MAubrey wrote:cwconrad wrote:Considering the questionable dating of this Greek text (it really is questionable, isn't it? How old, in fact, is the Greek text here cited?) couldn't these perfect-tense forms (apart from the ptc. εἰδυῖα, of course), be understood as aorists?
That's a fair point, depending on the dating, it could be, though I'm inclined to view that shift as happening at least century or two later into the Byzantine period. Alternatively, I might be inclined to view this as involving the perfect to aorist shift in process, but not yet completed. That is, however we analyze this perfect here, it is precisely this kind of usage that motivated the death of the perfect and its "merger" with the aorist.
Well, inasmuch as this very interesting thread originally emerged from discussion of this particular passage in this particular text, I really would like to know what date or range of dates you're assigning it to. You say that you're "inclined to view that shift as happening at least a century [or] two into the Byzantine period." Where, as nearly as possible, do we draw these lines between eras? It seems ironic to me that linguists prefer (that's true isn't it) to speak of linguistic structures and usage in synchronic terms, and yet many of our problems of interpreting particular texts involves questions of accurate dating of the texts and reasonably accurate estimates of the direction, pace, and dating of the significant changes in structure and usage.I know there are some lines drawn between eras of Greek language: Homeric, Archaic, Attic, Hellenistic, ... But how much consensus is there on these questions? Perhaps the question belongs to a thread of its own in "Greek Language and Linguistics."