Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
Previous Sub2Sect

Next Sub2Sect

2624

Inserted Statement of Fact.—When the present or perfect indicative would have stood in the direct discourse, a past tense of historical narration is often used as a statement of fact by the writer from his own point of view, though the rest of the sentence may be given in indirect discourse after a secondary tense from the point of view of the subject of the leading verb.

ᾔδει ὅτι οὐχ οἷόν τ' ἦν αὐτῇ σωθῆναι she knew that it was not possible for her to be saved Ant. 1.8 ( = οὐχ οἷόν τ' ἐστὶ ἐμοὶ σωθῆναι. With ἦν the sentence virtually has the force of οὐχ οἷόν τ' ἧν σωθῆναι καὶ ᾔδει she could not be saved and she knew it). So ἔλεγον οὐ καλῶς τὴν Ἑλλάσα ἐλευθεροῦν αὐτόν, εἰ ἄνδρας διέφθειρεν they said that he was not freeing Greece in the right way if he put men to death T. 3.32 ( = ἐλευθεροῖς, διαφθείρεις), τοὺς φυγάδας ἐκέλευσε σὺν αὐτῷ στρατεύεσθαι, ὑποσχόμενος αὐτοῖς, εἰ καλῶς καταπρά_ξειεν ἐφ' ἃ ἐστρατεύετο, μὴ πρόσθεν παύσεσθαι πρὶν αὐτοὺς καταγάγοι οἴκαδε he urged the exiles to make the expedition with him, promising them that, if he should succeed in accomplishing the purposes of his campaign, he would not cease until he had brought them back to their homes X. A. 1.2.2 ( = ἢν καταπρά_ξω ἐφ' ἃ στρατεύομαι, οὐ παύσομαι πρὶν ἂν καταγάγω), ἀποθανὼν ἐδήλωσεν ὅτι οὐκ ἀληθῆ ταῦτα ἦν he showed by his death that this was not true L. 19.52 ( = ἐστί), ἔφη εἶναι παρ' ἑαυτῷ ὅσον μὴ ἦν ἀνηλωμένον he said that he had in his possession all that had not been expended D. 48.16 ( = παρ' ἐμοί ἐστιν ὅσον μὴ ἔστιν ἀνηλωμένον), ἐν πολλῇ δὴ ἀπορίᾳ ἦσαν οἱ Ἕλληνες,

-- 592 --

ἐννοούμενοι μὲν ὅτι ἐπὶ ταῖς βασιλέως θύραις ἦσαν the Greeks were accordingly in great perplexity on reflecting that they were at the king's gates X. A. 3.1.2 (i.e. they were there in fact and they knew it).

a. The use of past tenses of historical narration instead of present tenses of direct discourse occurs, in simple sentences, especially after verbs of knowing, perceiving, showing, and verbs of emotion (rarely after verbs of saying w. ὅτι).

b. Such inserted statements of fact are often difficult to distinguish from indicatives in indirect discourse; and the two forms of expression may occur in the same sentence (X. C. 4.2.35- cross36). The common explanation of the use of the imperfect and pluperfect for the present and perfect is that Greek had the same assimilation of tense as English.

c. Except in indirect questions, the optative of indirect discourse is unknown to Homer. (εἰπεῖν ὡς ἔλθοι ω 237 may be considered as interrogative.) After primary or secondary tenses Homer employs, in the dependent clause, the same past tense that would have been used in an independent clause, from the point of view of the speaker, and not the tense which would have been used in direct discourse from the point of view of the subject of the main clause. Thus, γίγνωσκον δ ( = ὅτι) δὴ κακὰ μήδετο I knew that he was planning evil γ 166 (i.e κακὰ ἐμήδετο καὶ ἐγίγνωσκον he was planning evil and I knew it). In Attic we should commonly have μήδεται or μήδοιτο. After secondary tenses the future is usually expressed in Homer by ἔμελλον and the infinitive, as οὐδὲ τὸ ᾔδη, ὃ οὐ πείσεσθαι ἔμελλεν nor did he know this, that she had no thought to comply γ 146.

d. That this use of statements of fact standing outside indirect discourse is optional only, is seen from a comparison of the first example in 2624 with καλῶς γὰρ ᾔδειν ὡς ἐγὼ ταύτῃ κράτιστός εἰμι for he knew full well that I am first-rate in this line Ar. Vesp. 635 and with ᾔδει αὐτὸν ὅτι μέσον ἔχοι τοῦ Περσικοῦ στρατεύματος he knew that he held the centre of the Persian army X. A. 1.8.21.

Previous Sub2Sect

Next Sub2Sect


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