Although the Yervandunis had succeeded in securing an independent Armenia, Seleucid influence again began to assert itself when Antiochus III convinced two members of the Yervanduni family to revolt. These two, Artashes and Zareh, succeeded in overthrowing Yervanduni rule, with Artashes taking control of Greater Armenia and Zareh taking Dsopk. Antiochus, however, went too far when he tried to drive the Romans out of Macedonia and Greece. Defeated decisively at Magnesia, Antiochus was forced in 188 B.C. to cede Asia Minor and northwest Syria to the Romans. Seleucid reign was further weakened under Antiochus IV, when Jewish uprisings caused enough instability for the Parthians to gain control of Persia. At the same time Rome lured the states of Armenia, Cappadocia, Commagene, and Pontus away from the Seleucids to create a buffer between Roman holdings and the Parthians.
Upon securing his kingdom, Artashes marked its borders with boundary stones written in Aramaic. He then endeavored to extend his realm, eventually conquering regions belonging to the Medes, Caucasian Albanians, and Iberians. He was repulsed, however, by Dsopk and Lesser Armenia. Within his borders, Artashes distributed land among nobles and established a system of taxation. But the Seleucids eventually quelled the Jewish uprisings in 165 B.C. and attacked Armenia. Antiochus IV captured Artashes, reinstating his reign only under the condition that he pay tribute to the Seleucids. Seleucid power nevertheless entered swiftly into a period of decline, leaving the Arsacid ruler Mithridates I an opportunity to extend Parthian dominion throughout Mesopotamia.
Artavazd I (160 - 115 B.C.) and Tigran I (115 - 95 B.C.), the successors of Artashes, were both subject to Parthian domination, forced to pay tribute and send royal family members as hostages to the Parthian capital at Ctesiphon. When Tigran I died in 95 B.C., his son Tigran II, then a hostage at Ctesiphon, secured his freedom by giving the Parthians a portion of southeastern Armenia. Upon his return, Tigran quickly conquered Dsopk and created a unified Greater Armenia. There was now little separating Tigran's kingdom from the Romans, and so he struck up an alliance with Mithridates of Pontus. Armenia was thus protected from the Romans, and Pontus from the Parthians. This left Tigran free to expand eastward, which he did in 90 B.C. by reconquering the lands he gave to the Parthians. He then turned south to take Commagene, northern Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia, so that Armenia was for a brief time an empire extending from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. Greek and Persian became the languages of the nobility, Persian used mainly for admistrative affairs and Greek for cultural entertainment.
The situation changed drastically with Rome's invasion of Pontus in 74 B.C. Tigran remained loyal to his alliance with Mithridates, resisting the Roman advance. In 69 B.C., Rome turned toward Tigranakert, a major city of the Armenian empire, and took it by force; this destroyed the Armenian hold on Syria and Mesopotamia. Finally Rome sent Pompey to advance on Armenia; when the Parthians simultaneously attacked from the east, Tigran struck a peace treaty with the Romans in 66 B.C. Rome allowed Tigran to maintain his rule of Armenia in order to keep this a buffer region between Roman and Parthian interests. Tigran ruled until his death in 55 B.C.
One of Tigran's sons, Artavazd II, came to the Armenian throne amidst the signs of an inevitable clash between Rome and Parthia. Initially Artavazd attempted to court the favor of Crassus, who was then in charge of the Roman forces in the area. When Crassus failed to take notice, Artavazd shifted his loyalty to the Parthians, a status sealed by the marriage of Artavazd's sister to the Parthian heir-apparent. Artavazd still tried to appear friendly to Rome when Mark Antony took command of Roman forces in the region. But when Armenia refused to commit troops to the Roman effort against the Parthians, Antony blamed Artavazd for his defeat and took the Armenian capital by force in 35 B.C. Artavazd was taken to Egypt and executed.
Artavazd's son, Artashes II, enlisted the aid of the Parthians and regained his country in 30 B.C. For the next several years rulers of the Artashesian dynasty continued to direct Armenia's loyalty back and forth between Rome and Parthia. Finally the Artashesian dynasty came to an end around 10 A.D., and Armenia fell into Roman hands.
