Alpheus Crosby.

A grammar of the Greek language online

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117 Washington Strket.



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*' The Lav«va<3k of thb Grebes was truly like themselvea, it mis
eonformable to their transcendent and universal Genius. * * « * The
Greek Tokoue, from its propriety and universalityf is made f&r all
that is great, and all Utat is beautiful, in every Sutject, and undet every
Form of writing.*' — Harris's Hermes, Bk. III. Ch. 5.

** Greekf — the shrine of the genius of the old world ; as universal
as our race, as individual as ourselves ; of infinite flexibility, of inde-
fatigable strength, with the complication and the distinctness of nature
herself; to which nothing was vulgar, from which nothing was exQiud-
ed ; speaking to the ear like Italian, speaking to the mind like English ;
with words like pictures, with words like the gossamer film of the sum-
mer; at once the variety and picturesqueness of Homer, the gloom and
the intensity of iEschylus ; not compressed to the closest by Thucydi-
des, not fathomed to the bottom by Plato, not sounding with all its thun-
ders, nor lit up with all its ardors even under the Promethean toouh of
Demosthenes ! *' ~ Coleridge** Study of the Greek Clastic Poets^ Geu.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by

Alpheus Crosby,

II the Clerk't office of the ihstnct Court of the DisUlct of New HampbhUe


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The following pages are the result of an attempt to supply what
was believed to be a desideratum in the list of Greek text-books ; viz.
a grammar which should be portable and simple enough to be put into
the hands of the beginner, and which should yet be sufficiently scien-
6fic and complete to accompany him through his whole course. The
▼olume from which the elements of a language are first learned be-
comes to the student a species of mnemonic tables, and cannot be
changed in the course of his study without a material derangement
of those associations upon which memory essentially depends. The
femDiar remark, *' It must be remembered that, if the grammar be the
first book put into the learner's hands, it should also be the last to
leave them,^' though applying most happily to grammatical study in
general, was made by its accomplished author with particular refer-
ence to the manual used by the student.

In the preparation of this work, the routine of daily life has obliged
me to keep constantly in view the wants of more advanced studentu ;
and, for their sake, an attempt has been made to investigate the prin-
dples of the language more deeply, and illustrate its use more fully,
than has been usual m grammatical treatises, even of far greater size.
At the same time, no pains have been spared to meet the wants of the
beiginner, by a studious simplicity of method and expression, and by
the reduction of the most important principles to the form of concise
rules, easy of retention and convenient for citation.' Many valuable
works in philology fail of attaining the highest point of utility, through
a eumbrousness of form, burdensome alike to the understanding and
UtC memory of the learner. They have been the armor of Saul to the
youthful David. I have not, however, believed that I should consult,
the advantage even of the beginner by a false representation of the
language, or by any departure from philosophical accuracy of state-
ment or propriety of arrangement. Truth is always better than fals^
bood, and science than empiricism.

To secure, so far as might be, the double object of the work, it haa
I constructed upon the following plan.


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Firat, to state the usage of the language in comprehennve rales
and condensed tables, to be impiinted upon the memory of the student.
For convenient examples of the care with which brevity and simplicity
have been here studied, the reader will permit me to refer him to the
rules of syntax, as presented to the eye at a single view in ^ 64, and
to the elementary tables of inflection and formation.

Secondly, to explain the usage of the language, and trace its Am-
tarical development, as fully as the limits allowed to the work, and the
present state of philological science, would permit. The student whc
thinks wishes to know, not only what is true, but why it is true ; and
to the philosophical mind, a single principle addressed to the reason
is often like the sUver cord of JBolus, confining a vast number of facts,
which otherwise, like the enfranchised winds, are scattered far and
wide beyond the power of control.

Thirdly, to illustrate the use of the language by great fulness of
remark and exemplification. In these remarks and examples, as well
as in the more general rules and statements, I have designed to keep
myself carefully within the limits of Attic usage, as exhibiting the
language in its standard form, except when some intimation is given
to the contrary; believing that the grammarian has no more right
than the author to use indiscriminately, and without notice, the
▼ocabulary, forms, and idioms of different ages and communities, —

" A party-color'd dre«
Of patch'd and pya-btU'd languages."

