From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Oct 18 1996 - 07:01:31 EDT
At 7:56 PM -0500 10/17/96, porson wrote:
>I don't think IDE is a semiticism. I think it functions more as an
>interjection. In the Latin it is translated as ecce. Moulton calls it an
>interjection. LSJ translates it as "behold."
>Goodwin, in Greek Moods and Tenses, indicates a fluidity with regard to
>person and number in use of the imperative. 251: The imperative is often
>emphasised by AGE or AGETE, FERE, IQI, DEURO or DEUTE...; or by EI
>D'AGE... AGE, FERE, and IQI may be singular when the imperative is
>plural, and in the second person when the imperative is in the third.
>E.g. ... ALL' AGE MIMNETE PANTES, EUKNHMIDES AXAIOI. Il. ii.331... AGE DH
>AKOUSATE. XEN. Ap. 14. ... DEUTE, LEIPETE STEGAS. EUR. Med. 894.
>254: The imperative sometimes expresses a mere assumption, where
>something is supposed to be true for argument's sake. E.g. ... PROSEIPATW
>TINA FILIKWS hO TE ARXWN KAI hO IDIWTHS. suppose that both the ruler and
>the private man address one in a friendly way. XEN. Hier. viii.3.
>Regarding the absence of EINAI and a possible semiticim, Il. xvii.
>179-180, where the verb to be IS EXPRESSED, may be of interest to this
>ALL' AGE DEURO, PEPON, PAR EM' hISTASO KAI IDE ERGON,
>HE PANHMERIOS KAKOS ESSOMAI...
>I guess the point of this is that there is ample evidence, from Homeric
>times through the Hellenistic period of such variety and flexibility in
>the use of Greek imperatives that it belies our expectation of a "normal"
>singular or plural "command" having a corresponding subject in agreement
>as to number and an anticipated object in the accusative case.
>I guess I'll close by repeating that I think that in this instance IDE is
>best understood as an imperative that has become frozen in the idiom as
>an interjectional usage.
Thanks very much; this is exactly what I am inclined to think, that it's
not a Semitism but an alternative (and classical) form of the imperative
that has become fixed in the language as an interjection or adverb, and has
therefore ceased to have distinct singular and plural forms. -- But then,
isn't it odd that another very old and common expression of that sort,
DEURO ("over here!"), although apparently an adverbial interjection, was
felt to be sufficiently imperatival that it took on a plural form, DEUTE.
This is definitely a plural imperative in Mk 1:17: DEUTE OPISW MOU, KAI
POIHSW hUMAS GENESQAI hALIEIS ANQRWPWN, or Mt 11:28 DEUTE PROS ME PANTES
hOI KOPIWNTES ... It would appear that our Greek language is wonderfully
flexible and capable of a whole spectrum of permutations (so how DID the
dative evanesce and the genitive come, in modern Greek, to assume the
function of the dative of indirect object?).
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
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