾽ ἀγκύρας
      hormeîn ep᾽ ankúras
      to ride at anchor
    6. (with reflexive or personal pronoun) by oneself
      ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτῶν ἐχώρουν
      eph᾽ heautôn ekhṓroun
      They proceeded by themselves.
    7. (with numerals, of a body of soldiers) deep
      ἐτάχθησαν ἐπὶ τεττάρων
      etákhthēsan epì tettárōn
      They formed a line four men deep.
      • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Hellenica 6.4.12
        οἱ δὲ Θηβαῖοι οὐκ ἔλαττον ἢ ἐπὶ πεντήκοντα ἀσπίδων συνεστραμμένοι ἦσαν
        The Thebans, however, were massed not less than fifty shields deep.
    8. (with a person) before (in the presence of)
      • 480 BCE – 411 BCE, Antiphon of Rhamnus, First Tetralogy 3.8
        οὐ γὰρ ἐπὶ μαρτύρων ἀλλὰ κρυπτόμενα πράσσεται τὰ τοιαῦτα
        Crimes of this kind are committed in secret, not before witnesses.
    9. in the case of; on
      ἐπὶ τῶν πλουσίων ... αἰσθάνομαι
      epì tôn plousíōn ... aisthánomai
      In the case of the rich, I can see that...
      • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Memorabilia 3.9.3
        ὁρῶ δ᾽ ἔγωγε καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων πάντων ὁμοίως καὶ φύσει διαφέροντας ἀλλήλων τοὺς ἀνθρώπους
        And similarly in all other points, I find that human beings naturally differ from one another.
    10. in the time of
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 23.332
        τό γε νύσσα τέτυκτο ἐπὶ προτέρων ἀνθρώπων, καὶ νῦν τέρματ᾽ ἔθηκε ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς
        Haply it was made the turning-post of a race in the days of men of old, and now swift-footed goodly Achilles has appointed it his turning-post.
    11. (of authority, power, etc.) in
      οἰ έπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων
      oi épì tôn pragmátōn
      the [men] in power
      • 46 CE – 120 CE, Plutarch, Phocion 32.3
        Δερκύλλου δὲ τοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς χώρας στρατηγοῦ συλλαβεῖν αὐτὸν ἐπιχειρήσαντος
        But Dercyllus, the Athenian general in command of the district, made an attempt to arrest him.
    12. on (an occasion)
      • 361 BCE, Demosthenes, Against Midias 38
        καὶ οὐκ ἐπὶ τούτου μόνον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ πάντων φαίνεται προῃρημένος μ᾽ ὑβρίζειν
        And not only on that, but on every [occasion] he has shown a deliberate intention to insult me.
  2. (with dative)
    1. on, upon
      καθέζεται ἐπὶ θρόνῳ.
      kathézetai epì thrónōi.
      He sits down on the throne.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 6.354
        ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε νῦν εἴσελθε καὶ ἕζεο τῷδ᾽ ἐπὶ δίφρῳ
        But come now, enter in, and sit thee upon this chair.
      • 408 BCE, Euripides, The Phoenician Women 1131
        σιδηρονώτοις δ᾽ ἀσπίδος τύποις ἐπῆν γίγας ἐπ᾽ ὤμοις γηγενὴς ὅλην πόλιν φέρων μοχλοῖσιν ἐξανασπάσας βάθρων
        This device his shield bore upon its iron back: an earth-born giant carrying on his shoulders a whole city which he had wrenched from its base.
    2. in
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 5.77.2
        νικήσαντες δὲ καὶ τούτους τετρακισχιλίους κληρούχους ἐπὶ τῶν ἱπποβοτέων τῇ χώρῃ λείπουσι
        And after overcoming them as well, they left four thousand tenant farmers on the lands of the horse-breeders.
    3. at, near
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 13.408
        αἱ δὲ νέμονται πὰρ Κόρακος πέτρῃ ἐπί τε κρήνῃ Ἀρεθούσῃ
        They are feeding by the rock of Corax and near the spring Arethusa.
    4. over
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 11.261
        τοῖο δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ Ἰφιδάμαντι κάρη ἀπέκοψε παραστάς
        And he drew near and struck off his head over [the body of] Iphidamas.
    5. in honor of
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 24.91
        οἷ᾽ ἐπὶ σοὶ κατέθηκε θεὰ περικαλλέ᾽ ἄεθλα
        Such beautiful prises did the goddess set there in thy honor.
    6. against
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 6.74.1
        ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ ἀπικόμενος ἐς τὴν Ἀρκαδίην νεώτερα ἔπρησσε πρήγματα, συνιστὰς τοὺς Ἀρκάδας ἐπὶ τῆ Σπάρτῃ
        From there he came to Arcadia and stirred up disorder, uniting the Arcadians against Sparta.
    7. in addition to, over, besides
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 17.454
        ὢ πόποι, οὐκ ἄρα σοί γ᾽ 'ἐπὶ εἴδεϊ καὶ φρένες ἦσαν
        Well, now, it seems that you at least do not have wits in addition to your beauty.
