And so leading the child they slowly walk towards the brother's house. When they arrived, Dikaiopolis knocked on the door. And his brother, having come to the door and having seen Dikaiopolis said: Greetings, brother, how are you? And greetings to you too, Myrrhine. But tell me, why are you not going back to the country but are still staying in town? For evening is already falling. And Dikaiopolis: I myself am fine, but the child - look - for he has become blind." And his brother upon seeing that the child is blind [seeing the child being blind] said: "By Jove, whatever happened to the child? Come on in and tell me what happened."
- ὁ Δικαιόπολις ἔκοψε τὴν θύραν, knocked on the door
- ἔκοψε, he knocked, simple fact
ἔκοπτε, was knocking, kept knocking
We're not interested in the duration ἔκοπτε, imperfect
but in the simple fact: What did he do [then]? - He knocked. ἔκοψε,aorist
Besides past augment, there is always a stem change to indicate aorist, simple aspect.
- ὁ δὲ ἀδελφὸς ἐλθών... ἰδών.... ἔφη..
His brother came.... saw... and said... [= having come, having seen, said]
We could have said:
ὁ δὲ ἀδελφὸς ἦλθε... εἶδε... ἔφη
- The Greeks preferred using participles:
Coming (or: having come), seeing... he said...
Aorist participle does not indicate time but simple aspect. What happened next?
Dikaiopolis knocked on the door. Simple aspect, specific action, aorist.
This succession of simple aspect actions can be made more elegant by using participles. But we must use aorist participles to retain this simple aspect characteristic.
His brother came to the door. Simple aspect, aorist.
He saw Dikaiopolis. Simple aspect, aorist.
He said: Greetings! Simple aspect, aorist.
Going to the door he said to his wife: I'll see who that is.
ἰὼν (= ἐρχόμενος) πρὸς τὴν θύραν for progressive aspect: while going
Going to the door he opened it and said: Oh, it's you.
ἐλθών πρὸς τὴν θύραν for simple aspect: he just went and then...
- εἴπετέ μοι tell me!
- Aorist imperative for simple aspect specific commands:
tell me once and for all
εἰπέ μοι: tell me! (order given to one)
Tell me, once and for all, something specific, not a general:
λέγε speak! (and go on speaking OR speak in general about general things)
ἐλθέ come! (now!)
ἰδέ Look! (quickly! now!)
- ὁ δὲ παῖς, ἰδού, τυφλὸς γὰρ γέγονεν. the child has become blind.
completed aspect: Perfect tense: as a result he sees nothing.
simple aspect: What happened next? He fell and [then] became blind.
simple aspect: ἔπεσε καὶ τυφλὸς ἐγένετο (Aorist tense)
progressive aspect: Night was already falling (Imperfect tense)
simple aspect: νὺξ ἤδη ἐγίγνετο
simple aspect: Night is falling. (Present tense)
simple aspect: νὺξ γίγνεται.
simple aspect: Night has fallen and it's now dark. (Perfect tense)
simple aspect: νὺξ γέγονε καὶ σκότος ἤδη ἐστίν.
- ὁ δὲ ἀδελφός, ἰδὼν τὸν παῖδα τυφλὸν ὄντα, ἔφη...
When he saw what exactly? simple, specific fact: The child is blind!
So we want aorist tense: εἶδε τὸν παῖδα τυφλὸν ὄντα.
So we waor aorist participle: ἰδὼν τὸν παῖδα, ....
- Note the difference between:
ὁρῶν τὸν παῖδα, ὦ Ζεῦ, ἔφη , ...
Looking at the child he said: Good grief, ....
He said this while looking at Philip
versus ἰδὼν τὸν παῖδα .....
Seeing the child (= He saw the child and then said...)
- τί ποτε ἔπαθεν ὁ παῖς;
What (exactly) happened to the child? Simple, specific fact = simple aspect
- Whatever happened to you? τίποτε ἔπαθες;
Me? Nothing. οὐδὲν ἔπαθον
What happened to all of you? τί ἔπάθετε;
Something terrible happened to us. δεινὰ ἐπάθομεν
- τί ἐγένετο; Whatever happened? Aorist simple past fact, versus
τί γέγονεν; What has happened? Perfect (with what result?)
- ὁ Φίλιππος δεινὰ ἔπαθε.
πῶς τυφλὸς ἐγένετο;
οὕτως. This is how:
ὁ Φίλιππος νεανίας τινὰς εἶδε μαχομένους.
μὴ τύπτετε τὸν τλήμονα, ἔφη .
εἷς τῶν νεανιῶν ἐνέπεσε τῷ Φιλίππῳ.
ὁ Φίλιππος πρὸς τὴν γῆν κατέπεσεν.
Result: νῦν γε οὐδὲν ὁρᾷ
τυφλὸς γὰρ γέγονεν.
Perfect tense: The child has become blind = is blind
- Aorist imperative
κόπτουσιν τὴν θύραν. τί λέγεις;
εἰσελθέ (to one person)
εἰσέλθετε (to several)
οἱ δὲ οὐκ ἐθέλουσιν εἰσελθεῖν ἀλλὰ καλοῦσίν σε ἔξω λέγοντες· ἐξελθέ σύ. No, you come out! (if there's only on of you) or ἐξέλθετε ὑμεῖς (if there are more of you)
εἰπέ μοι τί βούλει Tell me what you want (singular)
εἴπετέ μοι τί βούλεσθε (plural)
Why are all these imperative forms aorist ?
Because they are all simple, straightforward, specific "once" orders.