The History of Armenia, by Faustos Buzand, is also called The Epic Histories, by Pseudo Fawstos. It covers nearly sixty years of Christian Armenia's earliest history, from ca. 330 to 387, from the late Arsacid dynasty to the partition of Armenia between Byzantium and Sasanian Iran. The author deals with the political issues of that period, and with the development of Armenian Christianity. This reading is taken from Book IV, Chapter 5.
Apa vasn xałałutʿean uxtin miabanutʿean dašinn, or ēr ašxarhin Hayocʿ ənd kaysern Yunacʿ, dēp ełew aṙakʿel andr kazmutʿeamb mecaw arkʿayin Hayocʿ: zi inkʿnin mec katʿołikosn Hayocʿ Nersēs, ew i mecamecacʿn Hayocʿ satraps tasn ənd nma aṙnel, zi ertʿicʿē, i mēǰ kaysern ew i mēǰ iwreancʿ zuxtn hawanutʿean ew xałałutʿean norogescʿen :
Apa čʿogan gnacʿin hasin i kayserakan pałatn tʿagaworacʿn Yunacʿ :
Zaynu žamanakaw tʿagaworn mec Yunacʿ Vałēs i xotorutʿean heretikosutʿean ałandutʿeann arianosacʿ ēr i hawats :
Ard ibrew etes znosa tʿagaworn, zaṙaǰinn mecapaycaṙ pʿaṙōkʿ mecaw škʿov mecareacʿ znosa :
Apa dēp ełew` zi ordi miamōr kaysern, ayn isk gtanēr nora zawak, angeal dnēr yaxts sastik hiwandutʿean: apa tʿagaworn vasn ałōtʿs aṙneloy i veray mankann stipēr zsurb katʿołikos Hayocʿ zNersēs :
Ew ibrew luaw tʿagaworn zays amenayn, zi minčʿ deṙ xōsērn aṙaǰi nora` na luṙ ewetʿ kayr, otn zotamb arkeal, armukn i cung ew jeṙn i cnōti` nstaw aynpēs, minčʿew katareacʿ xōsecʿaw zamenayn zbans iwr :
Ew grēin zays semiarkʿ notaracʿi arkʿayin, orkʿ kayinn aṙaǰi tʿagaworin :
Apa mecapēs i cʿasumn brdeal linēr tʿagaworn, ew tayr hraman` erkatʿi kapanōkʿ mecapēs kapel zsurb episkoposapetn Hayocʿ zNersēs, ew arkanel i pʿiwłakē :
Apa vasn xałałutʿean uxtin miabanutʿean dašinn, or ēr ašxarhin Hayocʿ ənd kaysern Yunacʿ, dēp ełew aṙakʿel andr kazmutʿeamb mecaw arkʿayin Hayocʿ: zi inkʿnin mec katʿołikosn Hayocʿ Nersēs, ew i mecamecacʿn Hayocʿ satraps tasn ənd nma aṙnel, zi ertʿicʿē, i mēǰ kaysern ew i mēǰ iwreancʿ zuxtn hawanutʿean ew xałałutʿean norogescʿen : Apa čʿogan gnacʿin hasin i kayserakan pałatn tʿagaworacʿn Yunacʿ : Zaynu žamanakaw tʿagaworn mec Yunacʿ Vałēs i xotorutʿean heretikosutʿean ałandutʿeann arianosacʿ ēr i hawats : Ard ibrew etes znosa tʿagaworn, zaṙaǰinn mecapaycaṙ pʿaṙōkʿ mecaw škʿov mecareacʿ znosa : Apa dēp ełew` zi ordi miamōr kaysern, ayn isk gtanēr nora zawak, angeal dnēr yaxts sastik hiwandutʿean: apa tʿagaworn vasn ałōtʿs aṙneloy i veray mankann stipēr zsurb katʿołikos Hayocʿ zNersēs : Ew ibrew luaw tʿagaworn zays amenayn, zi minčʿ deṙ xōsērn aṙaǰi nora` na luṙ ewetʿ kayr, otn zotamb arkeal, armukn i cung ew jeṙn i cnōti` nstaw aynpēs, minčʿew katareacʿ xōsecʿaw zamenayn zbans iwr : Ew grēin zays semiarkʿ notaracʿi arkʿayin, orkʿ kayinn aṙaǰi tʿagaworin : Apa mecapēs i cʿasumn brdeal linēr tʿagaworn, ew tayr hraman` erkatʿi kapanōkʿ mecapēs kapel zsurb episkoposapetn Hayocʿ zNersēs, ew arkanel i pʿiwłakē :
