Date: Thu Apr 30 1998 - 02:12:53 EDT
Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> I think that this verb is a wonderful (Greek DEINOS, which, as Heidegger
> reminds us, also means "overwhelming" or "terrible") illustration of the
> problem of Greek voice and the sorts of terminological difficulties
> entailed in our endeavor to makes sense simultaneously of the MORPHOLOGY of
> the -QH- forms and their actual SEMANTIC content.
> PLAZW therefore originally means (etymologically)
> "knock off course" while PLANAW means "make go without direction." In
> practice, however, both verbs function to have the same meaning. We see the
> first in the second line of the Odyssey:
> ANDRA MOI ENNEPE, MOUSA, POLUTROPON, hOS MALA POLLA
> PLAGCQH, EPEI TROIHS hIERON PTOLIEQRON EPERSEN ...
> "Recount to me, Muse, the versatile man, who roamed quite a lot (MALA
> POLLA PLANGCQH), after he had sacked the sacred citadel of Troy ..."
> Now the problem with these verbs, so far as VOICE is concerned, is that the
> active clearly is used in the sense of "make go astray," whereas the middle
> voice is used in what we call an INTRANSITIVE sense, "go astray"--and the
> -QH- "passive" forms provide simply the aorist of this middle
> "intransitive" sense of "go astray." That is to say, this is one of those
> verbs for which it is hard to demonstrate any genuine passive sense UNLESS,
> as Clay notes, one can show an external agent as the key factor in the
This QH 'passive' 2nd [strong] aorist business has got me muddling. I
love this the first two lines of the Oddyssey ~ 1st time I have seen
them in the Greek ~ And the idea that is being conveyed with the QH
passive aorist here is the fact that Oddysseus did not CHOOSE to roam,
but 'was roamed' [was made to go without direction] by things that
were quite beyond his control, is it not? And would that not make
this passive truely a passive? And if so, would that not call into
question our original understanding of the QH 2nd aorist? The voice
is passive, and the action transitive, yes? The fact that the 'agent'
is not indicated is the purpose of saying it this way, as an
introduction to the story that portrays this agency [these agencies].
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