Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Sep 16 07:18:10 EDT 2007
On Sep 15, 2007, at 7:52 PM, Delbert Flora wrote:
> In the archives I've noticed that OIDA is equivalent to a present
> tense verb, and the pluperfect HiDEIN functions as an Aorist (or
> Suppose a Greek writer needed to use an actual pluperfect meaning
> of OIDA. How would this be done?
It's a bit difficult to say what a Greek writer WOULD HAVE done
something that he/she never intended to do; so what I'm suggesting is
no more than an educated guess about the question:
OIDA is, properly speaking, the perfect tense of a verb of SIGHT or
SEEING. It means something like, "I have a fully-formed mental image
(of) ... ." It is stative, and the "pluperfect" is also stative,
meaning something like "I HAD/WAS IN POSSESSION OF a fully-formed
mental image (of) ... " Insofar as one wants to say, "I had seen"
using the same verb, I think one would say EIDON (remember that the
Greek aorist can, in the right circumstances, function in the manner
of an English pluperfect as well as in the manner of an English
perfect. Thus PALAI EIDON AUTON PRIN TAUTA GENESQAI = "I had seen him
long ago, before this happened." Here we can say that the time of
TAUTA GENESQAI is a "deictic point" and that the time of EIDON is
prior to that "deictic point."
An alternative might be hEWRAKEIN
(1x in the GNT: Acts 7:44 Ἡ σκηνὴ τοῦ
μαρτυρίου ἦν τοῖς πατράσιν ἡμῶν
ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ καθὼς διετάξατο ὁ
λαλῶν τῷ Μωϋσῇ ποιῆσαι αὐτὴν κατὰ
τὸν τύπον ὃν ἑωράκει·
hH SKHNH TOU MARTURIOU N TOIS PATRASIN hHMWN EN THi ERHMWi KAQWS
DIETAXATO hO LALWN TWi MWUSHi POIHSAI AUTHN KATA TON TUPON hON
hEWRAKEI ("after the pattern that he had seen").
or perhaps EGNWKEIN
(1x in the GNT: Matt. 12:7 εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί
ἐστιν· ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν,
οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους.
EI DE EGNWKEITE TI ESTIN: ELEOS QELW KAI OU QUSIAN, OUK AN
KATEDIKASATE TOUS ANAITIOUS ("If you had known the meaning of the
oracle ... ").
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)
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