I read in Plutarch (Demosthenes.1) the phrase
ὑπάρξαι ‘τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον‘ (~ to be born in ‘a famous city’).
(τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον being a quote from (pseudo-?)Euripides' ode to Alcibiades, cf Lyra Graeca, iii , p. 240-241). See the note infra for more details. The three words given by Plutarch are the only one attested : as far as I know, we don't know what Euripides wrote before these three words.
I can't figure out the construction of "ὑπάρξαι τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον" This quote means something like "to be born in ‘a famous city’", according to various translations. But why the accusative ?
ὑπάρχω means "to begin, to be at the origin of" and is mainly followed by the genitive, the Greek case expressing the origin. As far as I know, the accusative is only used after ὑπάρχω if the meaning is "to take the initiative in". In Plutarch's sentence, the meaning must be something like "to be from ~" and a genitive was expected.
The fact that Plutarch quotes a poem (moreover, written in another Greek dialect!) increases the level of difficulty.
Is the construction ὑπάρχω + acc. with the meaning "to be (born) from ~" natural ? Are there other examples in Greek litterature ?
More generally speaking, is there a linguistic way to explain how the accusative case can express an origin ? Are there other examples in Indo-European languages ?
ὁ μὲν γράψας τὸ ἐπὶ τῇ νίκῃ τῆς Ὀλυμπίασιν ἱπποδρομίας εἰς Ἀλκιβιάδην ἐγκώμιον, εἴτ᾽ Εὐριπίδης, ὡς ὁ πολὺς κρατεῖ λόγος, εἴθ᾽ ἕτερός τις ἦν, Σόσσιε, φησὶ χρῆναι τῷ εὐδαίμονι πρῶτον ὑπάρξαι ‘τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον’ . (Bernardotte Perrin, 1919) : the author of the encomium upon Alcibiades for his victory in the chariot-race at Olympia whether he was Euripides, as the prevailing report has it, or some other, says, Sosius that the first requisite to a man's happiness is birth in ‘a famous city’;