Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Imperfect Tense 4

Imperfect Tense Four

λυω > ελυον but some examples

α + ε > η ἄγω > ᾖγον
αι + ε > ῃ αἰσθάνομαι > ᾐσθάνομην
ε + ε > η ἐλαύνον > ἤλαυνον
sometimes ει ἔχω > εἶχον and N. B. εὑρίσκω > εὕρισκον
ο + ε > ω ὀφείλω > ὤφειλον BUT ὁράω > ἐώρᾱ and N. B. ὠθέω > ἐώθουν

Next some – μι verbs

Monday, 25 February 2013

Imperfect tense 3

Imperfect Tense Three

Classical Greek has 4 PRIMARY Tenses:

Present Future Perfect Future Perfect

There are also 3 SECONDARY Tenses for PAST ACTIONS


The Imperfect is used to describe continuous habitual repeated past actions.

All of these secondary tenses have an initial ε added called the augment.

Some are irregular and have irregular Imperfect forms with a pluperfect meaning.

Like Attic ἔοικε

However the laws of contraction apply to augment e

see the next post.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Imperfect Tense Two

Imperfect Tense Two

A pattern used for the Imperfect and the Second Aorist

 παίδευ ο ν  augment then the stem
 παίδευ ε ς then unless it's a contract verb
 παίδευ ε ( ν ) ον ες ε ( ν ) ομεν ετε ον
 παίδευ ο μεν
 παίδευ ε τε
 παίδευ ο ν

A contract Verb like φιλεω would become ἐφιλουν ἐφιλεις ἐφιλει ἐφιλουμεν ἐφιλειτε ἐφιλουν in the Imperfect Tense. Some irregular verbs have σαν instead of ον.

The Middle Imperfect endings are – μην - σο - το - μεθα - σθε - ντο.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Imperfect Tense One


̓Αέλιος δ̕ ̒Υπεριονίδας δέπας ἐσκατέβαινε χρύσεον,

and Helios the son of Hyperion into the golden bowl descended,

So what 's special about this opening line of Stesichorus' poem.

You can read the rest of the text in Trypanis P. 154 of the Penguin paperback edition.

Like many fragments of ancient verse it survived in an incomplete form because it was quoted in a later text as an example of metre or dialect by an author who never realised so many literature would become to the ravages of time.

I've cited this opening line because it has an excellent example of the Imperfect Tense.

Eskatebaine is the Imperfect and poetic form of the Verb εἰσκαταβαίνω go down into and the topic of the next few blog posts will be the Imperfect Tense of Greek Verbs.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Minoan Master of the Palace

This Minoan Seal caught my eye the other day.

Is this a god guarding a palace or a monarch proclaiming his status as ruler?

The Minoan culture shared some traits with later Classical Greek culture but this positioning suggests a confidence almost arrogance that reminds us that Helladic Minoan and Mycenaean cultures were dominated by aristocrats and hereditary rulers.  The Greeks didnt build palaces again on this scale with multiple storeys and towers until the Age of Alexander.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Titanic Names

A speculative  look at the names of some of the Titans.

Maia mother of Hermes.

Possibly a local Arcadian form of the great mother goddess as her name has several meanings, mother, midwife, good mother, dame, lady,

Themis T aspirated emis  possibly connected to the verb Titheemi?

Iapetus the only similar greek word is the Verb Iaptoo

Leto is Leetoo in Attic Ionic but Laatoo in Doric.

Graves links this toa Semitic goddess but another overlooked possiblity is the obscure verb law meaning Watch. Leto as the goddess who watches?

Koios The Ionic dialect has a verb Koeoo that has the same meaning as Noeoo so Koios may have been the Mindful One?

His Consort Phoibee Yes its aspirate p in greek not Fibee! The radiant one.

Hyperion father of the Sun Moon and Dawn Overlord ?

Kreios Kreion Lord master

Names have meanings but the meanings of these names predate the Olympian gods and it may well that given how words can change of the centuries that the names meant something different thousands of years ago.

Probably about 3500 years ago or older since some people think the myths about  Battle of the Titans or the gods fleeing Typhon reflect dim memories of the eruption of Thera?  Did religion in Greece change after Thera's eruption?

Something to to think about and google the concept of earthstorms?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Two Musicians

The two musicians are supposed to be Alkaios  Alkaeus and Sappho.

The clothing style is probably worn by musicians of the artists own era  since these two poets lived a couple of centuries earlier and certainly were not Athenian.

Note the following details of interest.

Both male and female are appearing transparent under robes of ultra line linen under cloaks.  Both have their plectrums tied to their instruments by a long string.

The models for this work well it would be interesting to know if they were professional musicians perhaps hired for a festival or party to perform songs by these two poets?

They both also have bare feet and are not wearing garlands or wreath but just simple headbands.

There appears to be no embroidery on their robes apart from some dots and a dark rim but that may be a rendering of the weave ?

Monday, 4 February 2013

A Greek Herbal

One of the most published and popular books in the world translated from Greek into  Latin Arabic English and other languages would be the Materia Medica Its GREEK NOT LATIN despite the Modern name!

When you're thinking about classics remember classics arent just literature!