Then, because of the covenant of peace -- the alliance of unity, which was between the realm of the Armenians and the emperor of the Greeks -- it was appropriate for the king of the Armenians to send thither with great pomp, so that the great catholicos of the Armenians, Nerses himself, -- and to furnish him ten satraps of the greatest Armenians -- so that he should go and they renew the treaty of peace and accord between the emperor and themselves. They then set out, travelled, and reached the imperial palace of the kings of the Greeks. At about that time in matters of faith the great king of the Greeks, Valens, was under the sway of heresy of the Arians' sect. Then, when the king saw them, first he honored them with marvellous glory and great splendor. Then it happened that the only son of the emperor -- that one was truly considered his progeny -- had lapsed into the throes of a severe illness. On account of making prayers over the child, the king thereupon urged Nerses the holy catholicos of the Armenians.
[Nerses continues with a discussion of the content of the orthodox faith, and makes the son's healing dependent on the Arian king's acceptance of this doctrine. The following continues with the king's reply.]
And when the king heard all this -- for, while he was still speaking before him, he remained but silent, having set foot over foot, elbow on knee, and hand on chin -- he sat thus until he finished speaking all his words. And the notary archon's stenographers who were before the king transcribed this. Then the king fell fiercely into a rage, and gave an order to bind fast with iron chains Nerses the holy archbishop of the Armenians, and to cast him into prison.
These declensions are followed by both nouns and adjectives. Several nouns follow an i- or u-declension. Adjectives of this type display an -r in the nominative and accusative which drops in the remaining forms. The plural forms of both nouns and adjectives display stems in -n. The substantives may have either two or three stems within the declension. The noun kʿar 'stone', with stems kʿar-/kʿarin-/kʿaran-, illustrates the i-declension; paṙaw 'old woman', with stems paṙaw-/paṙawun-/paṙawan- illustrates the u-declension. Adjective declensions are illustrated by pʿokʿr 'small', stems pʿokʿ-/pʿokʿun-; and barjr 'high', stems barj-/barjun-/barjan-. These follow the u-declension.
|T-i, Nt + T-n, Ht-A||T-u, Ht + T-n, Ht-B||T-u, Ht + T-n, Ht-B||T-u, Ht + T-n, Ht-B|
Certain nouns display -n only in the singular forms. The plural then follows the a-declension, sometimes the i-declension. Nouns of this type may typically have two or three stems within the paradigm. The nouns jeṙn 'hand', stems jeṙn-/jeṙin-/jeṙ-; serund 'breed, race', stems serund-/serdean-; and otn 'foot', stems otn-/otin-/ot-, illustrate the paradigms.
|T-n, Ht-A + T-a||T-n, Ht-A + T-a||T-n, Nt-B1 + T-a|
Note the singular forms Ab jeṙanē, otanē and I jeṙamb, otamb wherein a precedes the nasal instead of i.
Certain common nouns display enough peculiarity of declension that they do not fit easily within the patterns already mentioned. These are collected here. The nouns hayr 'father', kʿoyr 'sister', and awr '(24-hour) day' are declined as follows.
|Ab||hawrē||kʿeṙē||awrē (< awurē)|
The nouns mayr 'mother' and ełbayr 'brother' follow the pattern of hayr.
The nouns nu 'daughter-in-law', gewł 'village', and tiw 'day(light)' are declined as follows.
Below are the paradigms of the nouns ayr 'man, husband', kin 'woman, wife', tēr 'lord', tikin 'lady'. Note that tēr is a contracted form of te(y)-ayr or ti-ayr and thus parallels tikin in construction.
The two nouns akn and unkn require special attention because of the fact that their meanings change depending on what form their plurals take. Specifically, akn may have three separate meanings: (1) 'eye', (2) 'source', (3) 'gem'. In the plural, each meaning is associated with a distinct stem. All three meanings, however, are associated with the same forms in the singular. Thus akn has the following declension.
|Sg.||Pl. (1) 'eye'||Pl. (2) 'source'||Pl. (3) 'gem'|
A similar situation obtains for the noun unkn. This noun has a twofold semantic split in the plural: (1) 'ear', (2) 'handle'. The declension is as follows.
|Sg.||Pl. (1) 'ear'||Pl. (2) 'handle'|
The personal pronouns es 'I' and du 'thou' are the only substantives in Classical Armenian whose nominative and accusative forms differ. Their declensions are as follows.
|Ab||inēn, injēn||kʿēn, kʿezēn|
|Ab||mēnǰ, mezēn||jēnǰ, jezēn|
The secondary ablative forms may be used in an intensive role. When used as intensives, these ablative forms need not be in the same case as the pronoun which they emphasize. They do, however, agree in number. For example:
For the third person Classical Armenian has a separate reflexive pronoun iwr '-self, -selves'. The pronoun inkʿn '-self, -selves' may be used as a reflexive for all of the first, second, and third persons. These are comparable to Latin se and ipse respectively. inkʿn may be used in an intensive sense; there is an emphatic form inkʿnin, derived by adding the suffix -in. In addition to these pronouns, the noun anjn 'person, self' may be used in a reflexive role. The paradigms for iwr, inkʿn, and anjn are as follows.
|refl. pron.||refl./intens. pron.||refl. noun|
|I||iwrew, iwreaw, iwreamb||inkʿeamb||anjamb|
Note the genitive of iwr may be used with participles as the subject, e.g. zor iwr čʿēr gorceal '(the sins) which he had not committed'. The subject of the relative clause is the same as that of the main clause.
The reflexive inkʿn is found in the phrase ays inkʿn 'that is, really'.
The noun anjn is often found with a possessive pronoun or adjective: yaytneacʿ zanjn iwr 'he revealed himself'; but this is not always the situation: očʿ unikʿ keans yanjins 'you do not have life in yourselves'.
The possessive pronouns are supplied by the genitive case of the corresponding personal pronouns, im 'mine, of me'; kʿo 'thine, of you'; nora 'his, of him; her, of her; its, of it'; iwr 'of him-, her-, it-self' (reflexive); mer 'of us'; jez 'of you'; nocʿa 'of them'; iwreancʿ 'of themselves' (reflexive). These then form the basis for a series of possessive adjectives, whose declensions follow.
|'my'||'thy'||'his'||'his'(refl.)||'our'||'your' (pl.)||'their'||'their' (refl.)|
|G||imocʿ||kʿoyocʿ, kʿocʿ||norayocʿ, norayicʿ||iwrocʿ||merocʿ||jerocʿ||nocʿayocʿ, nocʿayicʿ|
|D||imocʿ||kʿoyocʿ||norayocʿ, norayicʿ||iwrocʿ||merocʿ||jerocʿ||nocʿayocʿ, nocʿayicʿ|
|Ab||imocʿ||kʿoyocʿ||norayocʿ, norayicʿ||iwrocʿ||merocʿ||jerocʿ||nocʿayocʿ, nocʿayicʿ|
|I||imovkʿ||kʿoyovkʿ||norayovkʿ, norayiwkʿ||iwrovkʿ||merovkʿ||jerovkʿ||nocʿayovkʿ, nocʿayiwkʿ|
Note that the NAcL Pl. forms of iwr are the same as the singular. The expected forms iwrkʿ and iwrs are found instead as substantives: yiwrs ekn ew iwrkʿn zna očʿ ənkalan 'he came to his own and his own did not receive him.'
