I happened to pick up Xenophon's Symposium, and I noticed that in the opening sections, there are a number of perfect participles. I thought it might be helpful to copy the text and an English translation with a short explanation of the perfect participles (and some other perfects) -- so that you can see why they're not aorists, i.e., to show how they emphasize a present state, rather than simply an action that occurred before the action of the main verb.
ἀλλ᾽ ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ τῶν καλῶν κἀγαθῶν ἀνδρῶν ἔργα οὐ μόνον τὰ μετὰ σπουδῆς πραττόμενα ἀξιομνημόνευτα εἶναι, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ ἐν ταῖς παιδιαῖς. οἷς δὲ παραγενόμενος ταῦτα γιγνώσκω δηλῶσαι βούλομαι.  ἦν μὲν γὰρ Παναθηναίων τῶν μεγάλων ἱπποδρομία, Καλλίας δὲ ὁ Ἱππονίκου ἐρῶν ἐτύγχανεν Αὐτολύκου παιδὸς ὄντος, καὶ νενικηκότα αὐτὸν παγκράτιον ἧκεν ἄγων ἐπὶ τὴν θέαν. ὡς δὲ ἡ ἱπποδρομία ἔληξεν, ἔχων τόν τε Αὐτόλυκον καὶ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἀπῄει εἰς τὴν ἐν Πειραιεῖ οἰκίαν: συνείπετο δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ Νικήρατος.  ἰδὼν δὲ ὁμοῦ ὄντας Σωκράτην τε καὶ Κριτόβουλον καὶ Ἑρμογένην καὶ Ἀντισθένην καὶ Χαρμίδην, τοῖς μὲν ἀμφ᾽ Αὐτόλυκον ἡγεῖσθαί τινα ἔταξεν, αὐτὸς δὲ προσῆλθε τοῖς ἀμφὶ Σωκράτην, καὶ εἶπεν:  εἰς καλόν γε ὑμῖν συντετύχηκα: ἑστιᾶν γὰρ μέλλω Αὐτόλυκον καὶ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ. οἶμαι οὖν πολὺ ἂν τὴν κατασκευήν μοι λαμπροτέραν φανῆναι εἰ ἀνδράσιν ἐκκεκαθαρμένοις τὰς ψυχὰς ὥσπερ ὑμῖν ὁ ἀνδρὼν κεκοσμημένος εἴη μᾶλλον ἢ εἰ στρατηγοῖς καὶ ἱππάρχοις καὶ σπουδαρχίαις. καὶ ὁ Σωκράτης εἶπεν: ἀεὶ σὺ ἐπισκώπτεις ἡμᾶς καταφρονῶν, ὅτι σὺ μὲν Πρωταγόρᾳ τε πολὺ ἀργύριον δέδωκας ἐπὶ σοφίᾳ καὶ Γοργίᾳ καὶ Προδίκῳ καὶ ἄλλοις πολλοῖς, ἡμᾶς δ᾽ ὁρᾷς αὐτουργούς τινας τῆς φιλοσοφίας ὄντας.
To my mind it is worth while to relate not only the serious acts of great and good men but also what they do in their lighter moods. I should like to narrate an experience of mine that gives me this conviction. It was on the occasion of the horse-races at the greater Panathenaic games; Callias, Hipponicus' son, was enamoured, as it happened, of the boy Autolycus, and in honour of his victory in the pancratium had brought him to see the spectacle. When the racing was over, Callias proceeded on his way to his house in the Peiraeus with Autolycus and the boy's father; Niceratus also was in his company. But on catching sight of a group comprising Socrates, Critobulus, Hermogenes, Antisthenes, and Charmides, Callias bade one of his servants escort Autolycus and the others, and himself going over to Socrates and his companions, said, “This is an opportune meeting, for I am about to give a dinner in honour of Autolycus and his father; and I think that my entertainment would present a great deal more brilliance if my dining-room were graced with the presence of men like you, whose hearts have undergone philosophy's purification, than it would with generals and cavalry commanders and office-seekers.” “You are always quizzing us,” replied Socrates; “for you have yourself paid a good deal of money for wisdom to Protagoras, Gorgias, Prodicus, and many others, while you see that we are what you might call amateurs in philosophy; and so you feel supercilious toward us.”
νενικηκότα -- it's not just sequential. Xenophon is not telling us that Autolycus won the match and then Callias brought him to see the horse race--the point is that Callias brought him to see the horse races because he was the winner, to celebrate his win. The perfect emphasizes his status as winner--that was the reason for taking him to the horse race, he was basking in his victory--it doesn't merely tell us that he won the match. The translation aptly captures this idea: "in honour of his victory in the pancratium".
συντετύχηκα -- not a participle, but it illustrates the perfect: "I ran into you," and here we are together.
ἐκκεκαθαρμένοις -- who have been purified and are therefore now pure.
ὁ ἀνδρὼν κεκοσμημένος εἴη -- ἀνδρὼν is the "men's room", i.e., the dining room, not the bathroom. This is a periphrastic perfect optative. "If it had been adorned", "if it were adorned" when the action took place.
Last edited by Qimmik
on Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:08 pm, edited 6 times in total.