Δαρείου καὶ Παρυσάτιδος γίγνονται παῖδες δύο ... -> Of Darius and Parysatis there are born two children ... (Xenophon, Κύρου Ἀνάβασις 1.1)

jmorsay

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This is the start of Xenophon's "Anabasis".

Δαρείου καὶ Παρυσατιλος γίγνονται παιδες δύο, πρεσβυτερος μὲν Ἀρταξερξης, νεώτερος δὲ Κῦροσ· ἐγεὶ δὲ ἡσθένει Δαρεῖος καὶ ὑπώπτευε τελευτήν τοῦ βίου, ἐβούλετο τώ παῖλε ἁμφοτέρω παρεῖναι.

My translation: Darius and Parusatid bare two children, on the one hand the elder is Artaxerxes and on the other hand the younger is Kuros. After Darius enjoyed himself and being struck beneath the eye was the end of his life, he wanted for each child to be present.

questions
 
is this correct?
my dad thinks "γίγνονται" should be past tense. I thnk present.

thank you
« Last Edit: 31 Jan, 2011, 18:56:32 by billberg23 »


billberg23

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I'm sure many here will want to respond to your post, JM.  I'll confine my remarks to the theme of augment.  As you may remember, augment is the addition of an epsilon, or a lengthening of the initial vowel, at the beginning of a verb to indicate that it's gone into a past indicative tense.  Here is how augment works in your sentence here:
1.  First of all, you don't find it with γίγνονται.  Therefore, γίγνονται can't be past, so you're right:  it's present.  When Greeks told stories (as Xenophon is doing here), they often used the present tense where we would use the past:  "Two sons are born of Darius and Parysatis ..."
2.  The next verb, however, is past: ἠσθένει.  There, the augment appears as a lengthening (to eta) of the initial alpha of ἀσθενέω to make that verb imperfect.  Now look it up again, and you'll be closer to the correct meaning of the sentence.
3.  Finally, the omega of ὑπώπτευε is a lengthening of the original omicron of the verb ὑπ-οπτεύω.  So that omega is also a form of augment, to show that ὑποπτεύω has gone into a past (imperfect) tense.  Now look up  ὑποπτεύω, and you'll find that it has nothing to do with "being struck beneath the eye"!

P.S.  Are you using any sort of commentary with your text of Xenophon?  Something to give you notes on the more difficult problems?  Without such a commentary, you'll be floundering, and we won't always be here to throw you a life preserver!  (-:   
« Last Edit: 28 Jan, 2011, 04:08:24 by billberg23 »



 

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