Re: EPIGNWSOMAI in 1 COR 13:12

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 12 1996 - 20:35:13 EDT

At 5:58 PM -0500 9/12/96, wrote:
>Any opinions out there on the use of the middle voice of EPIGNWSOMAI in 1 Cor
>13:12. Is it a reflexive or indirect middle. I take it as indirect.
>Charles Powell

I'm not quite sure what you're asking. So far as I know, GI(G)NWSKW and all
of its compounds are middle in the future--so there's no special difference
of meaning reflected in the fact that the form here is middle. A larger
question is why so many verbs that have active forms in the present shift
into the middle in the future; at one time I thought these were mostly
intransitive verbs, but one could just start listing quite a few that
behave this way:


Another notion I've toyed with is that there is some sort of
self-projection implicit in the future tense of such verbs; at any rate,
even the fact that the future tense is derivative from the aorist
subjunctive is no help with this puzzle, for we get future MIDDLE with
verbs that have aorists that are normally active, as can be seen from the
above arbitrary listing of a few such verbs.

At any rate, don't look for any profound implications in the fact that the
future of EPIGI(G)NWSKW happens to be middle voice.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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