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IV. SECOND AORIST SYSTEM

(SECOND AORIST ACTIVE AND MIDDLE)

546. The second aorist is formed without any tense-suffix and only from the simple verb-stem. Only primitive verbs (372) have second aorists.

546 D. Hom. has more second aorists than Attic, which favoured the first aorist. Some derivative verbs have Homeric second aorists classed under them for convenience only, as κτυπέω sound ἔκτυπον; μυ_κάομαι roar ἔμυκον; στυγέω hate ἔστυγον. These forms are derived from the pure verb-stem (485 d, 553).

547. (I) Ω-Verbs.—Ω-verbs make the second aorist by adding όε- to the verb-stem, which regularly ends in a consonant. Verbs showing vowel gradations (476) use the weak stem (otherwise there would be confusion with the imperfect).

λείπω (λιπ-, λειπ-) leave ἔλιπον, -ἐλιπόμην; φεύγω (φυγ-, φευγ-) flee ἔφυγον; πέτομαι fly ἐπτόμην (476 a); λαμβάνω (λαβ-) take ἔλαβον.

547 D. Hom. often has no thematic vowel in the middle voice of ω-verbs (ἐδέγμην from δέχομαι receive). See 634. 688.

548. a. Vowel verbs rarely form second aorists, as the irregular αἰρέω seize (εἶλον, 529. 1), ἐσθίω eat (ἔφαγον), ὁράω (εἶδον). ἔπιον drank (πί_νω) is the only second aorist in prose from a vowel stem and having thematic inflection.

b. Many ω-verbs with stems ending in a vowel have second aorists formed like those of μι-verbs. These are enumerated in 687.

549. Verbs of the First Class (499) adding a thematic vowel to the verbstem form the second aorist (1) by reduplication (494), as ἄγω lead ἤγαγον, and εἶπον probably for ἐ-ϝε-ϝεπ-ον; (2) by syncope (493), as πέτομαι fly ἐπτόμην, ἐγείρω (ἐγερ-) rouse ἠγρόμην, ἕπομαι (σεπ-) jollow ἐσπόμην, imperf. είπόμην from ἐ-σεπομην, ἔχω (σεχ-) hare ἔσχον; (3) by using α for ε (476 b) in poetic forms (480), as τρέπω turn ἔτραπον; (4) by metathesis (492), as poet. δέρκομαι see ἔδρακον.

549 D. (1) Hom. has (ε᾽κέκλετο (κέλο-μαι command), λέλαθον (λήθ-ω lie hid), ἐπέφραδε (φράζω tell), πεπιθεῖν (πείθ-ω persuade). ἠρύ_κακον (ἐρύ_κ-ω check), ἠνί_παπον and ἐνένι_πον (ἐνίπτω chide, ἐνιπ-) have unusual formation. (2) ἐ-πλ-όμην (πέλο-μαι am, come, πελ-). (3) ἔπραθον (πέρθ-ω sack), ἔταμον (τέμ-ν-ω cut). (4) βλῆτο (βάλλω hit, 128 a).

550. (II) Μι-Verbs.—The stem of the second aorist of μι-verbs is the verb-stem without any thematic vowel. In the indicative active the strong form of the stem, which ends in a vowel, is regularly employed. The middle uses the weak stem form.

ἵ-στη-μι (στα-, στη-) set, second aorist ἔστην, ἔστης, ἔστη, ἔστητον, ἐστήτην, ἔστημεν, ἔστητε, ἔστησαν; middle ἐ-θέ-μην from τίθημι (θε-, θη-) place, ἐ-δό-μην from δίδωμι (δο-, δω-) give.

551. Originally only the dual and plural showed the weak forms, which are retained in the second aorists of τίθημι, δίδωμι, and ἵ_ημι: ἔθεμεν, ἔδομεν, εἷμεν (ἐ-έμεν), and in Hom. βάτην (also βήτην) from ἔβην went. Elsewhere the weak grades have been displaced by the strong grades, which forced their way in from the singular. Thus, ἔγνον, ἔφυ^ν in Pindar (= ἔγνω-σαν, ἔφυ_-σαν), which come from ἐγνωντ), ἐφυ_ντ) by 40. So Hom. ἔτλα^ν, ἔβα^ν. Such 3 pl. forms are rare in the dramatic poets.

a. For the singular of τίθημι, δίδωμι, ἵ_ημι, see 755; for the imperatives, 759; for the infinitives, 760.

551 D. Hom. has ἔκτα^ν I slew (κτείνω, κτεν-) with α^ taken from ἔκτα^μεν, and οὖτα he wounded (οὐτάω).

552. No verb in -υ_μι has a second aorist in Attic from the stem in υ.

553. The difference between an imperfect and an aorist depends formally on the character of the present. Thus ἔ-φη-ν said is called an ‘imperfect’ of φη-μί: but ἔ-στη-ν stood is a ‘second aorist’ because it shows a different tense-stem than that of ἵστημι. Similarly ἔ-φερ-ον is ‘imperfect’ to φέρω, but ἔ-τεκ-ον ‘second aorist’ to τίκτω because there is no present τεκω. ἔστιχον is imperfect to στίχω, but second aorist to στείχω. Cp. 546 D.


NOTE ON THE SECOND AORIST AND SECOND PERFECT

554. a. The second aorist and the second perfect are usually formed only from primitive verbs (372). These tenses are formed by adding the personal endings (inclusive of the thematic or tense vowel) to the verb-stem without any consonant tense-suffix. Cp. ἔλιπο-ν with ἔλυ_-σ-α, ἐτράπ-ην with ἐτρέφ-θ-ην (τρέπω turn), γέ-γραφ-α with λέλυ-κ-α.

b. The second perfect and second aorist passive are historically older than the corresponding first perfect and first aorist.

c. τρέπω turn is the only verb that has three first aorists and three second aorists (596).

d. Very few verbs have both the second aorist active and the second aorist passive. In cases where both occur, one form is rare, as ἔτυπον (once in poetry), ἐτύπην (τύπτω strike).

e. In the same voice both the first and the second aorist (or perfect) are rare, as ἔφθασα, ἔφθην (φθάνω anticipate). When both occur, the first aorist (or perfect) is often transitive, the second aorist (or perfect) is intransitive (819); as ἔστησα I erected, i.e. made stand, ἔστην I stood. In other cases one aorist is used in prose, the other in poetry: ἔπεισα, poet. ἔπιθον (πείθω persuade); or they occur in different dialects, as Attic ἐτάφην, Ionic ἐθάφθην (θάπτω bury); or one is much later than the other, as ἔλειψα, late for ἔλιπον.

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