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

Next Sub2Sect


The abundance of its participles is one of the characteristic features of Greek. Their use gives brevity to the sentence (cp. cross2050), enabling the writer to set forth in a word modifications and amplifications of the main thought for which we require cumbersome relative clauses. But an excessive use of participles, especially in close conjunction, marked a careless style.

a. The participle may contain the leading thought, the finite verb the subordinate thought, of a sentence. Thus, τὸ ψήφισμα τοῦτο γράφω . . . τοὺς ὅρκους τὴν ταχίστην ἀπολαμβάνειν, ἵν' ἐχόντων τῶν Θρᾳκῶν . . . ταῦτα τὰ χωρία, ἃ νῦν οὖτος διέσυ_ρε . . ., οὕτω γίγνοινθ' οἱ ὅρκοι I moved this bill that the envoys should with all speed receive Philip's oaths in order that when the oaths were taken the Thracians might be in possession of the places which the plaintiff has just now been ridiculing (lit. while the Thracians were in possession, etc. . . . the oaths might under these circumstances be ratified) D. 18.27, βούλομαι ὀλίγα ἑκατέρους ἀναμνήσα_ς καταβαίνειν I wish to recall a few things to the memory of each party and then sit down (descend from the bema) L. 12.92. Cp. also 2096, 2099.

b. The participle may repeat the stem and meaning of the finite verb. Thus, καὶ εὐχόμενος ἄν τις ταῦτα εὔξαιτο and some one might (praying) utter this prayer Ant. 6.1.

c. A participial construction may pass over into a construction with a finite verb. Thus, μάρτυρα μὲν . . . οὐδένα παρασχόμενος . . . παρεκελεύετο δέ κτλ. lit. producing on the one hand no witness . . . on the other hand he exhorted, etc. D. 57.11, προσέβαλον τῷ τειχίσματι, ἄλλῳ τε τρόπῳ πειρά_σαντες καὶ μηχανὴν προσήγαγον lit. they attacked the rampart both making trial in other ways, and they brought up an engine (i.e. and after trying other devices brought up an engine) T. 4.100.

d. A participle may be used in close connection with a relative or interrogative pronoun. Thus, οὐδ' ὑπὲρ οἷα πεποιηκότων ἀνθρώπων κινδυ_νεύσετε διαλογισάμενοι not even calculating what had been the conduct of the men for whom you were going to risk your lives D. 18.98, ἐλαυνομένων καὶ ὑβριζομένων καὶ τί κακὸν οὐχὶ πασχόντων πᾶσ' ἡ οἰκουμένη μεστὴ γέγονε the whole civilized world is filled with men who are harried to and fro and insulted, nay, what misery is there which they do not suffer? 18. 48.

e. In contrasts, two subjects may, by anacoluthon, belong to one participle in the nominative, though the participle belongs to only one subject (T. 3.34. 3).

f. Two or more participles may be coördinated without any connective.

-- 478 --

This is common in Homer when one participle forms a contrast to, or intensifies, another participle. Cp. ἦ καὶ ἐπῶρτ' Ἀχιλῆι κυκώμενος ὑψόσε θύ_ων, μορμύ_ρων ἀφρῷ κτλ. he spake, and swelling in tumult rushed upon Achilles, raging on high, roaring with foam, etc. Φ 324. This is very rare in prose (Aes. 3.94).

g. In prose such coördination without any connective is incomplete, one participle, e.g., often defining another, as in ὁ Κῦρος ὑπολαβὼν τοὺς φεύγοντας συλλέξα_ς στράτευμα ἐπολιόρκει Μί_λητον taking the exiles under his protection, Cyrus collected an army, and laid siege to Miletus X. A. 1.1.7. So even when the participles are connected, as ξηρά_να_ς τὴν διώρυχα καὶ παρατρέψα_ς ἄλλῃ τὸ ὕδωρ by draining the canal and (i.e. in consequence of) diverting the water elsewhere T. 1.109. One participle may be appositive to another. Thus, ἐξέτασιν ποιήσαντες ἐν τοῖς ἱππεῦσι, φάσκοντες εἰδέναι βούλεσθαι πόσοι εἶεν . . ., ἐκέλευον ἀπογράφεσθαι πάντας by making a review in the presence of the cavalry, alleging that they wished to find out how many they were, they ordered all to inscribe themselves X. H. 2.4.8.

h. A participle with case absolute may be coördinated with a participle not in an absolute case. Thus, οἱ δὲ ἀφικομένης τῆς νεὼς καὶ ἀνέλπιστον τὴν εὐτυχία_ν ἀκούσαντες . . . πολὺ ἐπερρώσθησαν they were much encouraged on the arrival of the ship and on hearing of the success which was unhoped for T. 8.106, μεταπεμφθέντες ἤλθομεν ἢ οὐδενὸς καλέσαντος we came summoned or at no one's call L. 4.11.

i. A finite verb may have two or more participles attached to it in different relations. Thus, οἱ πελτασταὶ προδραμόντες . . . διαβάντες τὴν χαράδρα_ν, ὁρῶντες πρόβατα πολλὰ . . . προσέβαλλον πρὸς τὸ χωρίον the light-armed troops after running forward and crossingthe ravine, proceed to attack the stronghold on seeing quantities of sheep X. A. 5.2.4. Of several aorist participles, one may be relatively earlier in time than another.

j. A participle may be added predicatively to another participle, and often follows the article belonging to the main participle. Thus, οἱ ζῶντες καταλειπόμενοι those who were being left behind alive T. 7.75.

k. A participle is often omitted when it can be supplied from the context. Thus, ὡρμίσαντο καὶ αὐτοὶ . . . ἐπειδὴ καὶ τοὺς Ἀθηναίους (ὁρμισαμένους) εἶδον they too came to anchor when they saw that the Athenians had done so T. 2.86.

Next Sub2Sect

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