Examples are jeṙamb iwrov 'with his own hand', es očʿ inčʿ yanjnē immē xawsim 'I say nothing by myself.' Nouns found in the plural with singular meanings often take singular possessive adjectives: jawrēns kʿum 'in thy law'.
One may classify verbs according to how a given present type leads regularly to a given aorist type. Such a classification scheme is given below.
(i) Regular verb classes with -Vcʿ- aorist:
|Type||Present||Aor. stem||Example Present||Aorist|
|(A)||-em (primary)||-acʿ-i||asem 'I say'||asacʿi|
|gitem 'I know'||gitacʿi|
|karem 'I can'||karacʿi|
|-em (denominative)||-ecʿ-i||gorcem 'I make'||gorcecʿi|
|pʿorjem 'I tempt'||pʿorjecʿi|
|bnakem 'I dwell'||bnakecʿi|
|(B)||-im (denominative)||-ecʿ-ay||gorcim 'I am made'||gorcecʿay|
|nmanim 'I resemble'||nmanecʿay|
|hamarim 'I regard'||hamarecʿay|
|(C)||-am||-acʿ-i||ałam 'I grind'||ałacʿi|
|gnam 'I go'||gnacʿi|
|hawatam 'I believe'||hawatacʿi|
|-am||-acʿ-ay||ałam 'I am made'||ałacʿay|
|gtʿam 'I pity'||gtʿacʿay|
|yusam 'I hope'||yusacʿay|
|(D)||-anam||-acʿ-i / -ay||luanam 'I wash'||luacʿi|
|luanam 'I wash myself'||luacʿay|
|arbenam 'I get drunk' (< *arbi-anam)||arbecʿay (< *arbi-acʿay)|
|-anam||-acʿ-ay||imanam 'I understand'||imacʿay|
|əntʿanam 'I run'||əntʿacʿay|
|moṙanam 'I forget'||moṙacʿay|
(ii) Regular verb classes with root aorist:
|Type||Present||Aor. stem||Example Present||Aorist|
|(E1)||-em (primary)||root||berem 'I carry'||beri|
|acem 'I bring'||aci|
|hanem 'I draw'||hani|
|(E2)||-im (primary)||root||nstim 'I sit'||nstay|
|(E3)||-um||root||argelum 'I hinder'||argeli|
|tʿołum 'I let, remit'||tʿołi|
|hełum 'I pour'||hełi|
|(F)||-anem||root||bekanem 'I break'||beki|
|tesanem 'I see'||tesi|
|lkʿanem 'I leave'||lkʿi (3 Sg. elikʿ)|
|(G)||-anim||root||ankanim 'I fall'||ankay|
|tesanim 'I am seen'||tesay|
|usanim 'I learn'||usay|
|(H)||-(n)čʿim||-eay||hangčʿim 'I rest'||hangeay|
|pʿaxčʿim 'I flee'||pʿaxeay|
|martnčʿim 'I fight'||marteay|
|(I)||-nam||root||daṙnam 'I (re)turn' (< *darj-nam)||darjay|
|baṙnam 'I raise' (< *barj-nam)||barji|
(iii) Verbs classes with root or -cʿ- aorists:
|Type||Present||Aor. stem||Example Present||Aorist|
|(J1)||-C-num||root||aṙnum 'I take'||aṙi|
|ǰernum 'I warm'||ǰeṙay|
|(J2)||-V-num||root||erdnum 'I swear' (< *erdu-num)||erduay|
|aytnum 'I swell' (< *ayti-num)||ayteay (< *ayti-ay)|
|kʿałcʿnum 'I hunger' (< *kʿałcʿi-num)||kʿałcʿeay (< *kʿałcʿi-ay)|
|(J3)||-V-num||-cʿ-i / -ay||zgenum 'I clothe myself'||zgecʿay|
|lnum 'I fill'||lcʿi (< *li-cʿi, cf. 3 Sg. elicʿ)|
|ənkenum 'I throw'||ənkecʿi (NB. 3 Sg. ənkēcʿ instead of *ənkeacʿ)|
Although most verbs obey the above-outlined categories regarding present and aorist classification, there are some verbs that depart from the regular formations. The most notable among these anomalous verbs are collected here. In this section, suppletion is treated as an extreme form of irregularity. The irregularities are broken down into three major categories and examples listed under each.
