ὤλεκε (Pharr)

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Vasile Stancu
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ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by Vasile Stancu »

This verbal form is found in exercise 2 (Greek into English), Lesson XI. It is supposed to be, I believe, the aorist of ὀλέκω; it cannot be the imperfect of the same verb, since the imperfect is supposed to have no augment(ὄλεκον).
As I am checking now the translation that I have made of Pharr's Homeric Greek, I would like to fix this detail. I could probably use the form ὤλεσε (ὄλλυμι) and add ὄλλυμι to the vocabulary of Lesson XI. Or, perhaps it would be better to replace the form ὤλεκε with the present form ὀλέκει.
Any suggestion would be warmly welcomed.

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by jeidsath »

I think the statement "the imperfect is supposed to have no augment" for any word is a bad description of how it works in Homer. The augment for imperfects in Homer is optional, sometimes added, sometimes not (metrically impossible for some forms). For aorists, it almost always shows up in similes and gnomic statements. For iteratives, it's never used. In narrative it's more common than in speeches. For imperfects, it's almost 50/50. It's never used for ὄλεκον, but with only 4 occurrences that's not saying much.
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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by bcrowell »

Some relevant papers:

Decker, https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/322539654.pdf

Drewitt, J. A. J. (1912). The Augment in Homer. The Classical Quarterly, 6(01), 44. doi:10.1017/s0009838800017523
Ben Crowell, Fullerton, California
an innovative, free, and open-source presentation of Homer: https://bcrowell.github.io/ransom/

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by Vasile Stancu »

jeidsath wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:43 pm ... "the imperfect is supposed to have no augment" for any word is a bad description of how it works in Homer....
By "the imperfect is supposed to have no augment" I actually meant "the imperfect of this verb is supposed to have no augment", as LSJ says, "ὀλέκω, impf. without augm. ὄλεκον Il. 11.150...". If this is true, then the form ὤλεκε could be considered (I thought) an artificial aorist construction: I searched the text of the Iliad for words that start with ωλεκ- (having noticed that no dictionaries I have at hand give any examples of aorist for this verb) and found no occurrences. And I asked for suggestions having in mind the beginner student of Homeric Greek, who does not need, I believe, to face such problems at this stage of his study.

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by cb »

Hi, just catching up with this thread, there are two points to unpack: the tense and the augment question.

As for the tense, this is not an aorist but an imperfect. It is an alternative present form of ὄλλυμι, where the guttural -κω ending underlines the result of the action (Chantraine's Homeric grammar, vol. 1, sec. 155). The aorist cannot be formed from the present part, and so given the secondary ending -ε this must be imperfect. I hope this answers a lot of the OP's original query.

As for the OP's other point on augment, that in Homer the imperfect of ὀλέκω is unaugmented, this is correct, and commented on in Veitch's Greek verbs (s.v. ὄλλυμι), however, Veitch notes an augmented (Doric) form in the (much later) Trachiniae of Sophocles: ὠλεκόμαν (v. 1013).

Pharr's use of the augmented form in a Homeric Greek work is, as the OP seems to be rightly picking up, not idiomatic. But at least it has turned the OP's mind to the point explicitly, and so (from a learning perspective) it has still been beneficial!

Cheers, Chad

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by jeidsath »

Tense LSJ: "ὀλέκω , impf. without augm. ὄλεκον Il.11.150"

Augment: Out of the four uses of ὄλεκον/ὄλεκε in Homer, it never occurs augmented. It's a different thing to say that the form could never have been augmented. See above.
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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by cb »

Hi Joel, agreed. No-one said 'never' (the word 'never' only appeared in this thread in your posts): Veitch (like LSJ, and like you) all note that it's unaugmented in its uses in Homer.

Cheers, Chad

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by jeidsath »

I rephrased the statement of the "the imperfect of this verb is supposed to have no augment" by saying "never augmented" yes. It's a fully warranted and useful rephrasing in the context of my last post. "No-one said never" is a technically correct, but misleading statement.

(I think you took my reply as a reply to you, cb, rather than to the last post quoting me.)
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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by cb »

Ah OK, all good, hopefully the OP now has the info they need, cheers, Chad

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by Vasile Stancu »

Thank you all; I understand that the imperfect ὤλεκε is spelled like this on purpose in Pharr's manual (actually, it is used as such also in Lesson IX, exercise 6).

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by Vasile Stancu »

P.S. The first exercise for English into Greek has killed the noble Priam to be translated. The only verb meaning kill studied up to this point is ὀλέκω (ὄλλυμι is introduced much later, in Lesson XLV). Could somebody please suggest how to translate here the verb kill? (I suppose the tense should be aorist).
Last edited by Vasile Stancu on Tue Sep 13, 2022 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by jeidsath »

I pulled out Pharr and checked his use of the augment. He seems to be adding it to everything in the early lessons, and I expect that he plans to teach its omission as an "exception" at some later point.

Asking for a simple past translation without having given an aorist form looks like a mistake. ὤλεσαν seems to be what's wanted. The imperfect can sometimes be used in narration where you'd expect aorist, but that doesn't seem to be what he's doing here.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by Vasile Stancu »

I also thought that the aorist must be used in this case, because the action involved is supposed to take just a short instance, whereas the imperfect, as I imagine it, applies to something that can be associated with a process.
What I plan to do is drag ὄλλυμι with its future and aorist forms from Lesson XLV into the vocabulary of Lesson XI so that the prospective student may use its aorist with this exercise.

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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by jeidsath »

Why not just include the aorist of ὀλέκω as ὤλεσα? They aren't really different words, and the ὄλλυμι form might be confusing early on. (He hasn't covered -μι forms yet, has he?)
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Re: ὤλεκε (Pharr)

Post by Vasile Stancu »

It would be early indeed, since the verbs in -μι are treated at Lesson XLV; however, τίθημι, for instance, is included much earlier than that, i.e. the vocabulary of Lesson XIII. I am still pondering...

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