Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby mzumstein » September 28th, 2013, 10:36 am

Dear all,

(I wasn't sure where to post this, feel free to move it to another section)
I am new in the forum and my main language is not Greek but Old (Church) Slavonic. I am currently working on passives & passive-like structures in early Slavonic texts and am trying to compare the structure of the Slavonic text to the one of the Greek prototype. I read your middle-passive discussions and was really pleased because the situation in early Slavonic texts seem to be quite similar.

Currently, I have a (probably) very basic question on the structure ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες in the following sentence:
a. Καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἔλεγον, ὅτι, οἱ ἐννέα ἄνδρες ἐκεῖνοι διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπείσθησαν τῷ δόγματι, τὸν βασιλέως, ὅτι, ὑπὸ τούτων τῶν δύο ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες .

Cf. http://www.suprasliensis.obdurodon.org/ ... r129r.html (lines 1-4)

I had the impression that ἀνατραπέντες is an aor. part.
First, I thought this would be some kind of analytical / periphrastic pluperfect – but this would be rendered by means of an imperfect verb to-be + a perfect participle, wouldn't it? The only solution I could currently think of is that the aor. part. has a meaning which is similar to a part. perf. Any suggestions?
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby Stephen Hughes » September 29th, 2013, 3:59 pm

mzumstein wrote:Currently, I have a (probably) very basic question on the structure ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες in the following sentence:
a. Καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἔλεγον, ὅτι, οἱ ἐννέα ἄνδρες ἐκεῖνοι διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπείσθησαν τῷ δόγματι, τὸν βασιλέως, ὅτι, ὑπὸ τούτων τῶν δύο ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες .


I understand the reasoning behind your question; the text presents you with an OSC analytical pluperfect бѣа҅хѫ о҅тъвраштени (бъіти + participle), and you are wondering if the Greek periphrastic form ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες may also have been intended to have been one. Perhaps at first you were expecting to see a pluperfect form in the interlined Greek. You didn't find that form and couldn't find an explanation that matched your expectation. (Something like that anyway).

First a side point, although the interlined text says that цѣсароу повелѣнию̑ is τῷ δόγματι, τὸν βασιλέως there is probably a transcription error from the book form to the computer. The correct form is probably τῷ δόγματι τοῦ βασιλέως, but it could be checked by you or DJB.

About your question... The Greek of the synaxarium and the apophthegmata patrum is readily understandable, but you can't be too definite about what tense exactly an authour wanted to use, or what exact sense they thought they were using when they did use a tense. It seems that redactors for martyologies felt free to add explanations to the original accounts but not to change the original "bad" Greek. More complex forms (such as your pluperfect) will probably indicate a redactor's hand. Here, the form ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες is in what would logically be considered an original part of the passion narrative. While one of the possibilities that needs to be considered is that the authour / translator to Greek was trying to form a tense with a periphrastic sense that would not neccessarily be the only explanation that would work. Seeing an (unexpected) aorist here in the periphrastic construction, I wouldn't go beyond saying it is <past>, <passive> and <plural>, going further than that might be asking too much of that level of language.

For what it's worth, the actual form you are looking at is found here:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... =muria/kis

Considering the difference in meaning between the отъвраштени (Can I assume that is from отъвести - "lead away") of Codex Suprasliensis and the ἀνατραπέντες (from ἀνατρέπω) that is interlined with it, you might like to consider whether it is possible that the OCS was translated from a variant Vorlage using the word ἀποτραπέντες (from ἀποτρέπω "turn away").

On the same point of grammar, I think you could make an interesting contribution to the B-Greek site. I would like to know how the Mediaeval Greeks interpreted the periphrastic forms, so, could I ask you; How does the OCS translation handle these verses?
Lk.5:17 οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ Ἱερουσαλήμ (past tense verb to be with perfect - like a pluperfect)
Ac.1:13 ἦσαν καταμένοντες, ὅ τε Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης (past tense verb to be with present - like an imperfect)
Are they both translated with the OSC pluperfect or only the first one?

The periphrastic with aorist like this is unusual (creative), and I would like to know whether the mediaeval translators felt that the aorist was closer to the present or the perfect in this case.

