[B-Greek] Thrax on the Verb
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at ioa.com
Sat Aug 6 07:54:24 EDT 2005
On Aug 5, 2005, at 1:23 PM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:
> Below is a portion of the text of D. Thrax on his
> treatment of the Verb. I was hoping some of you might
> give me your translation of these two portions. The
> first in on CRONOI (tense/time); the second is on
> DIAQESEIS (what we call "voice").
Eddie, where did you obtain this? It is apparently not available on-
line, and I don't have good library access; I'd very much like to see
the whole of this section on verbs, by scan or xerox, if you could
make it available to me.
> CRONOI TREIS ENESTWS, PARELHLUQWS, MELLWN. TOUTWN hO
> PARELHLUQWS ECEI DIAFORAS TESSARAS, PARATATIKON,
> PARAKEIMENON, hUPERSUNTELIKON, AORISTON, hWN SUGGENEIA
> TREIS, ENESTWTOS PROS PARATATIKON, PARAKEIMENOU PROS
> hUPERSUNTELIKON, AORISTOU PROS MELLONTA
I think that the worst thing we might do is attempt to convert these
to our native language names for theses categories, as what is
interesting, whether or not it is really illuminating, is the
conception of the function of the categories held by D.T..
So here's a stab at your first cited passage:
"present" (or "instant"),
"future." (or "going-to-be").
Of theses the "past" has four distinctions:
"continuing/extending" (what we conventionally term "imperfect"),
"adjacent" or "directly at hand" (what we conventionally term
"beyond complete" (what we conventionally term "pluperfect"),
"indefinite" (our "aorist", but the Greek could mean
"undefined," "undefinable, "indefinite")
and the relationship/kinship of these is/are three:
of present/instant to continuing/extending (imperfect),
of past to "beyond complete" (pluperfect),
of undefined/undefinable/indefinite to "future" or "going to be."
> DIAQESEIS EISI TREIS, ENERGEIA, PAQOS, MESOTHS..
> ENERGEIA MEN hOION TUPTW, PAQOS DE hOION TUPTOMAI,
> MESOTHS DE hH POTE MEN ENERGEIAN POTE DE PAQOS
> PARISTASA, hOION PEPHGA DIEFQORA EPOIHSAMHN EGRAYAMHN
"Dispositions" (or "arrangements") are three:
experience (or "undergoing")
Activity is, for example, TUPTW ("I strike"),
Experience/undergoing is, for example, TUPTOMAI ("I am getting struck")
Intermediacy sometimes represents activity, sometimes experience/
PEPHGA ("I am stuck fast"),
DIEFQORA ("I am ruined"),
EPOIHSAMHN ("I've made for myself"),
EGRAYAMHN ("I've gotten drawn up").
One of the most interesting items here to me is this inclusion of
what we call "Second Perfects" in the heading of "Intermediacy" or
"Middle": PEPHGA and DIEFQRA are intransitives that indicate a state
or condition attributed to the grammatical subject; these are
essentially different in kind, I think, from the aorist middles
EPOIHSAMHN and EGRAYAMHN both of which indicate action on behalf of
the grammatical subject.
If that's all that D.T. has to say about what we call "Voice," then
it is both suggestive and disappointing -- it hints at more than it
It may be helpful to note that ENERGEIA doesn't necessarily imply
transitivity so much as engagement in activity; we might bear in mind
the Aristotelian distinction between ENERGEIA and DUNAMIS, wherein
DUNAMIS is power/possibility/potentiality and ENERGEIA is engagement/
accomplishment, doing what is possible.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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