What does "ta" mean in Greek? An example: "ta meta ta physika biblia"


the ancient Greek  word “tà”, i.e. τὰ in ancient Greek letters, is nothing but the nominative or the accusative neuter plural of the definite article ὁ , ἡ , τό (transliterated as “ho, he, to”) corresponding to the English definite article “the”.

So, "tà metà tà physikà biblía" (transliteration of τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικὰ  βιβλία) literally means:”the books after the physics”, i.e. “the works that come after the books on physics”, since "tà metà tà physikà biblía" was used  by Andronicus of Rhodes, one of the first of Aristotle’s editors, as the title of Aristotle's treatise on first principles, i.e. the branch of philosophy concerned with the ultimate nature of existence .

In fact, the English word metaphysics, which  derives  exactly from  “metà tà physikà “ (μετὰ τὰ φυσικὰ = “after physics”,i.e “after works on physics),  is the philosophical study whose object is to determine the real nature of things, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.

Lastly note that:

-tà (τὰ. Nominative neuter plural of the definite article agreeing with “biblía”) = the

-metà (μετὰ . Preposition which takes the accusative) = after

-tà (τὰ.Accusative neuter plural ) = the [books]

-physikà (φυσικὰ . Accusative neuter plural related to “biblía”)= belonging to the nature

-biblía (βιβλία. Plural of the neuter noun “biblíon” /  βιβλίον )= books

Hope all is clear enough.

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I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning ANCIENT GREEK. So, do not ask me please questions regarding MODERN GREEK as it is different from Ancient Greek either in spelling/meaning or in pronunciation.


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I received my Ph.D in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy) and my thesis was about ancient Greek drama (Aeschylus).

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