Another question that I'm not sure of... does цѣсароу end with the -оу (not -а) because it is after the reflexive marker or because it is before the noun?
Last edited by Stephen Hughes on September 29th, 2013, 4:23 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 29th, 2013, 4:05 pm

According to Bentein's study of Greek periphrasis (I have a preprint but no cite), it is a rare construction. More specifically:
Bentein wrote:In general, the construction with aorist participle is taken to be an equivalent of the perfect and pluperfect (cf. Tiemann 1889:557; Stahl 1907:144-145; Wolf 1912:55; Psaltes 1913:230; Kapsomenakis 1938:44; Björck 1940:74; Schwyzer 1950:255; Blass & Debrunner 1979:288; Gildersleeve 1980[1900]:125; Karleen 1980:133; Browning 1983:39; Piñero & Pelaez 2003:161; Drinka 2007:112). Porter (1989:476), doubting the validity of this insight, makes the following critical remarks: (1) this would leave the aorist without any VPEs and the perfect with a double set of periphrastics, (2) the perfect did not need any other forms to fill supposed gaps, and (3) this formulation seems to be constructed along translational lines. He agrees with Aerts (1965:27), who writes that ‚in view of the aspect of the aorist it is evident that, in principle, VPEs with its participle have a different function than those with the present and perfect participles‛.19 Adrados (1992:454) uses the term ‘prepretérito aorístico’ to characterize the construction with ἦλ as auxiliary: it is used to create relative time in the past (with aoristic value), which is not possible with the synthetic forms.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby mzumstein » September 29th, 2013, 5:38 pm

Thank you very much for your answers.

First to the questions of Stephen Hughes:

The Greek structure in Luke 5:17 (impf. of be + part.perf.) would be translated by an imperfect of be in combination with an l-participle, sometimes called resultative participle (were sitting), cf.:
a) ꙇже бѣахѫ пришъли отъ вьсѣкоѩ вьси. галилеискꙑ и июдеискꙑ. ꙇ отъ и҃лма. (Codex Marianus)
This is the normal OCS strategy to express a pluperfect (there are no synthetic forms).

The second structure is different:
b) И ѥгда вьниидѹ, вьзиидоше вь горьницѭ. идѣже бѣꙗхѹ (imperfect.3pl) живѹще (part.pres.act) Петрь же и ꙗковь… (E codice monasterii šišatovac)

This is really not a pluperfect, but something which is actually closer to the imperfect (emphasizing the duration of the action/state – sometimes called "intensive imperfect"). Some scholars would say that it is a direct calque from Greek.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby mzumstein » September 29th, 2013, 5:42 pm

Thank you very much for your answers.

First to the questions of Stephen Hughes:

The Greek structure in Luke 5:17 (impf. of be + part.perf.) would be translated by an imperfect of be in combination with an l-participle, sometimes called resultative participle (were sitting), cf.:
a) ꙇже бѣахѫ пришъли отъ вьсѣкоѩ вьси. галилеискꙑ и июдеискꙑ. ꙇ отъ и҃лма. (Codex Marianus)
This is the normal OCS strategy to express a pluperfect (there are no synthetic forms).

The second structure is different:
b) И ѥгда вьниидѹ, вьзиидоше вь горьницѭ. идѣже бѣꙗхѹ (imperfect.3pl) живѹще (part.pres.act) Петрь же и ꙗковь… (E codice monasterii šišatovac)

This is really not a pluperfect, but something which is actually closer to the imperfect (emphasizing the duration of the action/state – sometimes called "intensive imperfect"). Some scholars would say that this is a direct calque from Greek.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby mzumstein » September 29th, 2013, 7:24 pm

I wasn't really expecting to see any specific construction in the Greek text because the Slavonic translators quite frequently changed the structure of the sentences.

As far as the Slavonic text is concerned, the translators seem to have rendered both the Greek BE+part.perf and the BE+part.aor structures in the same way:

"Active"
a) καὶ ἦν ὅλη ἡ πόλις ἐπισυνηγμένη – бѣ [BE–imperf] весь градъ събьраль [res.part] сѧ къ двъремъ. (Mark 1:33)
b) οὔπω γὰρ ἦν ἕως τοῦ νῦν θεασάμενος ἄγγελον·– не оу бо бѣа҅ше [BE–imperf] дотолѣ видѣлъ [res.part] а҅гг҄ела· (Sup8, 62v.29)

"Passive"
a) Ἦσαν δὲ τὰ εἴδωλα περικεχρυσωμένα καὶ ἐστολισμένα κόσμῳ πολυτελεῖ. – бѣа҅хѫ [BE–imperf] же капишта та поꙁлаштена [part.past.pass] и҅ о҄украшена [part.past.pass]· красоѭ҄ многоцѣнъноѭ҄·
b) Καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἔλεγον, ὅτι, οἱ ἐννέα ἄνδρες ἐκεῖνοι διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπείσθησαν τῷ δόγματι, τὸν βασιλέως, ὅτι, ὑπὸ τούτων τῶν δύο ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες – ѥ҅ште же къ семоу глаголаахѫ· ꙗ҅ко девꙙть҆ мѫжь҆ о҅ни того ради не повинѫшꙙ сꙙ цѣсароу повелѣнию̑· и҅мъже тѣма дь҆вѣма бѣа҅хѫ [BE–imperf] о҅тъвраштени [part.past.pass]·

I can't see any difference here. That's why I am so interested to hear whether the Greek structures differ in their meaning. Stephen's quote seems to imply it:

Stephen Carlson wrote:According to Bentein's study of Greek periphrasis (I have a preprint but no cite), it is a rare construction. More specifically:
Bentein wrote:He agrees with Aerts (1965:27), who writes that ‚in view of the aspect of the aorist it is evident that, in principle, VPEs with its participle have a different function than those with the present and perfect participles‛.19 Adrados (1992:454) uses the term ‘prepretérito aorístico’ to characterize the construction with ἦλ as auxiliary: it is used to create relative time in the past (with aoristic value), which is not possible with the synthetic forms.


For justification: what does "create relative time in the past" mean? What is the difference between
a) the periphrastic and the synthetic forms
b) the periphrastic form a (+part.perf) and b (+part.aor)


To the last question:
…does цѣсароу end with the -оу (not -а) because it is after the reflexive marker or because it is before the noun?


I guess what we have here is a possessive dative (meaning "of the emperror").
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 30th, 2013, 1:08 am

mzumstein wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:According to Bentein's study of Greek periphrasis (I have a preprint but no cite), it is a rare construction. More specifically:
Bentein wrote:He agrees with Aerts (1965:27), who writes that ‚in view of the aspect of the aorist it is evident that, in principle, VPEs with its participle have a different function than those with the present and perfect participles‛.19 Adrados (1992:454) uses the term ‘prepretérito aorístico’ to characterize the construction with ἦλ as auxiliary: it is used to create relative time in the past (with aoristic value), which is not possible with the synthetic forms.


For justification: what does "create relative time in the past" mean?

I don't have access to Adrados at this moment, so please take my comments with a grain of salt. Bentein's description of Adrados on this form sounds like a past anterior or past-in-the-past reading. The English pluperfect gives this sense.

mzumstein wrote:What is the difference between
a) the periphrastic and the synthetic forms

Adrados via Bentein apparently claims that the synthetic aorist is not capable of a past anterior or past-in-the-past reading, but I'm not so sure. Corrine Bary's work on Herodotus gives some examples.

mzumstein wrote:b) the periphrastic form a (+part.perf) and b (+part.aor)

These comments are in relation to the construction with the aorist participle. Generally, the perfect would imply a result state persisting at the appropriate reference while the aorist would not, though with irresultative verbs this difference between the perfect and aorist is neutralized.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby mzumstein » September 30th, 2013, 8:06 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
mzumstein wrote:b) the periphrastic form a (+part.perf) and b (+part.aor)

These comments are in relation to the construction with the aorist participle. Generally, the perfect would imply a result state persisting at the appropriate reference while the aorist would not, though with irresultative verbs this difference between the perfect and aorist is neutralized.


Ok. With respect to the current example:
a) they/the 9 men did not obey the orders of the emperor because they had been proselyted (?) by the two.

The result obviously persisted at the time when they didn't obey the order - and now the 9 men are dead. The other two visited them in the cell before they had to go to the emperor and convinced them that it was better to die then to turn away from Christianism.

If I got you right, the synthetic pluperfect would rather indicate a perfect in the past = a state in the past, not an action (I checked Bary: http://repository.ubn.ru.nl/bitstream/2 ... /74432.pdf , p. 154).
If we want to focus on the action, we need an aorist. So far so good. But then there seems to be no difference between the synthetic pluperfect and the per.part + BE construction. Maybe there is none? And maybe the distinction between the more "actional" and the more "resultative-like" interpretation is also neutralized in most contexts? In other words: The difference between "because they were proselyted" (at that time => state) and "they had been proselyted" (and the result was still valid at the time of the sentence) is minimal. Maybe with this type of predicate you could equally well use the perf. or the aor.part. without drastically altering the meaning of the sentence.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby Stephen Hughes » September 30th, 2013, 2:03 pm

Stephen, look at the Greek we are dealing with here. Do you think it is good enough to warrant such a detailed analysis? You don't need to use vernier calipers to measure a rough-sawn log. The right tool for the job at hand.

