previous next

260. Aorist in general descriptions.

From this gnomic use of the aorist arises its use in general descriptions, in which the aorist is designedly employed to express concentrated action.

αἱ μὲν γὰρ ἀθάνατοι καλούμεναι” (sc. “ψυχαί”), “ἡνίκ᾽ ἂν πρὸς ἄκρῳ γένωνται, . . . ἔστησαν”, PLATO, Phaedr. 247B-C; The souls called immortal, when they get in front of the top, stop (short).

DEM. [35]DEM., 1-2: “οὗτοι γὰρ δεινότατοι μέν εἰσι δανείσασθαι χρήματ᾽ ἐν τῷ ἐμπορίῳ, ἐπειδὰν δὲ λάβωσι . . ., εὐθὺς ἐπελάθοντο . . . ἀλλ̓ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀποδοῦναι σοφίσματα εὑρίσκουσι . . . καὶ εἰσὶ πονηρότατοι ἀνθρώπων”.

PLATO , Phaedr. 245-56. Often in this celebrated description, e.g. 247 B-C (see above).

HDT.2.47:ἤν τις ψαύσῃ αὐτῶν” (sc. “Αἰγυπτίων”) “παριὼν ὑός, αὐτοῖσι τοῖσι ἱματίοισι ἀπ᾽ ὦν ἔβαψε ἑωυτὸν βὰς ἐπὶ τὸν ποταμόν”. 87: “ἐπεὰν τοὺς κλυστῆρας πλήσωνται τοῦ ἀπὸ κέδρου ἀλείφατος γινομένου, ἐν ὦν ἔπλησαν1 τοῦ νεκροῦ τὴν κοιλίην”. 3.82: “ἐς ἔχθεα μεγάλα ἀλλήλοισι ἀπικνέονται, ἐξ ὧν στάσιες ἐλλίνονται, ἐκ δὲ τῶν στασίων φόνος: ἐκ δὲ τοῦ φόνου ἀπέβη ἐς μουναρχίην”.

COM. Apollodor. 4.455: “εἰς οἰκίαν ὅταν τις εἰσίῃ φίλου”, | “ἔστιν θεωρεῖν, Νικοφῶν, τὴν τοῦ φίλου” | “εὔνοιαν εὐθὺς εἰσιόντα τὰς θύρας”. | “ θυρωρὸς ἱλαρὸς πρῶτόν ἐστιν, κύων” | “ἔσηνε καὶ προσῆλθ̓, ὑπαντήσας δέ τις” | “δίφρον εὐθέως ἔθηκε, κἂν μηδεὶς λέγῃ” | “μηδέν”.

PIND. O. 2.63-4: “θανόντων μὲν ἐνθάδ᾽ αὐτίκ̓ ἀπάλαμνοι φρένες” | “ποινὰς ἔτισαν”.

SOLON, 13.53: “ἄλλον μάντιν ἔθηκεν ἄναξ ἑκάεργος Ἀπόλλων”.

1 Notice the tmesis which heightens the effect and helps to prove the purposefulness of the aorist.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: