Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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MIDDLE VOICE 1713

The middle voice shows that the action is performed with special reference to the subject: λοῦμαι I wash myself.

1714

The middle represents the subject as doing something in which he is interested. He may do something to himself, for himself, or he may act with something belonging to himself.

1715

The future middle is often ( cross807), the first aorist middle is almost never, used passively.

1716

The object of the middle (1) may belong in the sphere of the subject, as his property, etc.: λούομαι τὰ_ς χεῖρας I wash my hands, or (2) it may be brought into the sphere of the subject: τοὺς ὁπλί_τα_ς μετεπέμψαντο they sent for the hoplites, or (3) it may be removed from the sphere of the subject: ἀποδίδομὰι τὴν οἰκία_ν I sell my house (lit. give away). Here the object is also the property of the subject.

1717

The Direct Reflexive Middle represents the subject as acting directly on himself. Self is here the direct object. So with verbs expressing external and natural acts, as the verbs of the toilet: ἀλείφεσθαι anoint oneself, λοῦσθαι wash oneself; and κοσμεῖσθαι adorn oneself, στεφανοῦσθαι crown oneself; γυμνάζεσθαι exercise oneself.

a. The direct reflexive idea is far more frequently conveyed by the active and a reflexive pronoun, 1723.

b. The part affected may be added in the accusative: ἐπαίσατο τὸν μηρόν he smote his thigh X. C. 7.3.6.

1718

So with many other verbs, as ἵστασθαι stand (place oneself), τρέπεσθαι turn (lit. turn oneself), δηλοῦσθαι show oneself, τάττεσθαι post oneself, ἀπολογεῖσθαι defend oneself (argue oneself off), φαίνεσθαι show oneself, appear, παρασκευάζεσθαι prepare onself, ἀπόλλυσθαι destroy oneself, perish.

1719

The Indirect Reflexive Middle represents the subject as acting for himself, with reference to himself, or with something belonging to himself. Self is often here the indirect object. So πορίζεσθαι provide for oneself (πορίζειν provide), φυλάττεσθαι guard against (φυλάττειν

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keep guard), αἱρεῖσθαι choose (take for oneself), παρέχεσθαι furnish (παρέχειν offer, present).

1720

Cases in which the object is to be removed from the sphere of the subject may be resolved into the dative for oneself ( cross1483) : τὴν ῥᾳθυ_μία_ν ἀποθέσθαι to lay aside your indolence D. 8.46, ἐτρέψαντο τοὺς ἱππέα_ς they routed the cavalry T. 6.98, τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἀμύ_νεσθαι to ward off the enemy for themselves, i.e. to defend themselves against the enemy 1. 144.

1721

The middle often denotes that the subject acts with something belonging to himself (material objects, means, powers). It is often used of acts done willingly. Thus, παρέχεσθαι furnish from one's own resources, ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι promise, make profession of, τίθεσθαι τὴν ψῆφον give one's vote, τίθεσθαι τὰ ὅπλα ground arms, ἀποδείξασθαι γνώμην set forth one's opinion, λαμβάνεσθαί τινος put one's hand on (seize) something. Thus, ἐσπασμένοι τὰ ξίφη having drawn their swords X. A. 7.4.16, παῖδας ἐκκεκομισμένοι ἦσαν they had removed their children T. 2.78, τροπαῖον στησάμενοι having set up a trophy X. H. 2.4.7, ὅπλα πορίσασθαι to procure arms for themselves T. 4.9, ὁπλί_τα_ς μετεπέμψατο he sent for hoplites 7. 31, γυναῖκα ἠγαγόμην I married L. 1.6.

1722

Under the indirect middle belong the periphrases of ποιεῖσθαι with verbal nouns instead of the simple verb (cp. cross1754). ποιεῖν with the same nouns means to bring about, effect, fashion, etc.

εἰρήνην ποιεῖσθαι make peace (of one nation at war with another).

εἰρήνην ποιεῖν bring about a peace (between opponents, nations at war: of an individual).

θήρα_ν ποιεῖσθαι ( = θηρᾶν hunt, θήρα_ν ποιεῖν arrange a hunt.

λόγον ποιεῖσθαι ( = λέγειν) deliver a speech, λόγον ποιεῖν compose a speech.

ναυμαχία_ν ποιεῖσθαι ( = ναυμαχεῖν) fight a naval battle.

ναυμαχία_ν ποιεῖν bring on a naval battle (of the commander).

ὁδὸν ποιεῖσθαι ( = ὁδεύειν) make a journey, ὁδὸν ποιεῖν build a road.

πόλεμον ποιεῖσθαι wage war, πόλεμον ποιεῖν bring about a war.

σπονδὰ_ς ποιεῖσθαι conclude (make) a treaty , or truce.

σπονδὰ_ς ποιεῖν bring about a treaty , or truce.

1723

Active and Reflexive.—Instead of the direct middle the active voice with the reflexive pronoun is usually employed; often of difficult and unnatural actions (especially with αὐτὸς ἑαυτόν, etc.).

τὰ ὅπλα παρέδοσαν καὶ σφᾶς αὐτούς they surrendered their arms and themselves T. 4.38, μισθώσα_ς αὑτόν hiring himself out D. 19.29 (not μισθωσάμενος, which means hiring for himself), καταλέλυκε τὴν αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ δυναστεία_ν he himself has put an end to his own sovereignty Aes. 3.233, ἠτί_μωκεν ἑαυτόν he has dishonoured himself D. 21.103. But regularly ἀπάγχεσθαι hang oneself ( cross1717).

a. The active and a reflexive pronoun in the gen. or dat. may be used for the simple middle when the reflexive notion is emphatic: καταλείπειν συγγράμματα ἑαυτῶν to leave behind them their written compositions P. Phae. 257d.

1724

Middle and Reflexive.—The reflexive pronoun may be used with the middle: ἑαυτὸν ἀποκρύπτεσθαι to hide himself P. R. 393c; often for emphasis, as in contrasts: οἱ μέν φα_σι βασιλέα_ κελεῦσαί τινα ἐπισφάξαι αὐτὸν Κύ_ρῳ, οἱ δ'

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ἑαυτὸν ἐπισφάξασθαι some say that the king issued orders for some one to slay him (Artapates) over (the body of) Cyrus, while others say that he slew himself with his own hand X. A. 1.8.29, cp. also τί τὴν πόλιν προσῆκε ποιεῖν, ἀρχὴν καὶ τυραννίδα τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὀρῶσαν ἑαυτῷ κατασκευαξόμενον Φίλιππον; what did it beseem the city to do when it saw Philip compassing for himself dominion and despotic sway over the Greeks? D. 18.66.

1725

The Causative Middle denotes that the subject has something done by another for himself: ἐγὼ γάρ σε ταῦτα ἐδιδαξάμην for I had you taught this X. C. 1.6.2, παρατίθεσθαι σῖτον to have food served up 8. 6. 12, ὅσοι ὅπλα ἀφῄρηνται, ταχὺ ἄλλα ποιήσονται all who have had their arms taken from them will soon get others made 6. 1. 12, ἑαυτῷ σκηνὴν κατεσκευάσατο he had a tent prepared for himself 2. 1. 30.

a. This force does not belong exclusively to the middle; cp. cross1711.

1726

Reciprocal Middle.—With a dual or plural subject the middle may indicate a reciprocal relation. So with verbs of contending, conversing (questioning, replying), greeting, embracing, etc. The reciprocal middle is often found with compounds of διά.

οἱ ἀ_θληταὶ ἠγωνίζοντο the athletes contended T. 1.6, καταστάντες ἐμάχοντο when they had got into position they fought 1. 49, ἀνὴρ ἀνδρὶ διελέγοντο they conversed man with man 8. 93, ἐπιμείγνυσθαι ἀλλήλοις to have friendly intercourse with one another X. C. 7.4.5, ταῦτα διανεμοῦνται they will divide this up among themselves L. 21.14. So αἰτιᾶσθαι accuse, λυ_μαίνεσθαι maltreat, μέμφεσθαι blame, ἁμιλλᾶσθαι vie, παρακελεύεσθαι encourage one another.

a. The active may also be employed, as πολεμεῖν wage war.

b. Some of these verbs have a passive aorist form, as διελέχθην ( cross812).

1727

The reciprocal relation may also be expressed (1) by the use of the reflexive pronoun (cp. cross1724) with the active: φθονοῦσιν ἑαυτοῖς they are mutually envious X. M. 3.5.16; (2) by the use of ἀλλήλων, etc., with the active: ἀμφισβητοῦμεν ἀλλήλοις we are at variance with one another P. Phae. 263a; (3) by repetition of the noun: πτωχὸς πτωχῷ φθονέει = beggars envy each other Hesiod W. D. 26. The reflexive pronouns and ἀλλήλων, etc., may also be added to the middle.

1728

Differences between Active and Middle.—As contrasted with the active, the middle lays stress on the conscious activity, bodily or mental participation, of the agent.

In verbs that possess both active and middle: βουλεύεσθαι deliberate, βουλεύειν plan, σταθμᾶν measure, σταθμᾶσθαι calculate, σκοπεῖν look at, σκοπεῖσθαι consider, ἔχεσθαι cling to, παύεσθαι cease ( cross1734. cross14). The force of the middle often cannot be reproduced in translation (ἀκούεσθαι, τι_μᾶσθαι, ἀριθμεῖσθαι, ἀπορεῖσθαι), and in some other cases it may not have been felt, as in ὁρᾶσθαι in poetry (προορᾶσθαι occurs in prose).

a. Many such verbs form their futures from the middle: ἀκούσομαι, ᾄσομαι, ἁμαρτήσομαι. See cross805.

b. In verbs in -ευω, the middle signifies that the subject is acting in a manner appropriate to his state or condition: πολι_τεύειν be a citizen, πολι_τεύεσθαι act as

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a citizen, perform one's civic duties; πρεσβεύειν be an envoy, πρεσβεύεσθαι negotiate as envoy or send envoys (of the State in its negotiations). But this force of the middle is not always apparent.

1729

Middle Deponents ( cross810) often denote bodily or mental action (feeling and thinking): ἅλλεσθαι jump, πέτεσθαι fly, ὀρχεῖσθαι dance, οἴχεσθαι be gone, δέρκεσθαι look; βούλεσθαι wish, αἰσθάνεσθαι perceive, ἀκροᾶσθαι listen, μέμφεσθαι blame, οἴεσθαι conjecture, think (lit. take omens for oneself, from ὀϝις, Lat. avis, auspicium), ἡγεῖσθαι consider; ὀλοφύ_ρεσθαι lament.

a. Some of the verbs denoting a functional state or process have the middle either in all forms or only in the future.

b. Verbs denoting bodily activity regularly have a middle future, 805-806.

1730

Deponent verbs are either direct or indirect middles; direct: ὑπισχνεῖσθαι undertake, promise (lit. hold oneself under); indirect: κτᾶσθαι acquire for oneself, ἀγωνίζεσθαι contend (with one's own powers).

1731

The middle may denote more vigorous participation on the part of the subject than the active: σεύεσθαι dart, but θέειν run.

1732

The active is often used for the middle when it is not of practical importance to mark the interest of the subject in the action. The active implies what the middle expresses. So with μεταπέμπειν send for T. 7.15, δηλώσαντες τὴν γνώμην setting forth their opinion 3. 37, τροπαῖον στήσαντες setting up a trophy 7. 5.

1733

The passive form may have reflexive force, as κι_νηθῆναι set oneself in motion, ἀπαλλαγῆναι remove oneself, ἐναντιωθῆναι oppose oneself, σωθῆναι save oneself (σώθητι save yourself P. Cr. 44b). Some of these middle passives may take the accusative, as αἰσχυνθῆναι be ashamed before, φοβηθῆναι be afraid of, καταπληγῆναί τινα be amazed at some one. See cross814 ff.

