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1891. The imperfect of verbs of sending, going, saying, exhorting, etc., which imply continuous action, is often used where we might expect the aorist of concluded action. Thus, in ἔπεμπον, the action is regarded as unfinished since the goal is not reached: ““ἄγγελον ἔπεμπον καὶ τοὺς νεκροὺς ὑποσπόνδους ἀπέδοσανthey sent a messenger and surrendered the dead under a truceT. 2.6. In ἐκέλευον gave orders, urged, requested the command, etc., is regarded as not yet executed. In ““ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς τοιάδεhe spoke to them as followsX. H. 1.6.4 (followed by the speech and ἐπεὶ δὲ ταῦτ᾽ εἶπεν 1. 6. 12) the speech is not thought of as a finished whole, but as developed point by point, as in ἐπἐιδὴ δὲ οὗτος ταῦτα ἔλεγεν, ἔλεξα but when he had said this, I said Ant. 6.21.

a. In messenger's speeches the speaker may go back to the time of receiving a command: ““ἰέναι σ᾽ ἐκέλευον οἱ στρατηγοὶ τήμερονthe generals order you to depart to-dayAr. Ach. 1073.

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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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