Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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The first aorist stem is formed by adding the tense suffix -σα to the verb-stem: ἔ-λυ_-σα I loosed, λύ_σω, λύ_σαιμι; ἔ-δειξα I showed, from δείκ-νυ_-μι. See cross666.

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a. In verbs showing strong and weak grades ( cross476), the tense-suffix is added to the strong stem: πείθω ἔπεισα, τήκω ἔτηξα, πνέω ἔπνευσα, ἵστημι (στα-, στη-) ἔστησα, ἐστησάμην.

N.—τίθημι (θε-, θη-) place, δίδωμι (δο-, δω-) give, ἵ_ημι (ἑ-, ἡ-) send have aorists in -κα (ἔθηκα, ἔδωκα, ἧκα in the singular: with κ rarely in the plural). See cross755.


Mixed Aorists.—Hom. has some forms of the first aorist with the thematic vowel (όε) of the second aorist; as ἄξετε, ἄξεσθε (ἄγω lead), ἐβήσετο, imper. βήσεο (βαίνω go), ἐδύ_σετο (δύω set), ἷξον (ἵ_κω come), οἶσε, οἴσετε, οἰσέμεν, οἰσέμεναι (φέρω bring), imper. ὄρσεο rise (ὄρνυ_μι rouse).


Vowel Verbs.—Verb-stems ending in a vowel lengthen a short final vowel before the tense-suffix (α to η except after ε, ι, ρ). Thus, τι_μάω ἐτί_μησα, ἐάω εἴα_σα ( cross431), φιλέω ἐφίλησα.

a. χέω (χυ-, χευ-, χεϝ-) pour has the aorists ἔχεα, ἐχεάμην (Epic ἔχευα, ἐχευάμην) from ἐχευσα, ἐχευσαμην.


Homeric ἠλευάμην and ἠλεάμην avoided, ἔκηα burned (Att. ἔκαυσα), ἔσσευα drove, also have lost ς.

b. For verbs retaining a short final vowel see cross488.


Hom. often has original σς, as γελάω ἐγέλασσα, τελέω ἐτέλεσσα; in others by analogy, as ὄλλυ_μι ὄλεσσα, ὄμνυ_μι ὄμοσσα, καλέω κάλεσσα.


Liquid Verbs.—Verb-stems ending in λ, μ, ν, ρ lose ς and lengthen their vowel in compensation ( cross37): α to η (after ι or ρ to α_), ε to ει, ι to ι_, υ to υ_.

φαίνω (φαν-) show, ἔφηνα for ἐφανσα; περαίνω (περαν-) finish, ἐπέρα_να for ἐπερανσα; στέλλω (στελ-) send, ἔστειλα for ἐστελσα; κρί_νω (κριν-) judge, ἔκρι_να for ἐκρινσα; ἅλλομαι (ἁλ-) leap, ἡλάμην for ἡλσαμην.

a. Some verbs in -αινω (-αν-) have -α_να instead of -ηνα; as γλυκαίνω sweeten ἐγλύκα_να. So ἰσχναίνω make thin, κερδαίνω gain, κοιλαίνω hollow out, λιπαίνω fatten, ὀργαίνω be angry, πεπαίνω make ripe. Cp. cross30 a.

b. The poetic verbs retaining ς in the future ( cross536) retain it also in the aorist.

c. αἴρω (ἀρ-) raise is treated as if its verb-stem were ἀ_ρ- (contracted from ἀερ- in ἀείρω): aor. ἦρα, ἄ_ρω, ἄ_ραιμι, ἆρον, ἆραι, ἄ_ρας, and ἠράμην, ἄ_ρωμαι, ἀ_ραίμην, ἄ_ρασθαι, ἀ_ράμενος.

d. ἤνεγκα is used as the first aorist of φέρω bear. εἶπα is rare for εἶπον ( cross549).


