iterative e)/ske in Iliad 3:180

Are you reading Homeric Greek? Whether you are a total beginner or an advanced Homerist, here you can meet kindred spirits. Besides Homer, use this board for all things early Greek poetry.
Post Reply
Bert
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1890
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 2:28 am
Location: Arthur Ontario Canada

iterative e)/ske in Iliad 3:180

Post by Bert » Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:37 pm

dah\r au)=t' e)mo\j e)/ske kunw/pidoj, ei)/ pot' e)/hn ge.

I can't seem to translate the iterative e)/ske iteratively (is that a word?)

Isn't iterative characterized by repeated action?
I can understand 'he used to be' or 'he was' but not 'he was again and again.'
Is there another aspect indicated by an iterative ending?

User avatar
Paul
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2003 4:47 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by Paul » Mon Sep 05, 2005 6:32 pm

Hi Bert,

The IE suffix -sk- had several meanings including desiderative, inchoative, iterative, and causative. Its desiderative meaning likely developed into a 'customary' meaning, e.g. from wanting or intending to do something to being accustomed to doing it.

Hence in Ionic it develops into an imperfect able to express not only iteration, but continuation.

Cordially,

Paul

Post Reply