The examples of syntax, in order that the student may be assured
in regard to their genuineness and sources, and be able to examine
them in their connection, have been all cited from classic authors In
the precise words in which they occur, and with references to the places
where they may be found. In accordance with the general plan of the
work, these examples have been mostly taken firom the purest Attio
writers, beginning with .^^hylus, and ending with JSschines. It
was also thought, that the practical value of such examples might be
greatly enhanced to the student by selecting a single author, whose
works, as those of a model-writer, should be most frequently resorted
to ; and especially, by selecting for constant citation a single work of
this author, which could be in the hands of every student as a com-
panion to his grammar, in which he might consult the passages re-
ferred to, and which might be to him, at the same time, a text-book
in reading, and a model in writing, Greek. In making the choice, I
eould not hesitate in selecting, among authors, Xenophon, and among
his writings, the Anabasis. References also abound in the Etymology,
!iiit ehiefly in respect to peculiar and dialectic forms.



llie sabject of euphonic laws and changes has reoeiTed a higer

dan of attention than is usual in works of this kind, but not laigei

dMm I lek compelled to bestow, in treating of a language,

" Whose law was heavenly beauty, and whose breath
EniapturiBg mosk."

The student wiU allow me to commend to his special notice two
fmnciides of eztensire use in the explanation of Greek forms ; yii.
tiie precession of vowels (i. e. the tendency of vowels, in the progress
of language, to pass from a more open to a closer sound ; see §§ 28,
S9, 44, 86, 93, 118, 123, 259, &c.), and the correspondence be-
tween the consonants v and a, and the vowels a and 8 (§§ 34, 46./},
50, 66-58, 60, 63. R., 84, 100. 2, 105, 109, 132, 179, 181, 200, 201,
213, 248./, 300, &c.).

In treating of Greek etymology, i have wished to avoid every thing
like aibitraiy formation ; and, instead of deducing one form from an-
other by empirical processes, which might often be quite as well re-
versed, I have endeavoured, by rigid andysis, to resolve all the forms
mto tlieir elements. The old method of forming the tenses of the
Greek veib one finmi another (compared by an excellent grammarian
to *' The House &at Jack built "), is liable to objection, not only on
account of its complexity and multiplication of arbitrary rules, but yet
more on account of the great number of imaginary forms which it re-
quires the student to suppose, and which often occupy a place in his
memory, to the exclusion of the real forms of the language. To cite
but a siBgle case, the second aorist passive, according to this method,
is formed from ike second aorist active, although it is a general rule
of the language, that verbs which have the one tense want the other
($ 255. /S). • Nor is the method which makes the theme the foundation
of all the other forms free from objection, dther in declension or in
conjugation. This method not only requires the assistance of many
imagmary nominatives and presents, but it often inverts the order of
ftature, by deriving the simpler form from the more complicated, and
commits a species of grammatical anachronism, by making the later
form the origin of the earlier. See §§ 84, 100, 256. V., 265. la
the following grammar, all the forms axe immediately referred to the
root, and the analysis of the actual, as obtained from classic usage,
takes the place both of the metempsychosis of the obsolete, and of the
metamorphosis of the ideal.

Those parts of Greek Grammar of which I at first proposed to form
a separate vdume, the Dialects, the History of Greek Inflection, the
Formation of Words, and Versifieaftion, I have concluded, with the


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liidviee of highly esteemed friends, to incorporate in tliis ; so ttiat a
•ia^U volume shoukl consiituie a complete manual of Greek GiammaiN
To accomplish this object within moderate limits of size and expense,
a very condensed mode of printing has been adopted, giving to the
volume an unusual amount of matter in proportion to its size. I thank
my printers, that, through their skill and care, they have shown this
to be consistent with so much typographical clearness and beauty. It
has also been found necessary to reserve for a separate treatise those
parts of the first edition which were devoted to General Gramwar^
and which it was at first proposed to include in the present edition aa
an appendix. I submit to this necessity with the lees reluctancey
because a systematic attention to the principles of Genei^ Grammy
ought not to be deferred till the study of the Greek, unless, in accord-
ance with the judicious advice of some distinguished scholars, this
should be the first language learned ailer our own ; and beeaose the
srish has been expressed, that these parts might be published separ-
^ly for the use of those who were not engaged in a eourse of clltssical

J cannot condude this preface without the expression of my most
pveere thanks to those personal Mends and friends of learning wht
iMive so kindly encouraged and uded me in my work. Amoi^ those
to whom I am especially indebted for valuable suggestions, or for the
loan of books, are President Woolsey, whose elevation, while I am
miting, to a post which he will so much adorn, will not, I trust,
withdraw him from that departiaent of study and authorship in which
ha has won for himself so enviaUe a distinction ; Professors Feltoa
•f Camhridge, Gibbs of New Haven, Ha^ett of Newton, Sanborn,
B^ highly esteemed associate in dsssical instruction, Stuart of An-
dover, and Tyler of Anherst; and Messrs. Richards of Meriden,
Sophocles of Hartlbrd, and Taylor of Andover. Nat can I conclude
without the acknowledgment of my deep obligations to previwis la-
borers in the same field, to the gskat uvins, and to the orbat
DSAO ^ Bequiescant in pace ! it is aliDost superfluous that I should
mention, as among those to whom I am most greatly indebted, the
honored names of Ahrens, Bemhardy, Bopp, Buttmann, Carmickael,
Hscher, Hartung, Hermann, Hoeigeveen, Kuhner, Lobeek, MaiV
Itixe, Matthis, Paasow, Rost, Thi^seh, and Vigor.


HAWnrsa, Oel. 13, 1646


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Tbi following tables hare been prepared as part of a Greek Gnnn
mar. They are likewise published separately, for the greater con\ : i*
iencc and economy in their use. The advantages of ^'Tabular vr^
rangement are too obvious to require remark ; nor is it less obvm...
that tables are consulted and compared with greater ease when priiiirn
together, than when scattered throughout a volume.

The principles upon which the Tables of Paradigms have been ct.i.
•ttrucled, are the following : —

I. To avoid needless repetition. There is a certain ellipsis in gra:ii
matical tables, as well as in discourse, which relieves not only \Ut ■
material instruments of the mind, but the mind itself, and which ;r>
sists alike the understanding and the memory. When the student \.'m
learned that, in the neuter gender, the nominative, accusative, Htnf
▼oeative are always the same, why, in each neut^ paradigm thai fi*
fltodies, ncist his eye and mind be taxed with the examination of nut:
forms instead of three? why, in his daily exercises in declensiu.).
must his tongue triple its labor, and more than triple the weariness «>.
the teacher^s ear? With the ellipses in the following tables, the p:p
adigms of neuter nouns contain only eight forms, instead of the tivt/r.
which are usually, and the fifteen which are sometimes, given; atui
the paradigms of participles and of adjectives similarly declined cont:i!^
only twenty-two forms, instead of the usual thirty-six or forty-Jiv^
See 114.

n. 7b give the forms just as they appear upon the Greek pane .
that is, without abbreviation and without hyphens, A dissected an i
abbreviated mode of printing the paradigms exposes the young stud. w.
to mistake, and familiarizes the eye, and of course the mind, with
fragments, instead of complete forms. If these fragments were s* j
arated upon analytical principles, the evil would be less ; but they h i>
usually cut off just where convenience in printing may direct, so ^h-i'
they contain, sometimes a part of the affix, sometimes the whole z^w-
«nd sometimes the affix with a part of the root. Hyphens are useiai

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in the analysis of forms, but a table of paradigms se6ms not to be the
most appropriate place for them. In the following tables, the affixes
are giyen by themselves, and the paradigms are so arranged in col-
umns, that the eye of the student will usually separate, at a glance,
the root from the affix.

in. To represent the language according to its actual use, and not
according to the theories or fancies of the Alexandrine and Byzantine
grammarians. Hence, for example,

1. The first perfect active imperative, which has no existence it
pure writers, has been discarded.

2. For the imaginary imperative forms lOTa&iy Ti&fjiy dido^t
diUvv&i^ have been substituted the actual forms mjti}, t/^m, dldov^

3. Together with analogical but rare forms, have been given the
usual forms, which in many grammars are noticed only as exceptions
or dialectic peculiarities. Thus, flovXsvhmaap and ^ovXtvovitav^
fiovXivoaig and flovUvaHag, ifls/iovXfvxsiaav and ifisl^ovXsvxfaap
(^ 34) ; fiovXevia&waav and fiovXevda&wPy fiovXsv^Biiioav and fiov
Xiv^sUv (Tf 35) ; hl&tjv and id&ovv (Tf 60) ; ^g and ^a&a^ sof
Tffi and IWai (^ 55).

4. The second future active and middle, which, except aa a eupho-
nic form of the first future, is purely imaginary, has been wholly

IV. To distinguish between regular and irregular usage. What
student, from the common paradigms, does not receive the impression,
sometimes never corrected, that the second perfect and pluperfect , the
second aorist and future, and the third future belong as regularly to
the Greek verb, as the first tenses bearing the same name ; when, in
point of fact, the Attic dialect, even including poetic usage, presents
only about fifty verbs which have the second perfect and pluperfect ,
eighty-five, which have the second^ aorist active ; fifty, which have the
second aorist and future passive ; and forty, which have the second
aorist middle ? The gleanings of all the other dialects will not double
these numbers. Carmichael, who has given us most fully the statis-
tics of the Greek verb, and whose labors deserve all praise, has
gathered, from all the dialects, a list of only eighty-eight verbs which
have the second perfect, one hundred and forty-five which have the
second aorist active, eighty-four which have the second aorist passive,
and fifty-eight which have the second aorist middle. And, of hit




flatalogne of nearly eight hundred verbs, embracing the most commoB
▼erbs of the language, only fi%-fiTe have the third future, and, in
the Attic dialect, only twenty-eight.