Hom. has Ionic -ηνα for -α_να after ι or ρ. Aeolic assimilates ς to a liquid; as ἔκριννα, ἀπέστελλα, ἐνέμματο, συνέρραισα (= συνείρα_σα). Cp. Hom. ὤφελλε (ὀφέλλω increase).


Stop Verbs.—Labial (π, β, φ) and palatal (κ, γ, χ) stops at the end of the verb-stem unite with ς to form ψ or ξ. Dentals (τ, δ, θ) are lost before ς (cp. cross98).

πέμπ-ω send ἔπεμψα, ἐπεμψάμην; βλάπτω (βλαβ-) injure ἔβλαψα; γράφ-ω write ἔγραψα, ἐγραψάμην; πλέκ-ω weave ἔπλεξα, ἐπλεξάμην; λέγ-ω say ἔλεξα; ταράττω (ταραχ-) disturb ἐτάραξα, ἐταραξάμην; poetic ἐρέσσω (ἐρετ-) row ἤρεσα; φράζω (φραδ-) tell ἔφρασα, ἐφρασάμην; πείθ-ω (πιθ-, πειθ-, ποιθ-) persuade ἔπεισα.

a. On forms in ς from stems in γ see cross516.


Hom. often has σς from dental stems, as ἐκόμισσα ἐκομισσάμην (κομίζω). Doric has -ξα from most verbs in -ζω; Hom. also has ξ (ἥρπαξε). See cross516 D.

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The second aorist is formed without any tense-suffix and only from the simple verb-stem. Only primitive verbs ( cross372) have second aorists.


Hom. has more second aorists than Attic, which favoured the first aorist. Some derivative verbs have Homeric second aorists classed under them for convenience only, as κτυπέω sound ἔκτυπον; μυ_κάομαι roar ἔμυκον; στυγέω hate ἔστυγον. These forms are derived from the pure verb-stem ( cross485 d, cross553).


(I) Ω-Verbs.—Ω-verbs make the second aorist by adding όε- to the verb-stem, which regularly ends in a consonant. Verbs showing vowel gradations ( cross476) use the weak stem (otherwise there would be confusion with the imperfect).

λείπω (λιπ-, λειπ-) leave ἔλιπον, -ἐλιπόμην; φεύγω (φυγ-, φευγ-) flee ἔφυγον; πέτομαι fly ἐπτόμην ( cross476 a); λαμβάνω (λαβ-) take ἔλαβον.


Hom. often has no thematic vowel in the middle voice of ω-verbs (ἐδέγμην from δέχομαι receive). See cross634. 688.


a. Vowel verbs rarely form second aorists, as the irregular αἰρέω seize (εἶλον, 529. 1), ἐσθίω eat (ἔφαγον), ὁράω (εἶδον). ἔπιον drank (πί_νω) is the only second aorist in prose from a vowel stem and having thematic inflection.

b. Many ω-verbs with stems ending in a vowel have second aorists formed like those of μι-verbs. These are enumerated in 687.


Verbs of the First Class ( cross499) adding a thematic vowel to the verbstem form the second aorist (1) by reduplication ( cross494), as ἄγω lead ἤγαγον, and εἶπον probably for ἐ-ϝε-ϝεπ-ον; (2) by syncope ( cross493), as πέτομαι fly ἐπτόμην, ἐγείρω (ἐγερ-) rouse ἠγρόμην, ἕπομαι (σεπ-) jollow ἐσπόμην, imperf. είπόμην from ἐ-σεπομην, ἔχω (σεχ-) hare ἔσχον; (3) by using α for ε ( cross476 b) in poetic forms ( cross480), as τρέπω turn ἔτραπον; (4) by metathesis ( cross492), as poet. δέρκομαι see ἔδρακον.