(a) Irregular stem contrast without inflectional peculiarities
Verbs in this category inflect normally, though the present/aorist stem contrast does not fall into the patterns above.
|harkanem 'I strike'||hari|
|yancʿanem 'I trespass'||yancʿeay|
|baṙnam 'I raise'||barji|
|daṙnam 'I (re)turn'||darjay|
|čanačʿem (< *canačʿem) 'I know'||caneay|
|əmpem 'I drink'||arbi|
|unim 'I take hold, have'||kalay|
(b) Irregular stem contrast with peculiar forms in the imperative and/or aorist subjunctive
|aṙnem 'I do, make'||arari||araricʿ, arascʿes, ...||Sg. ara|
|tanim 'I carry'||taray||-||tar, taraykʿ|
|yaṙnem 'I rise'||yareay||-||ari, arikʿ|
|ertʿam 'I go'||čʿogay||ertʿaycʿ, ertʿicʿes, ...||-|
|mełančʿem 'I sin'||mełay||małaycʿ, mełicʿes, ...||-|
|lsem 'I hear'||luay||luaycʿ, luicʿes, ...||lur, luarukʿ|
|utem 'I eat'||keray (3 Sg. eker, keraw)||keraycʿ, kericʿes, ...||ker, keraykʿ|
(c) Irregular inflection in the aorist group generally
|gam 'I come'||tam 'I give'||dnem 'I put'||linim 'I become'|
|2 Sg.||ek||tur||dir||ler (ełiǰir)|
|2 Pl.||ekaykʿ||tukʿ||dikʿ||lerukʿ (ełerukʿ)|
|N A Sg.||ekeal||tueal||edeal||leal (ełeal)|
The conjugation of linim parallels that of dnem. The augmented forms ełicʿis, ełicʿi, etc. are later developments which eventually gave rise to a new present form ełanim.
The aorist subjunctive and aorist imperative forms of em 'I am' are supplied by the forms licʿis, etc. and ler, lerukʿ of the verb linim 'I become'.
In Classical Armenian transitive verbs occur in both active and passive contructions. The distinction between active and passive, however, is not universally distinguished through morphology. That is to say, the contrast between active forms and passive forms does not hold throughout the Classical Armenian verbal system. In the present indicative, verbs of the e-conjugation may form a passive by changing the stem vowel from e to i, e.g. varem 'I lead' vs. varim 'I am led'; čanačʿem zimsn ew čanačʿim yimocʿn 'I know my own and I am known by my own'. This distinction is in keeping with the distribution of verbs between the e- and i-conjugations, since most of the verbs in the e-conjugation are transitive, most in the i-conjugation intransitive. The e-/i- manner of active/passive contrast has been extended to the prohibitive and to the present subjunctive. Thus one finds the following contrast pattern.
|Pres. Indic.||varem, -es, -ē, ... 'I lead'||varim, -is, -i, ... 'I am led, I behave'|
|Prohibitive||mi varer, -ēkʿ 'do not lead'||mi varir, -ikʿ 'do not behave'|
|Pres. Subj.||varicʿem, -es, -ē, ... 'I shall lead'||varicʿim, -is, -i, ... 'I shall be led, I shall behave'|
Such distinction is lost in the imperfect: since e-conjugation verbs follow the same imperfect paradigm as i-conjugation verbs, the distinction between active and passive is lost in this tense. Thus the active varem 'I lead' and the passive varim 'I am led' both have imperfect varei, -eir, -ēr, ... 'I was leading, I was being led'. Compare patmein zbann Astuacoy 'they proclaimed the word of God' and patmein bankʿs aysokʿik 'all these things were told'.
