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Classical Armenian Online

Lesson 3

Todd B. Krause, John A.C. Greppin, and Jonathan Slocum

The Artashesian Dynasty

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.

Reading and Textual Analysis

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 -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- Then
  • vasn -- preposition; <vasn> because of, on account of, for the sake of -- because of
  • xałałutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <xałałutʿiwn> peace -- of peace
  • uxtin -- noun; genitive singular of <uxt> agreement, covenant + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the covenant
  • miabanutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <miabanutʿiwn> unity -- of unity
  • dašinn -- noun; genitive singular of <dašn> alliance, agreement, treaty + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the alliance # in apposition to uxtin
  • or -- relative pronoun; nominative singular of <or> who, what, which -- which
  • ēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <em> I am -- was
  • ašxarhin -- noun; genitive singular of <ašxarh> land, realm + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- (between) the land
  • Hayocʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • ənd -- preposition; <ənd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- and
  • kaysern -- noun; locative singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the emperor
  • Yunacʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Yoyn> Greek -- of the Greeks
  • dēp -- adjective; nominative singular of <dēp> fitting, suitable; happening, occuring -- appropriate
  • ełew -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <ełanim> I become -- it was
  • aṙakʿel -- verb; infinitive nominative singular of <aṙakʿem> I send -- to send
  • andr -- adverb; <andr> there, to there, thither -- thither
  • kazmutʿeamb -- noun; instrumental singular of <kazmutʿiwn> arrangement, order, pomp -- pomp
  • mecaw -- adjective; instrumental singular of <mec> great, big -- with great
  • arkʿayin -- noun; dative singular of <arkʿay> archon, leader, king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- for the king
  • Hayocʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- so that
  • inkʿnin -- emphatic pronoun; nominative singular of <inkʿnin> he himself, he personally, the very one -- himself
  • mec -- adjective; undeclined form of <mec> great, big -- the great
  • katʿołikosn -- noun; nominative singular of <katʿołikos> catholicos + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- catholicos
  • Hayocