Thematic Perfects

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27. By this term we understand the forms which arise when a perfect is inflected like a present in -ω. This change took place universally in Syracusan Doric, occasionally in other dialects. The chief Homeric instances are as follows.

ἄνωγα: 3rd singular ἀνώγει, which has a present sense in several places (though more commonly it is a pluperfect), dual ἀνώγε-τον; also ἤνωγον, ἄνωγον, ἄνωγε, optative ἀνώγοιμι, imperative ἀνωγέ-τω, ἀνώγε-τε. Such a form as ἤνωγον may be regarded either as a thematic pluperfect of ἄνωγα, or as imperfect of a new thematic present ἀνώγω. This remark applies also to the next three cases.

γέγωνα: ἐγέγωνε, infinitive γεγωνέ-μεν (also γεγώνειν or γεγωνεῖν, Il. 12. 337).

πεπληγώς (only in the participle): ἐπέπληγον and πέπληγον, infinitive πεπληγέ-μεν, middle πεπλήγε-το.


μεμηκώς (participle): ἐμέμηκον

κεκληγώς: plural κεκλήγοντες (Il. 12.125, 16.430, 17. 756 and 759), perhaps τετρίγοντες (§ 26.1), and κεκόπων (v. l. for κεκοπώς, Il. 13.60, Od. 18.335).

μέμνημαι : the optative μεμνέῳτο (Il. 23.361) is apparently obtained by transference of quantity from a thematic μεμνή-οιτο; but we may read μέμνῃτο, 3rd singular of the regular optative μεμνῄ-μην (Il. 24.745). For this, again, some MSS. have μεμνοίμην, as if from *μέμνο-μαι. The 2nd singular indicative μέμνῃ (Il. 15.18) also points to μέμνομαι, but we may read μέμνηʼ (i. e. μέμνηαι).

μέμβλε-ται (Il. 19.343) and μέμβλε-το (μέλ-ω) may be variously explained. Perhaps μεμελ-, the short stem answering to μέμηλε, became by metathesis μεμλε-, μεμβλε-; cp. ἤμβροτον for ἥμαρτον.

ὀρώρε-ται (Od. 19.377 and 524, subjunctive ὀρώρη-ται Il. 13.271).

ἐδηδε-ται (v. l. in Od. 22.56, see § 25.3). We may add the pluperfects δείδιε feared, ἀνήνοθεν (Il. 11.266), ἐπ-ενήνοθεν (Il. 2.219, 10.134): perhaps also the optatives in -οιμι, -οις, etc., viz. βεβρώθ-οις (Il. 4.35), βεβλήκοι (Il. 8.270), πεφεύγοι (Il. 21.609), ἱλήκοι (H. Apoll. 165); see § 83.

Note: The present ἀκούω I hear appears to be originally a perfect which has gone through the process exemplified. The true present form is ἀκεύω, which survived in Cyprus (ἀκεύει· τηρεῖ Κύπριοι) and Crete (Law of Gortyn ii. 17). Hence the Attic ἀκήκοα (for ἀκήκουα), and presumably also an earlier form *ἄκουα, formed like ἄνωγα, and passing into ἀκούω as ἄνωγα passed into ἀνώγω. This explains the use of ἀκούω with the perfect meaning (§ 72.4), which accordingly is not quite parallel to the similar use of πυνθάνομαι, μανθάνω, etc. Other Homeric examples are διώκω (§ 29), in which the want of reduplication may be original (§ 23.5) and ἱλήκω (§ 22.9.b). The form ἥκω, which is probably of this nature, occurs in our MSS. of Homer (Il. 5.473, 18.406; Od. 13.325, 15.329), but Bekker substituted the undoubtedly Homeric ἵκω (La Roche, H. T. 287).

The form ἐνένιπε rebuked, which occurs several times in Homer (usually with the variants ἐνένιπτε and ἐνένισπε), should perhaps be placed here. It is usually classed as a reduplicated aorist (so Curt. Verb. ii 26), but there is no analogy for this, and the Homeric passages do not prove that it is an aorist. The ῑ of the stem may be due to the influence of the present ἐνίπτω and the noun ἐνῑπή (cp. § 25.3). Buttman acutely compared it with ἐπέπληγον, which is evidently related to πλήσσω and πληγή as ἐνένῑπον to ἐνίπτω (ἐνίσσω) and ἐνῑπή.The reduplication is of the type of ἐρέριπτο.