A perfect example of the dative of degree of difference

I’ve been thinking of starting a little ‘series’ on the blog called “A Perfect Example Of…” where I point out good examples of different grammatical concepts in the texts I’m reading. I figure most people won’t benefit from this because they already know it, but the random first year Greek or Latin student may do a google search and find these examples, so hopefully they’re helpful.  Today I’ve got a good example of the dative of degree of difference from Thucydides. Thucydides says that a little more than three hundred men entered Plataea. The Greek is:

Θηβαίων ἄνδρες ὀλίγῳ πλείους τριακοσίων…ἐσῆλθον…ἐς Πλάταιαν (Peloponnesian War, Book II, Sec. 2)

The ὀλίγῳ is the dative here and it’s showing a degree of difference. So, the men of Thebes were more than three hundred by a little.


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