Re: Double Accusative after a Verb

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Apr 28 1998 - 08:19:41 EDT

At 4:12 PM -0500 4/27/98, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 12:41 PM -0500 4/27/98, Ward Powers wrote:
>>Then in Mark 4:2 we came across how Jesus EDIDASKEN AUTOUS EN PARABOLAIS
>>POLLA, "taught them many things in parables". And a student asked, Why did
>>Mark write AUTOUS not AUTOIS, which would be the expected indirect object
>>of the verb, the person(s) to whom the action is directed - and which
>>"felt" right, whereas AUTOUS did not? Good question, I said, and agreed
>>that AUTOIS "felt" right, not AUTOUS. But on checking, DIDASKW takes the
>>accusative of the person taught as well as of the thing taught.
>>Now, why should DIDASKW take the accusative of the person taught?
>>And, are there other verbs which similarly take a double accusative, both
>>of the person and the thing which are the object of the verb's action?
>Actually it is not at all uncommon to have an accusative of the person and
>an accusative of the thing; I don't have a list handy of the verbs that do
>it, and I can't say whether all the verbs are the same in classical Attic
>and in Koine, but another very common one is ERWTAW; in classical Greek
>POIEW TINA KAKA/KALA can regularly mean to treat someone badly/well. There
>ought to be a list of these verbs somewhere

I sent that response from home yesterday afternoon. This morning I've
consulted the grammars. I'll cite only BDF#155: "Two accusatives, both of
which are external objects, are used with a number of verbs which can take
an object of the person and of the thing (with a different relation to the
verb); in this the NT conforms for the most part to classical usage. Cf.
Mayser II 2, 322f. (1) NT with 'to teach' and 'to remind' as in classical,
but less frequently, (2) with 'to inquire' and 'to ask' as in classical,
but AITEIN may be used also with PARA and APO. ... (7) Causatives (more
popular in the NT than in classical) of course take the double accusative."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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