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1940. Aorist for Perfect.—In Greek the aorist, which simply states a past occurrence, is often employed where English uses the perfect denoting a present condition resulting from a past action. Thus, παρεκάλεσα ὑ_μᾶς, ἄνδρες φίλοι I (have) summoned you, my friends X. A. 1.6.6, μὲν τοίνυν πόλεμος ἁπάντων ἡμᾶς τῶν εἰρημένων ἀπεστέρηκεν: καὶ γὰρ πενεστέρους ἐποίησε καὶ πολλοὺς κινδύ_νους ὑπομένειν ἠνάγκασε καὶ πρὸς τοὺς Ἕλληνας διαβέβληκε καὶ πάντας τρόπους τεταλαιπώρηκεν ἡμᾶς now the war has deprived us of all the blessings that have been mentioned; for it has made us poorer, compelled us to undergo many dangers, has brought us into reproach with the Greeks, and in every possible way has caused us suffering I. 8.19. Sometimes the aorist is chosen because of its affinity to the negative, as τῶν οἰκετῶν οὐδένα κατέλιπεν ἀλλ᾽ ἅπαντας πέπρα_κε he (has) left not one of his servants, but has sold them all Aes. 1.99. This aorist is sometimes regarded as a primary tense.

a. Where an active transitive perfect is not formed from a particular verb, or is rarely used, the aorist takes its place: ““Φεραίων μὲν ἀφῄρηται τὴν πόλιν καὶ φρουρὰ_ν ἐν τῇ ἀκροπόλει κατέστησενhe has deprived the Pheraeans of their city and established a garrison in the acropolisD. 7.32 (καθέστα^κε transitive is not classic). So ἤγαγον is used for ἦχα.

b. In Greek of the classical period the aorist and perfect are not confused though the difference between the two tenses is often subtle. Cp. D. 19.72 with 19. 177.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.pos=2.2
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