Textkit Logo

Perfect participles -- Xenophon's Symposium

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.

Perfect participles -- Xenophon's Symposium

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:34 am

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. [2] 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. [3] 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: [4] 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.
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2090
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Perfect participles -- Xenophon's Symposium

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:45 am

. . . ἃ δὴ καὶ Καλλίας τότε διὰ τὸν ἔρωτα πράττων ἀξιοθέατος ἦν τοῖς τετελεσμένοις τούτῳ τῷ θεῷ.

. . . Such was the demeanour of Callias at this time under the influence of Love; and therefore he was an object well worth the gaze of those initiated into the worship of this god.

τοῖς τετελεσμένοις -- "those who had undergone initiation" and were now members of the cult.
Last edited by Qimmik on Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2090
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Perfect participles -- Xenophon's Symposium

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:56 am

ἐκεῖνοι μὲν οὖν σιωπῇ ἐδείπνουν, ὥσπερ τοῦτο ἐπιτεταγμένον αὐτοῖς ὑπὸ κρείττονός τινος. Φίλιππος δ᾽ ὁ γελωτοποιὸς κρούσας τὴν θύραν εἶπε τῷ ὑπακούσαντι εἰσαγγεῖλαι ὅστις τε εἴη καὶ δι᾽ ὅ τι κατάγεσθαι βούλοιτο, συνεσκευασμένος τε παρεῖναι ἔφη πάντα τὰ ἐπιτήδεια ὥστε δειπνεῖν τἀλλότρια, καὶ τὸν παῖδα δὲ ἔφη πάνυ πιέζεσθαι διά τε τὸ φέρειν μηδὲν καὶ διὰ τὸ ἀνάριστον εἶναι. [12] ὁ οὖν Καλλίας ἀκούσας ταῦτα εἶπεν: ἀλλὰ μέντοι, ὦ ἄνδρες, αἰσχρὸν στέγης γε φθονῆσαι: εἰσίτω οὖν. καὶ ἅμα ἀπέβλεψεν εἰς τὸν Αὐτόλυκον, δῆλον ὅτι ἐπισκοπῶν τί ἐκείνῳ δόξειε τὸ σκῶμμα εἶναι. [13] ὁ δὲ στὰς ἐπὶ τῷ ἀνδρῶνι ἔνθα τὸ δεῖπνον ἦν εἶπεν: ὅτι μὲν γελωτοποιός εἰμι ἴστε πάντες: ἥκω δὲ προθύμως νομίσας γελοιότερον εἶναι τὸ ἄκλητον ἢ τὸ κεκλημένον ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον. κατακλίνου τοίνυν, ἔφη ὁ Καλλίας. καὶ γὰρ οἱ παρόντες σπουδῆς μέν, ὡς ὁρᾷς, μεστοί, γέλωτος δὲ ἴσως ἐνδεέστεροι.

The company, then, were feasting in silence, as though some one in authority had commanded them to do so, when Philip the buffoon knocked at the door and told the porter to announce who he was and that he desired to be admitted; he added that with regard to food he had come all prepared, in all varieties—to dine on some other person's,—and that his servant was totally stressed out with the load he carried of—nothing, and with having an empty stomach. Hearing this, Callias said, “Well, gentlemen, we cannot decently begrudge him at the least the shelter of our roof; so let him come in.” With the words he cast a glance at Autolycus, obviously trying to make out what he had thought of the pleasantry. But Philip, standing at the threshold of the men's hall where the banquet was served, announced: “You all know that I am a jester; and so I have come here with a will, thinking it more of a joke to come to your dinner uninvited than to come by invitation.” “Well, then,” said Callias, “take a place; for the guests, though well fed, as you observe, on seriousness, are perhaps rather ill supplied with laughter.”

ἐπιτεταγμένον -- "it had been ordered", "they were under orders" that were still in effect.

συνεσκευασμένος -- he gotten everything together and he had it there ready for the dinner.

γελοιότερον εἶναι τὸ ἄκλητον ἢ τὸ κεκλημένον ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον -- "it was funnier to come to dinner uninvited than to come as a guest who had been invited" "than as someone whose status was that of an invited guest" when he arrived (τὸ . . . ἐλθεῖν is an articular infinitive).
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2090
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Perfect participles -- Xenophon's Symposium

Postby Godmy » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:56 am

Wow! That's really great, thank you very much Qimmik :-)

Now I haven't had the time yet to study all of those posts, so I'll have to read also the rest of them.

The very first example seems to be quite "easy" in the aspect that there is some 'causal' implication (if I can call it so).

All of those cases where a change of state of the person (or of the noun that agrees with it) is implied seem quite easy. I tried to give similar explanations in the preceding thread for my examples that they were in fact also perfect or at least with a bit of imagination could be interpreted as perfect (rather than just aorist), but again I guess that in a "Having knocked, he waited for the door to open" the explanation for the perfect tense seems to be superfluous. Probably all past events that has/had just happened could be easily interpreted as a perfect tense but then maybe the difference between it and aorist might wash away (I don't know).

But thank you anyway, I'll read it all more in detail once I have more time!
Latin IRC chat: http://textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/vi ... =3&t=62017
User avatar
Textkit Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:47 pm
Location: Czech Republic

Re: Perfect participles -- Xenophon's Symposium

Postby ailuros » Fri May 09, 2014 12:58 pm

i finally got some time to take a look at the first example, and your explanation of the function of νενικηκότα in that paragraph was really helpful. I will work through the others, too, to get a better feel for these subtleties. Thanks, Qimmik! Dan
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:40 pm

Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 95 guests