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[171] τελευτηθῆναι. The aorist infinitive in Greek retains, as far as possible, the force of the aorist indicative; but, of course, it does not give the notion of past time, as the augment, which alone carries with it that force, is not continued into the infinitive. In stating this, however, it is right to draw a distinction between the aor. infin. as used in oratio obliqua (or sentences equivalent to oratio obliqua) from all other usages. For in such sentences the aorist represents the aor. indicat.; whereas in others it does not. There is therefore nothing strange in finding the aorist infinitive simply denoting the fact of the verb—as here ‘fulfilment;’ so that the finite verb with which the infinitive is construed, or the context in which it is used, is able to transfer its own point of time to the aorist. Thus with such verbs as “φημί, εἶπον, δοκῶ, ἐλπίζω”, etc., expressing promise or expectation, the aorist infinitive seems to take the force of a future, as in inf. 280; 3. 125; Il.13. 666πολλάκι γάρ οἱ ἔειπε γέρων . . νούσῳ ὑπ᾽ ἀργαλέῃ φθίσθαι”, sc. periturum esse; S. c. T. 427ἐκπέρσεινφησὶν, οὐδὲ τὴν Διὸς βολὴν σχεθεῖν” , non fore ut eum inhibeat. Compare also “ἄσμενοι ἐκεῖσε ἴοιεν οἶ ἀφικομένοις ἐλπίς ἐστιν οὗ διὰ βίου ἤρων τυχεῖνPlato, Phaed. 67,μῶρος, εἰ δοκεῖς με τλῆναι σὴν καθαιμάξαι δέρηνEur. Orest.1527, “οὐκ εἰκὸς ἐς νῆσον τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους περαιωθῆναιThuc.5. 109.See Madvig (Gk. Synt.§ 172 R), who however remarks that such a combination as “νομίζω κρατῆσαι” is impossible and must be accounted for on the ground of faulty reading; but we may compare Soph. Aj.1082ταύτην νόμιζε τὴν πόλιν χρόνῳ ποτὲ

ἐξ οὐρίων δραμοῦσαν ἐς βυθὸν πεσεῖν”. That “πεσεῖν” here stands with the same force as “πεσεῖν ἄν” we gather from ibid. 1077 “ἀλλ᾽ ἄνδρα χρὴ κἂν σῶμα γεννήσῃ μέγα
δοκεῖν πεσεῖν ἂν κἂν ἀπὸ σμικροῦ κακοῦ”. But, in the former passage, “πεσεῖν” is really the infinitive of a gnomic aorist. A good instance is “αριστοπη. νυβ.ἐνεχυράσασθαί φασιν”, ‘they say they will distrain upon me;’ where editors have needlessly altered to “ἐνεχυράσεσθαι”. See also Aristoph. Vesp.160; Hom. Od.20. 121.It is of course possible in the present passage to retain the preterite force in “τελευτηθῆναι”, and to make the seer say ‘that everything has been accomplished;’ which, indeed, was all but true; the last act of the drama was even now opening, as he describes it with closer accuracy, infra 176, ‘all these things are now being accomplished.’

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 427
    • Aristophanes, Wasps, 160
    • Euripides, Orestes, 1527
    • Homer, Iliad, 13.666
    • Homer, Odyssey, 20.121
    • Plato, Phaedo, 67
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1082
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.109
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