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Greek Participle Question

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Greek Participle Question

Postby cmartinman » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:12 pm

Hello all, I'm a new member. I teach Latin, and I'm in the process of learning Greek to pass a placement exam for a MA program. I'm using Hansen and Quinn, and I have run into some confusion regarding participles:

1. They reference circumstantial participles as being able to make up the protasis in a conditional sentence (section 70). Does the tense of indicative in the apodosis then govern the tense of the phrase (i.e. ο αν λυων ... λυω present gen. condition and ο λυων... ελυοω past gen. condition)?

2. A specific example from the exercises that I am uncertain about:

οι αν βλαπτομενοι μη φυλαττωνται τους πολεμιους, υπ εκεινων μη αρχθωμεν (unit 8, III.11)

Does oi have an indefinite force like "whoever", as in 'Let whoever is not harmed guard the enemies, let us not be ruled by them." ?

I appreciate any help.
valete, grammatici!
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Re: Greek Participle Question

Postby daivid » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:55 am

cmartinman wrote:
2. A specific example from the exercises that I am uncertain about:

οι αν βλαπτομενοι μη φυλαττωνται τους πολεμιους, υπ εκεινων μη αρχθωμεν (unit 8, III.11)

Does oi have an indefinite force like "whoever", as in 'Let whoever is not harmed guard the enemies, let us not be ruled by them." ?

I appreciate any help.
valete, grammatici!

I am afraid that I'm not quite up to answering your question but you might have better luck posting in one of the specifically Greek forums as in here:
http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewforum.php?f=2

Many of those who could answer your question only check this forum now and then if at all.
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Re: Greek Participle Question

Postby Qimmik » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:03 pm

οι αν βλαπτομενοι μη φυλαττωνται τους πολεμιους, υπ εκεινων μη αρχθωμεν

The best I can make of this is "Those who being harmed do not take precautions against [their] enemies, let us not be ruled by them." "Let us not be ruled by those who do not take precautions against their enemies when they are harmed."

I think this is the meaning of the middle of φυλάττω as used here (from Liddell Scott Jones; note: φυλάττω is the usual Attic form; φυλάσσω is generally Ionic but used by some Attic writers such as Thucydides):

II. φυλάσσεσθαί τι or τινα to beware of, be on one's guard against, avoid a thing or person, Sapph.27, etc.: “ταῦτα” Hdt.1.108, 7.130, cf. Ar.Ra.4; τινας A.Pr.715,804; “τοὺς Ἀτρείδας εἰσορῶν φυλάξομαι” S.Ph.455; “τέττιξ ποιμένας . . πεφυλαγμένος” Theoc.16.95.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfula%2Fssw

μη modifies φυλαττωνται.

Does oi have an indefinite force like "whoever",


Yes. αν, μη and the subjunctive φυλαττωνται indicate that this is an indefinite relative clause. Here I would translate "those who".

There are two "quasi-conditional" constructions here that need to be distinguished: (1) the indefinite relative clause οι . . . φυλαττωνται, which is similar to a present general condition, and (2) the circumstantial participle βλαπτομενοι--within the indefinite relative clause--which can be viewed as conditional or temporal: if or when they are harmed. In other words, there is a quasi-condition within a quasi-condition.

Does the tense of indicative in the apodosis then govern the tense of the phrase


Here, the verb in the "apodosis" of the condition represented by the participle βλαπτομενοι, i.e., φυλαττωνται, is subjunctive because this is an indefinite relative clause. Likewise, the verb in the "apodosis" of the indefinite relative clause, i.e., αρχθωμεν, is "hortatory" subjunctive (aorist). (Note: only the indicative of the indicative and aorist express tense; in other moods the opposition indicative/aorist is one of verbal aspect.)

But in answer to your question, the tense and mood of the verb in the "apodosis" of a condition in which the "protasis" is expressed by a circumstantial participle or an indefinite relative clause simply follows the usual rules for Greek conditions, depending on the type of condition that's involved.

As Daivid noted, this sort of question would probably be better submitted in the "Learning Greek" forum: it could be overlooked in this one. Hope this helps.
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Re: Greek Participle Question

Postby cmartinman » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:18 pm

So φυλαττωνται is subjunctive because it is in an indefinite relative clause. I was reading οι αν...φυλαττωνται as the protasis a conditional clause (εαν/οι αν + subjunctive...), and I was confused when the αρχθωμεν did not make a future more vivid or a present general condition.

Thank you for the help!
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