Verbs of the a- and u-conjugations, and verbs which are inherently of the i-conjugation, do not form passives by such vowel substitution. These verbs make no formal distinction between active and passive throughout the entire present system:
|Active Meaning||Passive Meaning|
|hamarim||'I regard'||'I am regarded'|
|banam||'I open'||'I am opened'|
|argelum||'I hinder'||'I am hindered'|
|banayi||'I was opening'||'I was being opened'|
|argelui||'I was hindering'||'I was being hindered'|
|hamaricʿim||'I shall regard'||'I shall be regarded'|
|argelucʿum||'I shall hinder'||'I shall be hindered'|
The aorist system maintains a morphological distinction between active and passive. Regular alternation of endings displays the voice contrast:
|Present||Aor. Active||Aor. Passive|
|pʿorjem 'I tempt'||pʿorjecʿi 'I tempted'||pʿorjecʿay 'I was tempted'|
|patmem 'I tell'||patmecʿin 'they told'||patmecʿan '(things) were told'|
|argelum 'I hinder'||argel 'he hindered'||argelaw 'he was hindered'|
|pʿorjicʿem 'I shall tempt'||pʿorjecʿicʿ 'I shall tempt'||pʿorjecʿaycʿ 'I shall be tempte'|
|argelicʿum 'I shall hinder'||argelcʿen 'they will hinder'||argelcʿin 'they will be hindered'|
|(mi) mrkter '(don't) baptize'||mrktea 'baptize'||mrkteacʿ 'be baptized'|
|(mi) luanaykʿ '(don't) wash, (don't) wash yourselves'||luacʿēkʿ 'wash'||luacʿarukʿ 'wash yourselves'|
There are, however, forms which are the same in both active and passive. Such forms are the aorist indicative first person plural, e.g. pʿorjecʿakʿ 'we tempted, we were tempted'; the aorist subjunctive first person plural, e.g. argelcʿukʿ 'we shall hinder, we shall be hindered' and second person plural, e.g. pʿorjesǰikʿ 'you will tempt, you will be tempted'.
Some transitive verbs are found only with passive forms in the aorist system. These forms are therefore ambiguous when taken out of context; they may have active meaning and take an object, or have true passive (and therefore intransitive) meaning. For this reason, the term mediopassive is often used instead of 'passive' to describe the non-active forms of aorist conjugation. Verbs which are so found with only mediopassive endings in the aorist typically have presents in -im, -anam, and -num. Below are examples of some verbs that distinguish active and passive forms in the aorist, and some that have only mediopassive forms.
|Present||Aorist Active||Aor. Mediopassive||Aor. Passive|
|banam 'I open/am opened'||bacʿi 'I opened'||bacʿay 'I was opened'|
|argelum 'I hinder/am hindered'||argeli 'I hindered'||argelay 'I was hindered'|
|hamarim 'I regard/am regarded'||hamarecʿay 'I regarded/was regarded'|
|moṙanam 'I forget/am forgotten'||moṙacʿay 'I forgot/was forgotten'|
|əntʿeṙnu 'he reads/(something) is read'||əntʿercʿaw 'he read/(something) was read'|
The active/passive contrast is not morphologically distinguished in non-finite verb forms, i.e. the infinitive, verbal adjectives, participle. These forms may have either active or passive meaning, determined by context: pʿorjeal i Satanayē 'tempted by Satan'; haneal zna 'having drawn him'.
When morphology does not distinguish voice contrast, ambiguity is often avoided by one of two means: (1) stem substitution, e.g. hełu 'he pours' vs. hełani '(something) is poured'; (2) compound tenses, e.g. bereal linei, lineir, linēr, ... 'I was being carried' vs. berei, bereir, berēr, ... 'I was carrying/was being carried'.
In passive statements, agents of the action are treated differently depending on whether they be animate or inanimate. When the agent is a
For example, mrktein i nmanē 'they were baptized by him'; ahiw mecaw tagnapein 'they were struck with fear'.
The particle očʿ is used to negate declarative and interrogative statements. The particle mi is used in negative wishes, requests, commands and final clauses. The particle očʿ, when placed just before the verb, is shortened to čʿ- and written together with the verb: čʿē 'he is not'; čʿtesanein 'they did not see'.