(1) Hom. has (ε') κέκλετο (κέλο-μαι command), λέλαθον (λήθ-ω lie hid), ἐπέφραδε (φράζω tell), πεπιθεῖν (πείθ-ω persuade). ἠρύ_κακον (ἐρύ_κ-ω check), ἠνί_παπον and ἐνένι_πον (ἐνίπτω chide, ἐνιπ-) have unusual formation. (2) ἐ-πλ-όμην (πέλο-μαι am, come, πελ-). (3) ἔπραθον (πέρθ-ω sack), ἔταμον (τέμ-ν-ω cut). (4) βλῆτο (βάλλω hit, 128 a).


(II) Μι-Verbs.—The stem of the second aorist of μι-verbs is the verb-stem without any thematic vowel. In the indicative active the strong form of the stem, which ends in a vowel, is regularly employed. The middle uses the weak stem form.

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ἵ-στη-μι (στα-, στη-) set, second aorist ἔστην, ἔστης, ἔστη, ἔστητον, ἐστήτην, ἔστημεν, ἔστητε, ἔστησαν; middle ἐ-θέ-μην from τίθημι (θε-, θη-) place, ἐ-δό-μην from δίδωμι (δο-, δω-) give.


Originally only the dual and plural showed the weak forms, which are retained in the second aorists of τίθημι, δίδωμι, and ἵ_ημι: ἔθεμεν, ἔδομεν, εἷμεν (ἐ-έμεν), and in Hom. βάτην (also βήτην) from ἔβην went. Elsewhere the weak grades have been displaced by the strong grades, which forced their way in from the singular. Thus, ἔγνον, ἔφυν in Pindar (= ἔγνω-σαν, ἔφυ_-σαν), which come from ἐγνων (τ), ἐφυ_ν (τ) by 40. So Hom. ἔτλαν, ἔβαν. Such 3 pl. forms are rare in the dramatic poets.

a. For the singular of τίθημι, δίδωμι, ἵ_ημι, see cross755; for the imperatives, 759; for the infinitives, 760.


Hom. has ἔκταν I slew (κτείνω, κτεν-) with α taken from ἔκταμεν, and οὖτα he wounded (οὐτάω).


No verb in -υ_μι has a second aorist in Attic from the stem in υ.


The difference between an imperfect and an aorist depends formally on the character of the present. Thus ἔ-φη-ν said is called an ‘imperfect’ of φη-μί: but ἔ-στη-ν stood is a ‘second aorist’ because it shows a different tense-stem than that of ἵστημι. Similarly ἔ-φερ-ον is ‘imperfect’ to φέρω, but ἔ-τεκ-ον ‘second aorist’ to τίκτω because there is no present τεκω. ἔστιχον is imperfect to στίχω, but second aorist to στείχω. Cp. cross546 D.


a. The second aorist and the second perfect are usually formed only from primitive verbs ( cross372). These tenses are formed by adding the personal endings (inclusive of the thematic or tense vowel) to the verb-stem without any consonant tense-suffix. Cp. ἔλιπο-ν with ἔλυ_-ς-α, ἐτράπ-ην with ἐτρέφ-θ-ην (τρέπω turn), γέ-γραφ-α with λέλυ-κ-α.

b. The second perfect and second aorist passive are historically older than the corresponding first perfect and first aorist.

c. τρέπω turn is the only verb that has three first aorists and three second aorists ( cross596).

d. Very few verbs have both the second aorist active and the second aorist passive. In cases where both occur, one form is rare, as ἔτυπον (once in poetry), ἐτύπην (τύπτω strike).

e. In the same voice both the first and the second aorist (or perfect) are rare, as ἔφθασα, ἔφθην (φθάνω anticipate). When both occur, the first aorist (or perfect) is often transitive, the second aorist (or perfect) is intransitive ( cross819); as ἔστησα I erected, i.e. made stand, ἔστην I stood. In other cases one aorist is used in prose, the other in poetry: ἔπεισα, poet. ἔπιθον (πείθω persuade); or they occur in different dialects, as Attic ἐτάφην, Ionic ἐθάφθην (θάπτω bury); or one is much later than the other, as ἔλειψα, late for ἔλιπον.

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Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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