Isn't the 1st aorist of FAINW rather EFHNA (compensatorily lengthened alpha
becoming long-alpha and changing to eta)? Does an active aorist form EFANA
ever appear outside of Doric dialect?
This account you here offer, Carlton, is what drives me up the walls about
our traditional descriptive language about the voices. Even in traditional
terms I'd describe EFANHN not as fundamentally passive but as active in
form and intransitive in meaning: fundamentally, "I appeared." Of course
when used with an agent construction, as EFANHN TOIS FILOIS hUPO THS
GUNAIKOS, "I was shown to my friends by my wife," it is passive in function.
Then to call EXARHN an aorist passive seems to me particularly absurd. It
has no passive meaning whatsoever: it is intransitive athematic aorist
(active in form). This is what I have come to teach my own students as
"third aorist" to distinguish it from the first/sigmatic and the
second/thematic aorist. Many of what we call "passive deponents" are really
intransitive aorists with ACTIVE endings, even if they happen to have that
-QH- formative element commonly used in the formation of the passive aorist
There is undoubtedly a problem with the attempt to describe NT Greek from a
diachronic perspective rather than a synchronic one; the concordances ought
to be used and the phenomena as they appear in the NT should be listed in a
NT Reference grammar. On the other hand, there is something false, however
pragmatic, in the construction of a NT reference grammar as if the Greek of
the NT were somehow a language detached and sacred, wholly removed from the
secular Koine of the Mediterranean world. Surely even students learning
Greek for no other purpose than that of reading the New Testament should
have a sense of this language as a larger, grander vehicle.
Having just received a sympathy note from Mark O'Brien on the passing of my
BAGD, perhaps I should just confess that I am a bit grieved and grumpy
today, as my posts must evidently reveal (FAINEIN, that is).
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com