Re: Mk 3.5

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Apr 14 1999 - 05:51:30 EDT

At 10:27 PM -0400 4/13/99, Jim West wrote:
>At 10:01 PM 4/13/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>In Mk 3.5 the participle periblepsamenos is in the middle voice, but I'm not
>>sure why it's not active instead. I understand the middle to express
>>actions done for or unto oneself, which thereby undercuts the dichotomy of
>>subject and object. I can only make sense of the middle here in that Jesus
>>was looking around so as to be on guard, thus looking out for himself.
>however, since the word is a participle- and in true "particpular" (!)
>fashion, the voice is "lost" (or maybe simply set aside) in favor of an
>emphasis on "time" (or maybe duration). Thus, something like- "and looking
>around at them... while angered", etc.

I don't think this is true at all; the fact is that the morphological
options for active or middle/passive (what I'd prefer to call
middle/reflexive) are available for most tenses of most verbs, and I don't
see how, when the option to use a middle/reflexive form in the aorist
instead of an active is taken, the voice becomes negligible. It may not be
the easiest thing to convey in English, but on the other hand, it's not out
of question to convey PERIBLEYAMENOS as "after casting his glance around
the room."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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