    8. (with duplication of head noun) after
      ὄγχνη ἐπ᾽ ὄγχνῃ γηράσκει
      ónkhnē ep᾽ ónkhnēi gēráskei
      One pear after another ripens.
      • 525 BCE – 455 BCE, Aeschylus, Lib. 404
        βοᾷ γὰρ λοιγὸς Ἐρινὺν παρὰ τῶν πρότερον φθιμένων ἄτην ἑτέραν ἐπάγουσαν ἐπ᾽ ἄτῃ
        Murder cries out on the Fury, which from those killed before brings one ruin after another.
    9. in the power of
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 8.29.2
        νῦν τε παρὰ τῷ βαρβάρῳ τοσοῦτο δυνάμεθα ὥστε ἐπ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐστι τῆς γῆς ἐστερῆσθαι καὶ πρὸς ἠνδραποδίσθαι ὑμέας
        And now we bear such weight with the foreigner that it is in our power to have you deprived of your lands and enslaved.
    10. according to
      • 384 BCE – 322 BCE, Demosthenes, Against Timocrates 56
        τὰς δίκας καὶ τὰς διαίτας, ὅσαι ἐγένοντο ἐπὶ τοῖς νόμοις ἐν δημοκρατουμένῃ τῇ πόλει, κυρίας εἶναι
        Judgements and awards given according to the law while the government was democratic, shall be valid.
    11. (of conditions or circumstances) in, with
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 4.175
        σέο δ᾽ ὀστέα πύσει ἄρουρα κειμένου ἐν Τροίῃ ἀτελευτήτῳ ἐπὶ ἔργῳ
        And the earth will rot your bones as you lie in the land of Troy with your task unfinished.
      • 406 BCE, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 1554
        κἀπ᾽ εὐπραξίᾳ μέμνησθέ μου θανόντος εὐτυχεῖς ἀεί
        And in your prosperity, remember me in my death, and be fortunate evermore.
      • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Cyropaedia 1.3.12
        τοσαύτας μὲν αὐτοῖς εὐθυμίας παρεῖχεν ἐπὶ τῷ δείπνῳ
        He furnished them such amusement at dinner.
    12. (of time, never in proper Attic) at, on
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 8.529
        ἀλλ᾽ ἤτοι ἐπὶ νυκτὶ φυλάξομεν ἡμέας αὐτούς
        Surely at night we will guard our own selves.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 13.234
        ἀλλ᾽ αὖθι κυνῶν μέλπηθρα γένοιτο, ὅς τις ἐπ᾽ ἤματι τῷδε ἑκὼν μεθίῃσι μάχεσθαι
        But here may he, who on this day of his own will shrinks from fight, become the sport of dogs.
    13. (of time) after
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 4.164.3
        μαθὼν δὲ ἐπ᾽ ἐξεργασμένοισι τὸ μαντήιον ἐὸν τοῦτο
        Then, perceiving after the deed had been done that this was the meaning of the oracle...
    14. (expressing a cause) on account of, for
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 21.585
        ἦ τ᾽ ἔτι πολλὰ τετεύξεται ἄλγε᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῇ
        Many be the woes that shall yet be wrought because of her.
    15. (expressing a purpose) for
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 5.154
        ὃ δὲ τείρετο γήραϊ λυγρῷ, υἱὸν δ᾽ οὐ τέκετ᾽ ἄλλον ἐπὶ κτεάτεσσι λιπέσθαι
        And their father was fordone with grievous old age, and begat no other son to leave in charge of his possessions.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 18.44
        γαστέρες αἵδ᾽ αἰγῶν κέατ᾽ ἐν πυρί, τὰς ἐπὶ δόρπῳ
        Here at the fire lie goats' paunches, which we set there for supper.
    16. (of a condition) on
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 1.60.3
        ἐνδεξαμένου δὲ τὸν λόγον καὶ ὁμολογήσαντος ἐπὶ τούτοισι Πεισιστράτου, μηχανῶνται δὴ ἐπὶ τῇ κατόδῳ πρῆγμα
        When this offer was accepted by Pisistratus, who agreed on these terms [with Megacles], they devised a plan to bring Pisistratus back.
      • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Hellenica
        ἀλλ᾽ ἐποιοῦντο εἰρήνην ἐφ᾽ ᾧ τά τε μακρὰ τείχη καὶ τὸν Πειραιᾶ καθελόντας
        They offered to make peace on the condition that the Athenians destroy the long walls and the walls of Piraeus.
    17. for (i.e. in exchange for)
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 10.304
        τίς κέν μοι τόδε ἔργον ὑποσχόμενος τελέσειε δώρῳ ἔπι μεγάλῳ
        Who is there now that would promise me this deed and bring it to pass for a great gift?
    18. (of a name) for
      • 428 BCE – 347 BCE, Plato, R 470.b
        ἐπὶ μὲν οὖν τῇ τοῦ οἰκείου ἔχθρᾳ στάσις κέκληται, ἐπὶ δὲ τῇ τοῦ ἀλλοτρίου πόλεμος
        Now the term employed for the hostility of the friendly is faction, and for that of the alien is war.