129,2-4 wrote:οἱ ἐννέα ἄνδρες ἐκεῖνοι διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐπείσθησαν τῷ δόγματι, τὸν βασιλέως, ὅτι, ὑπὸ τούτων τῶν δύο ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες.
Even if we assume that τὸν βασιλέως is a modern (book --> computer) transcription error, what's this sentence pattern here? Some sort of pregnant construction using διὰ τοῦτο then a resumptive ὅτι?? As for the οὐκ ἐπείσθησαν τῷ δόγματι, τὸν βασιλέως we know that the πείθεσθαί τινι goes with a dative of the person like in Acts 5:14. Now even if we assume that the dative цѣсароу was a calque and that the Greek originally had a dative, then that would be better. Perhaps the τῷ δόγματι was an attempt at a dative of respect??

129,4 wrote:ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες
Considering the number of other errors / poor stylistic features surrounding this form, it seems that it was just a mistake - the authour thought he could use this form, but he was wrong.

129,7-10 wrote:Τῶν δὲ ἐλθόντων καὶ στάντων ἐπὶ τῶν ἀρχιμάγων, λέγουσιν αὐτοῖς οἱ ἀρχιμάγοι·
Here both parties are included in both the gentive absolute and in the rest of the sentence. Involving one element of the genitive absolute in the rest of the sentence suggests a lack of complete awareness of the way to use the construction, it seems to me that using both suggests a complete lack of awareness of the way to use the construction.

129,10-12 wrote:Ἐνορκίζομεν ὑμᾶς ... ἀψευδῆ ἀποκρίνασθαι ἡμῖν
What do you make of the ἀψευδῆ here? 2nd Singular imperative from ἀψευδέω or masculine / feminine accusative from ἀψευδής? In either case, how would either of them work into the sentence? "We adjure you ... a true to answer us..." why not ἀψευδέως or a neuter adjective as adverb? OR "We adjure you ... Don't lie! to answer us ..." Wouldn't a participle or an infinitive followed by "and" work better here?

129,12-13 wrote:πρὸς ἃ ἐπερωτᾶσθε παρ᾽ ἡμῶν
While the παρ᾽ ἡμῶν could be right, should it perhaps be περὶ οὗ ἐπερωτᾶσθε ὑπὸ ἡμῶν

...

You can read the Greek further down the page and on the other folios yourself critically...

If this ἦσαν ἀνατραπέντες had occured in one of the big name literary texts, then the discussion you are having to the depth of detail that you are going into would make sense. However, these martyrdoms were recorded in Syriac and translated as good as you see them into Greek. At best you are looking at "translation Greek" by someone who wasn't handling the language at a high enough level to avoid even a few very simple mistakes. I suggest you look at ways to analyse Greek that allow for a margin of error in situations like this, rather than more detailed analysis.
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Re: Analytical form in the Vita (Passio) Ionae et Barachisii

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 30th, 2013, 10:49 pm

mzumstein wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
mzumstein wrote:b) the periphrastic form a (+part.perf) and b (+part.aor)

These comments are in relation to the construction with the aorist participle. Generally, the perfect would imply a result state persisting at the appropriate reference while the aorist would not, though with irresultative verbs this difference between the perfect and aorist is neutralized.


Ok. With respect to the current example:
a) they/the 9 men did not obey the orders of the emperor because they had been proselyted (?) by the two.

The result obviously persisted at the time when they didn't obey the order - and now the 9 men are dead. The other two visited them in the cell before they had to go to the emperor and convinced them that it was better to die then to turn away from Christianism.

If I got you right, the synthetic pluperfect would rather indicate a perfect in the past = a state in the past, not an action (I checked Bary: http://repository.ubn.ru.nl/bitstream/2 ... /74432.pdf , p. 154).
If we want to focus on the action, we need an aorist. So far so good. But then there seems to be no difference between the synthetic pluperfect and the per.part + BE construction. Maybe there is none? And maybe the distinction between the more "actional" and the more "resultative-like" interpretation is also neutralized in most contexts? In other words: The difference between "because they were proselyted" (at that time => state) and "they had been proselyted" (and the result was still valid at the time of the sentence) is minimal. Maybe with this type of predicate you could equally well use the perf. or the aor.part. without drastically altering the meaning of the sentence.

I should be clear that the aorist is unmarked with respect to the result state, not that it affirmatively indicates that the result state did not persist. So perhaps it would be more "actional", but the perfect is the marked form and all that can be said is that the author did not want to be explicit about what the perfect asserts.
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