1734

List of the chief verbs showing important differences of meaning between active and middle. It will be noted that the active is often transitive, the middle intransitive.

1. αἱρεῖν take; αἱρεῖσθαι choose.

2. ἀμύ_νειν τί τινι ward off something from some one, ἀμύ_νειν τινί help some one; ἀμύ_νεσθαί τι defend oneself against something, ἀμύ_νεσθαί τινα requite some one.

3. ἀποδοῦναι give back; ἀποδόσθαι sell (give away for one's profit).

4. ἅπτειν attach; ἅπτεσθαί τινος touch.

5. ἄρχειν begin, contrasts one beginner of an action with another, as ἄρχειν πολέμου take the aggressive, strike the first blow (bellum movere), ἄρχειν λόγου be the first to speak, ἦρχε χειρῶν ἀδίκων he began an unprovoked assault L. 4.11; ἄρχεσθαι make one's own beginning, as contrasted with the later stages, as ἄρχεσθαι πολέμου begin warlike operations (bellum incipere), ἄρχεσθαι τοῦ λόγου begin one's speech. πολέμου οὐκ ἄρξομεν, ἀρχομένους δὲ ἀμυ_νούμεθα we shall not take the initiative in the war, but upon those who take it up we shall retaliate T. 1.144.

6. γαμεῖν marry (of the man, ducere); γαμεῖσθαι marry (of the woman, nubere).

7. γράφειν νόμον propose a law (said of the maker of a law whether or not he is himself subject to it); γράφεσθαι γραφήν draw up an indictment for a public

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offence, γράφεσθαί τινα bring suit against some one (have him written down in the magistrates' records).

8. δανείζειν (make of anything a δάνος loan) i.e. put out at interest, lend; δανείζεσθαι (have a δάνος made to oneself) have lent to one, borrow at interest.

9. δικάζειν give judgment; δικάζεσθαι (δίκην τινί) go to law with a person, conduct a case (properly get some one to give judgment).

10. ἐπιψηφίζειν put to vote (of the presiding officer); ἐπιψηφίζεσθαι vote, decree (of the people).

11. ἔχειν hold; ἔχεσθαί τινος hold on to, be close to.

12. θύ_ειν sacrifice; θύ_εσθαι take auspices (of a general, etc.).

13. μισθοῦν (put a μισθός, rent, on anything) i.e. let for hire (locare); μισθοῦσθαι (lay a μισθός upon oneself) i.e. hire (conducere). Cp. cross1723.

14. παύειν make to cease, stop (trans.); παύεσθαι cease (intr.). But παῦε λέγων stop talking.

15. πείθειν persuade; πείθεσθαι obey (persuade oneself); πέποιθα I trust.

16. τιθέναι νόμον frame or propose a law for others (said of the lawgiver, legem ferre or rogare); τίθεσθαι νόμον make a law for one's own interest, for one's own State (said of the State legislating, legem sciscere or iubere). αὐτοὺς (ἀγράφους νόμους) οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἔθεντο . . . θεοὺς οἶμαι τοὺς νόμους τούτους τοῖς ἀνθρώποις θεῖναι men did not make the unwritten laws for themselves, but I think the gods made these laws for men X. M. 4.4.19.

17. τι_μωρεῖν τινι avenge some one, τι_μωρεῖν τινά τινι punish A for B's satisfaction; τι_μωρεῖσθαί τινα avenge oneself on (punish) some one.

18. τίνειν δίκην pay a penalty (poenas dare); τίνεσθαι δίκην exact a penalty (poenas sumere).

19. φυλάττειν τινά watch some one; φυλάττεσθαί τινα be on one's guard against some one.

20. χρᾶν give an oracle , and lend; χρᾶσθαι consult an oracle , and use.

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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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