For this use of the imperfect, see Monro Grammar of the Homeric dialect
(http://archive.org/stream/grammarofhome ... 5/mode/2up
), page 64, §72 (3). I'd usually consult Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique
(volume 2), but I'm on a holiday trip and don't have access to it.
I might be totally wrong, but I'm not sure if the inceptive aorist is a Homeric usage at all. I couldn't find a mention in Monro (I wish I had my Chantraine!). Pharr at §1081 gives ἐδάκρυσε as an example, but that form doesn't actually occur in the whole Homeric corpus. With this verb, the only instance that I think just might
be an inceptive aorist is 11.55 = 11.87 = 11.395
τὸν μὲν ἐγὼ δάκρυσα ἰδὼν ἐλέησά τε θυμῷ,
But I'd rather translate this "I wept" than "I began to weep".
I've actually thought about this before and haven't found a clear answer... Can anyone give a clear example of an inceptive aorist in Homer?
But anyway, with this "inceptive imperfect", the emphasis is the beginning of process