To some there may appear to be an impiety in attacking the vener-
erable shade of n/Tirw, but alas ! it is little more than a shade, and,
with all my early and long cherished attachment to it, I am forced,
after examination, to ezdaim, in the language of Electra,

'Ayr) (piXreiritt

and to ask why, in an age which professes such devotion to tn;ith, a
false representation of an irregular verb should be still set forth aa
the paradigm of regular conjugation, and made the Procrustes' bed
to which all other verbs must be stretched or pruned. The actual
future of Ti/Tiro) is not rvipat, but rvTirifaof, the perfect passive is both
thvfi/juxi and isxvnjTjfjim^ the aorists are in part dialectic or poetic,
the first and second perfect and pluperfect active are not found in
classic Grreek, if, indeed, found at all, and the second future active
and middle are the mere figments of grammatical fency. And yet
all the regular verbs in the language must be gravely pronounced
defective, because they do not conform to this imaginary model.

In the following tables, the example of Kuhner has been followed,
in selecting /iovXfvat as the paradigm of regular conjugation. This
verb is strictly regular, it glides smoothly over the tongue, is not lia-
ble to be mispronounced, and presents, to the eye, the prefixes, root,
and affixes, with entire distinctness throughout. This is followed by
shorter paradigms, in part merely synoptical, which exhibit the dif>
ferent classes of verbs, ^with their varieties of formation.

From the common paradigms, what student would hesitate, in writ-
ing Greek, to employ the form in -lis&ov^ little suspecting that it \a
only a variety of the fhrst person dual, so exceedingly rare, that the
learned Elmsley (perhaps too hastily) pronounced it a mere invention
of the Alexandrine grammarians? ^ The teacher who meets with it in
his recitation-room may almost call his class, as the crier called the
Roman people upon the celebration of the secular games, ** to gaze
upon that which they had never seen before, and would never see
again." In the secondary tenses of the indicative, and in the op-
tative, this form does not occur at all ; and, in the remaining tenses,
there have been found only five examples, two of which are quoted
by Athensns from a word-hunier (ofo/nxTodifpa;), whose aflectation
ho is ridiculing, while the three classical examples are all poetic, oo-


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tuning , one in Homer (II. ^. 485), and the other two in Sophoclet
(El. 950 and Phil. 1079). And yet, in the single paradigm ci
tvntiOy as I learned it in my boyhood, this " needless Alexandrine, "

** Which, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along, "

occurs no fewer than ^wenty-six times, that is, almost nine times at
often as in the whole range of the Greek classics.

With respect to the manner in which these tables should be used
80 much depends upon the age and attainments of the student, that
no directions could be given which might not require to be greatly
modified in particular cases. I would, however, recommend,

1. That the paradigms should not be learned en masse, but gradu-
ally, in connection with the study of the principles and rules of tfie
grammar, and with other exercised.

2. That some of the paradigms should rather be used for reference,
than formally committed to memory. It will be seen at once, that
some of them have been inserted merely for the sake of exhibiting
differences of accent, or individual peculiarities.

3. That, in learning and consulting the paradigms, the student
should constantly compare them with each other, with the tables of
terminations, and with the rules of the grammar.

4. That the humble volume should not be dismissed from service,
tiU the paradigms are impressed upon the tablets of the memory as
legibly as upon the printed page, — till they have become so familiar
to the student, that whenever he has occasion to repeat them, ** the
words,'* in the expressive language of Milton, " like so many nimble
and airy servitors, shall trip about him at coinmanJi, and in well-
ordered files, as he would wish, fall aptly into their own places."

In the present edition, the Tables of Inflection have been enlarged
by the addition of the Dialectic Forms, the Analysis of the Affixes,
the Changes in the Root of the Verb, &c. Tables of Ligatures, of
Derivation, of Pronominal Correlatives, of the Rules of Sjmtax, and
of Fonns of Analysis and Parsing, have also been added. Som«
references have been made to sections in the Grammar.

A. a

Hanover, Sept. 1, 1846.

**« Tht volume of TktalM eontaint pp i, 11, vU -zU, f - 81


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1. Tables op Orthography and Orthoept.




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Online LibraryAlpheus CrosbyA grammar of the Greek language → online text (page 1 of 53)