Thematic Present

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29. The Simple Thematic Present. The stems which fall under this description generally contain the same vowels (or diphthongs) as the strong stem of the athematic present (§§ 6, 12). They may be classed according to the stem vowel, as follows.

  1. η, Ionic for ᾱ:

    λήθ-ε-το forgot
    τήκομαι I waste away
    θήγει sharpens
    σήπεται is rotted
    κήδει vexes


    ἀρήγει helps
    λήγει ceases
    μήδεται devises

    The η of these stems is 'pan-Hellenic' i. e. answers to η, not ᾱ, in other dialects.

  2. ει:

    εἴδ-ε-ται seems
    εἶκε yield
    λείβειν to pour
    λείπει leaves
    πείθω I persuade
    στεῖβον trod
    στείχειν to march
    πείκετε comb
    εἴβει drops
    φείδεο spare
    ἄειδε sing
    ἄλειφε anointed
    ἄμειβε exchanged
    ἐρεικόμενος torn
    ἔρειδε stayed
    ἔρειπε knocked down
    νειφέμεν to snow (so to be read instead of νῑφέμεν in Il. 12.280).

    For ἵκω I come the Doric form is εἵκω.

  3. ευ:

    φεύγ-ω I fly
    πεύθομαι I learn (by hearing)
    ἐρεύγεται belches
    ἐρεύθων reddening
    σπεύδειν to hasten
    ψεύδονται play false
    εὑόμενοι being singed
    ἐσσεύοντο were urged on
    νεῦον nodded
    δεύομαι need

    also, with loss of υ before the thematic vowel

    ἔν-νεον swam (νεϝ-ον)
    θέει runs
    πλέων sailing
    πνέει breathes
    ῥέει flows
    χέει pours
    κλέομαι am famed

    The forms with ει for ε, as θεί-ειν, πλείειν, πνείων, ἐγ-χείῃ, (for θέ-ειν, etc.) should probably be written with ευ, θεύ-ειν, πλεύ-ειν, etc.

  4. ερ (ρε):

    δέρκ-ο-μαι I behold
    τέρπειν to rejoice
    πέρθετο was sacked
    ἐέργει confines
    τέρσεται is dried
    ἕρπει creeps
    σπέρχουσι urge
    ἔρρων sweeping
    δέρον flayed
    θέρεσθαι to be warmed
    ῥέπε sank downwards
    ἔπρεπε shone
    τρέπε turned
    τρέφει nurtures
    στρέφει twists


    ἔλπ-ο-μαι I hope
    μέλπεσθαι to play
    ἕλκει draws
    ἄμελγε milked
    κέλομαι I command
    πέλει turns
    ἐθέλω I am willing

    ρῑ from ερ appears in

    τρῑβ-έμεναι to rub (Lat. ter-o)
    χρῖ-ον anointed (Sanskrit gharsh-ati)
    βρῖθον were heavy

    ῐρ (ρῐ, ρῑ) for  appears in certain combinations

    κίρ-νημι (§ 17)
    κρῐ-τός (cerno, certus)
    ῥίζα for ϝρδ-ι̯α
    δρί-ον for δρϝ-ον (δρῦ-ς)
    κρῑός (Lat. cervus)
    κριθή for κρσ-θη, hordeum, O. Germ gersta (Meyer, G. G. p. 35: Thurneysen, K. Z. xxx. 352).

  5. εν:

    πέν-ε-σθαι to labour
    στένει groans
    μένω I wait
    φθέγγεο call out
    ἐλέγχει reproves
    σπένδων making libation


    πέμπω I send
    ἐπι-μέμφομαι I blame
    τέμει (Il. 13.707) cuts
    δέμον built
    βρέμει roars
    νέμει apportions
    ἔ-τρεμε trembled

  6. ε:

    λέγ-ε told
    ἔχ-ω I have
    ἔδει eats
    ἕπεται follows
    πέτεται flies
    δέχομαι I receive
    ἔνν-επε say
    ἔ-στεφε set as a covering

    with loss of σ

    τρεῖ (τρέει, for τρεσ-ει, cp. ἄ-τρεσ-τος) trembles
    ζεῖ (ζέει) boils
    νέομαι (cp. νόσ-τος) I return

    The thematic forms of εἰμί, viz. ἔον, optative ἔοι, participle ἐών, belong to this head, since ἐσ- is the strong stem. So too κέονται (for κει-ονται), 3rd plural of κεῖ-μαι.

    ω (instead of η) appears in

    τρώγ-ειν to gnaw (τρᾰγ-)
    διώκειν to chase

    Both forms appear to be derivative (with suffixed γ, κ, § 45): τρώ-γω may be connected with τορ-εῖν (§ 31.4). διώ-κω is related to δίε-μαι (§ 11): it has been supposed to be a thematic perfect, with loss of reduplication (i.e. from *δε-δίω-κα).

    ῡ appears in

    τρῡ́χ-ουσι waste away
    ἀνα-ψῡ́χ-ειν to cool
    ἐρῡ́κ-ει restrains

    These also are derivative (§ 45).

    ο appears in λόε washed (Od. 10.361, H. Apoll. 120), infinitive λοῦσθαι (Od. 6. 216). λο- is for λοϝ-, cp. Lat. lav-ere. A present *λούω is inferred from the form λούεσθαι (Il. 6.508 = 15.265), for which we may read λοέεσθαι (from the derivative present λοέω).

30. Thematic present with weak stem. Of this formation there are a few instances:

ἄγ-ω I drive, bring (aor. ἤγ-ᾰγον)
ἄχομαι am vexed (aor. ἤκ-ᾰχε)
μάχονται fight
βλάβεται fails, breaks down
βόλεται wishes
ὄρονται watch
ὄθομαι care
ἀΐεις does hear
ἀπο-δρύφοι (optative) tear off
ἄρχει leads
ἄγχε choked

also the thematic forms of εἶμι viz. imperfect ἤ-ϊον, opative ἴοι, participle ἰών. Note that γράφω is not found in Homer except in the aorist ἔγραψα.

The forms βόλεται (Il. 11.319), ἐβόλοντο (Od. 1.234), βόλεσθε (Od. 16.387) were restored by Wolf: see Buttmannʼs Lexil. s. ν.

The form βλάβεται (Il. 19.82, 166, Od. 13.34) occurs in gnomic passages only, where an aorist would be equally in place (§ 78.2).

ὄρονται (Od. 14.104), ὄροντο (Od. 3.471) occur in the phrase ἐπὶ δʼ ἀνέρες ἐσθλοὶ ὄρονται, where ἐπὶ ὄρονται seems to be = "act as ἐπίουροι" "are in charge."

ἀΐω only occurs as a present in the phrase οὐκ ἀΐεις; = have you not heard? Elsewhere ἄϊον is used as an aorist (Schulze, K. Z. xxix. 249).

A present δρύφω cannot be inferred with certainty from the optative ἀποδρύφοι (Il. 23.187, 24.21), which may be an aorist.

The forms ἄρχω, ἄγχω are difficult because original ᾱρχ-, ᾱγχ- would shorten the vowel (before a semi-vowel and mute), and consequently the stem would be indistinguishable from original ᾰρχ-, ᾰγχ-. That in ἄρχ-ω the stem is weak may be inferred from the nouns ἀρχ-ός, ἀρχ-ή (§ 109): the ο-form may be found in ὄρχαμος, the strong form possibly in ἔρχ-ομαι. Again ἄγχ-ω may be identifed with Sanskrit áh-ati (for ń̥gh-atί): the strong form being ἐγχ- in ἔγχ-ελυς (De Saussure, Mém. p. 276 ff.).