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1908. Imperfect and Aorist.—The imperfect and aorist often occur in the same passage; and the choice of the one or the other often depends upon the manner in which the writer may view a given action. The imperfect may be represented by a line, along which an action progresses; the aorist denotes a point on the line (either starting point or end), or surveys the whole line from beginning to end.

a. The imperfect of ‘continuance’ or ‘duration’ implies nothing as to the absolute length of the action; cp. ““πάλιν κατὰ τάχος ἐκόμιζε τὴν στρατιά_νhe took the army back as quickly as possibleT. 1.114 with κατὰ τάχος ἀνεχώρησε he retreated as quickly as possible 1. 73. The imperfect does not indicate ‘prolonged’ action in contrast to ‘momentary’ action of the aorist.

b. The imperfect puts the reader in the midst of the events as they were taking place, the aorist simply reports that an event took place: ἔπειτα ψι_λοὶ δώδεκα ἀνέβαινον, ὧν ἡγεῖτο Ἀμμέα_ς, καὶ πρῶτος ἀνέβη then twelve light-armed men proceeded to climb up under the leadership of Ammeas, who was the first to mount T. 3.22. Cp. T. 2.49, 3. 15. 1-2, 4. 14, X. H. 4.4.1, I. 5.53-54, 8. 99-100.

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