    19. in charge of
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 20.209
        Ὀδυσῆος ἀμύμονος, ὅς μ᾽ ἐπὶ βουσὶν εἷσ᾽ ἔτι τυτθὸν ἐόντα
        Blameless Odysseus, who set me in charge of his cattle...
  3. (with accusative)
    1. onto (the upper surface of)
      ἀνέβαινεν ἐπὶ τὸν ἵππον
      anébainen epì tòn híppon
      He got up onto the horse.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 6.386
        ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ πύργον ἔβη μέγαν Ἰλίου
        But she went onto the great wall of Ilios.
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 1.131.2
        οἳ δὲ νομίζουσι Διὶ μὲν ἐπὶ τὰ ὑψηλότατα τῶν ὀρέων ἀναβαίνοντες θυσίας ἔρδειν
        They are accustomed to go up onto the highest peaks of the mountains to offer sacrifices to Zeus.
    2. to
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 1.12
        ὃ γὰρ ἦλθε θοὰς ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν λυσόμενός τε θύγατρα
        For he had come to the swift ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 3.421
        αἳ δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδροιο δόμον περικαλλέ᾽ ἵκοντο, ἀμφίπολοι μὲν ἔπειτα θοῶς ἐπὶ ἔργα τράποντο
        Now when they were come to the beautiful palace of Alexander, the handmaids turned forthwith to their tasks.
    3. up to, as far as
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 4.181.1
        ὑπὲρ δὲ τῆς θηριώδεος ὀφρύη ψάμμης κατήκει παρατείνουσα ἀπὸ Θηβέων τῶν Αἰγυπτιέων ἐπ᾽ Ἡρακλέας στήλας
        Beyond this wild beasts' haunt runs a ridge of sand that stretches from Thebes of Egypt up to the Pillars of Heracles.
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 23.248
        οὐ γάρ πω πάντων ἐπὶ πείρατ᾽ ἀέθλων ἤλθομεν
        We have not yet come to the end of all our trials.
    4. (with a person) to before, into the presence of
      • 70 CE – 110 CE, The Gospel of Matthew 10.18
        καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνας δὲ καὶ βασιλεῖς ἀχθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ
        Yes, and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake.
    5. (of an army) deep
    6. to or into a certain side
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 5.74
        Χαλκιδέες τε ἐπὶ τὰ ἕτερα ἐσίνοντο ἐπιόντες χώρους τῆς Ἀττικῆς
        The Chalcidians however attacked on another side and raided lands in Attica.
    7. against
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 5.590
        τοὺς δ᾽ Ἕκτωρ ἐνόησε κατὰ στίχας, ὦρτο δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς κεκλήγων
        But Hector marked them across the ranks, and rushed against them shouting aloud.
    8. over
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 2.159
        οὕτω δὴ οἶκον δὲ φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν Ἀργεῖοι φεύξονται ἐπ᾽ εὐρέα νῶτα θαλάσσης
        Is it thus indeed that the Argives are to flee their dear native land over the broad back of the sea?
    9. (of time) for, during
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 2.299
        τλῆτε φίλοι, καὶ μείνατ᾽ ἐπὶ χρόνον
        Endure, my friends, and abide for a time.
    10. (of time) up to, until
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 7.288
        ἔνθα μὲν ἐν φύλλοισι φίλον τετιημένος ἦτορ εὗδον παννύχιος καὶ ἐπ᾽ ἠῶ
        So there among the leaves I slept, my heart sore stricken, the whole night through, until the morning.
    11. for (the purpose of)
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 3.421
        ἀλλ᾽ ἄγ᾽ ὁ μὲν πεδίονδ᾽ ἐπὶ βοῦν, ἴτω
        Come now, let one go to the plain for a heifer.
    12. for (with respect to)
      • 442 BCE, Sophocles, Antigone 889
        ἡμεῖς γὰρ ἁγνοὶ τοὐπὶ τήνδε τὴν κόρην
        Our hands are clean with respect to this girl.
    13. over (in command of)
      • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Cyropaedia 4.5.58
        ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς πεζοὺς τῶν ὁμοτίμων ἀνθ᾽ αὑτοῦ ἕκαστον καθιστάναι ἄλλον ἄρχοντα τῶν ὁμοτίμων
        He also instructed each one of the newly-mounted officers to appoint some other peer to take his place of command over the infantry of the peers.
  4. (without a noun) as well, besides (often with δέ ‎())
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 18.529
      οἳ μὲν τὰ προϊδόντες ἐπέδραμον, ὦκα δ᾽ ἔπειτα τάμνοντ᾽ ἀμφὶ βοῶν ἀγέλας καὶ πώεα καλὰ ἀργεννέων οἰῶν, κτεῖνον δ᾽ ἐπὶ μηλοβοτῆρας
      But the liers-in-wait, when they saw these coming on, rushed forth against them and speedily cut off the herds of cattle and fair flocks of white-fleeced sheep, and slew the herdsmen as well.

For usage in composition, see ἐπι- ‎(epi-).

Derived terms[edit]


References[edit]