Part forty-four of a tour through Greek inflectional morphology to help get students thinking more systematically about the word forms they see (and maybe teach a bit of general linguistics along the way).

Let’s now go through the remaining aorist actives (indicatives and infinitives) that exhibit multiple stems or multiple stems and ending classes.

Differences in just the stem

προεφήτευσεν vs ἐπροφήτευσεν

The difference is just whether the augment honours the preverb or not.

προεφήτευσεν   προ- -ε- -φήτευσεν
ἐπροφήτευσεν ἐ- -προ-   -φήτευσεν

ἀνέῳξεν vs ἤνοιξεν vs ἠνέῳξεν

ἀνέῳξ- was the earlier aorist form and then later we find ἤνοιξ- and ἠνέῳξ-. The SBLGNT has all three in the 3SG. Like in the previous example, this is also a difference in whether the augmentation honours the preverb (ἀνέῳξ-) or not (ἤνοιξ-) but with a third form where it’s effectively augmented in both places (ἠνέῳξ-).

ἀνέῳξεν ἀν- -έῳ- -ξεν
ἤνοιξεν ἤν- -οι- -ξεν
ἠνέῳξεν ἠν- -έῳ- -ξεν

πεῖν vs πιεῖν

In the aorist active infinitive of πίνω/ἔπῐον can exhibit a “Hellenistic contraction”:

-ιει- /-ǐī-/ → -ει- /-ī-/.

ἔγημα vs ἐγάμησε

ἔγημα is the earlier form and ἐγάμησα developed later later, presumably by analogy with other -εω verbs (which we’ll explore later).

παρήγγειλε vs παρήγγελλε

I think this is a mistake in MorphGNT SBLGNT and should be tagged imperfect (in Luke 8.29).

κατέλειπε vs κατέλιπε

I think this is a mistake in MorphGNT SBLGNT and should be tagged imperfect (in Lk 10.40).

Differences in stem and class (non-μι verbs)

παρέλαβον vs παρελάβοσαν

παραλαμβάνω has a pretty standard thematic aorist but we find the 3PL form παρελάβοσαν alongside the expected παρέλαβον.

ἀνέκραξαν vs ἀνέκραγον

The aorist of ἀνακράζω was originally thematic ἀν-έ-κραγ-ο- but started to develop a sigmatic variant ἀν-έ-κραγ-σ-.

In the SBLGNT we mostly find the later sigmatic variant but the 3PL also appears in the original thematic form (ἀνέκραγον alongside ἀνέκραξαν).

ἤγαγον vs ἦξα (and compounds)

In the SBLGNT, we find συνήγαγον vs συνῆξα and ἐπισυναγαγεῖν vs ἐπισυνάξαι.

In other words, the stem ἀγ-αγ-ο vs αγ-σ.

Differences in stem and class (μι verbs other than ἵστημι and compounds)

Recall that in the Hellenistic period, the INF was still mostly a root aorist but most of the other forms were kappa alphathematics (not just in the singular, as was the case classically, but in the plural too through levelling). Occasionally a thematic form creeps in though.

τίθημι and compounds

All root in the INF and kappa alphathematics elsewhere.

δίδωμι and compounds

As expected except for the 3PL παρέδοσαν (i.e. the classical form) alongside παρέδωκαν.


As expected except for the 2SG ἀφῆκες where we’d expect ἀφῆκας.

ἵστημι and compounds

Unlike the other verbs with μι presents, ἵστημι has no kappa alphathematics. In fact, even classically, the entire aorist paradigm had a full set of root aorist forms alongside a full set of sigmatic alphathematic aorists.

INF στῆ-ναι στῆσ-αι
1SG ἔ-στη-ν ἔ-στησ-α
2SG ἔ-στη-ς ἔ-στησ-α-ς
3SG ἔ-στη ἔ-στησ-ε
1PL ἔ-στη-μεν ἐ-στήσ-α-μεν
2PL ἔ-στη-τε ἐ-στήσ-α-τε
3PL ἔ-στη-σαν ἔ-στησ-α-ν

This is true of the compounds too.

We’ll later take up the topic of the different usage between the two sets. But for now I just want to highlight that, unlike most of the other examples in this post or the previous one, this is not an example of a shift between aorist classes happening before our eyes but something more ingrained in the earlier history of Greek. We’ll definitely return to it, but there are other matters to cover first.

We’ve now allocated all our aorist active infinitive and indicative forms to inflectional (or at least ending) classes and in the next post we’ll look at some counts.