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Line 19 in the Iliad

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Line 19 in the Iliad

Postby Spanky » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:29 pm

hi all! :) first post. Great place! :D

Why is ἱκέσθαι not deemed a Present Medio-passive Infinitive?

All the tags I've consulted say it's an Aorist Middle Infinitive. An aorist would have a sigma and alpha right?
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Re: Line 19 in the Iliad

Postby Qimmik » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:40 pm

There are two verbs formed from the same root, with approximately the same meaning:

1. ἱκνέομαι, a middle (medio-passive) deponent, with a second aorist, ἱκόμην, inf. ἴκεσθαι. This is the verb in Il. 1.19.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=i%28%2Fkw&la=greek&can=i%28%2Fkw0&prior=i(kne/omai#lexicon

2. ἵκω, active, also with a second aorist, but a sigmatic one, ἷξον. (Usually sigmatic aorists have the -α endings.)

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=i%28%2Fkw&la=greek&can=i%28%2Fkw0&prior=i(kne/omai#lexicon

This is confusing, but if you're reading Homer for the first time, you need to become accustomed to the proliferation of alternative forms. Having several forms for the same grammatical category of the same verbal concept made it convenient for someone composing oral poetry in performance to fit an appropriate form in a particular metrical slot. Whether or not the texts of the Homeric poems were actually composed in performance, it's clear that they were the product of a tradition of oral performances.

Also, note that ἱκέσθαι is parallel to ἐκπέρσαι, which is also aorist.
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Re: Line 19 in the Iliad

Postby Spanky » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:59 pm

Wow! Fabulous answer, thank you. Just a momentary confusion. I see exactly what you mean. And one would expect the aorist given the parallel you mention.

Thanks again!

What a great place this is! :D

Cheers,

Spanks
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