[B-Greek] imperatives, optatives, etc.
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at juno.com
Wed Nov 16 08:12:51 EST 2005
On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 07:28:15 -0500 (EST) "Chet A. Creider"
<creider at uwo.ca> writes:
> This note is inspired in part by Carl's posting ("Periphrastic
> in which he wrote, "...the third-person imperative, the subjunctive,
> the optative,
> auxiliaries with infinitives or infinitives by themselves all seem
> to be used
> with a considerable variety and range of rhetorical force," and
> Iver's suggestion
> that there is a difference in core meaning between second- and
> imperatives. The following fragment of a poem by Simonides of Ceos
> seems to provide very clear evidence in support of Iver's
> suggestion. (Perhaps
> I should note that although little of Simonides' work has survived,
> there is
> enough for us to know that he was a very fine poet, writing with
> subtlety and economy of expression.)
> The setting is this: Danae and her infant son Perseus have been put
> to sea
> in an ark by her father Acrisius in response to a prophecy that he
> would be
> killed by his grandson. My translation deliberately follows the
> Greek as
> closely as possible.
> 18: "KELOMAI D' hEUDE BREFOS,
> 19: hEUDETW DE PONTOS,
> 20: hEUDETW D' AMETRON KAKON,
> 21: METOBOULIA DE TIS FANEIH,
> 22: ZEU PATER, EK SEO;
> 23: hOTTI DE QARSELEON EPOS EUCOMAI,
> 24: H NOSFI DIKAS
> 25: SUGGNWQI MOI."
> 18: "I bid (you), sleep, newborn child,
> 19: and let the sea sleep,
> 20: and let (our/this) immeasurable evil sleep,
> 21: and would that some change appear,
> 22: Zeus father, from you;
> 23: and whatever presumptuous word I pray
> 24: or far from justice (word)
> 25: forgive me."
> 18 is a second-person imperative, addressed to the infant
> 19 and 20 are third person imperatives, addressed to the sea and to
> evil. 19 can be contrasted with Mark 4:39 where Jesus addresses
> sea with two second-person imperatives (ZIWPA, PEFIMWSO). Danae is
> clearly feeling very vulnerable -- alone with her infant in the sea
> an ark which despite its name was probably more like a floating
> than the ark Noah built, and unlike Jesus, is not in a position to
> impose her will directly on the sea.
> 21 has a third singular aorist passive optative (of wish).
> 25 is a second person imperative, addressed directly to Zeus, but
> asking for
> his pardon.
> It seems that the poet has made a contrast between the use of the
> second person
> and third person imperatives. He could have used a second person
> imperative, as
> Jesus did, in addressing the sea, but didn't, presumably to reflect
> the powerless
> of Danae in the face of this nameless force.
> Chet Creider
18: "KELOMAI D' hEUDE BREFOS,
18 is a second-person imperative, addressed to the infant
It looks like 1 sg pres mid ind to me even if the sense is "urge" or
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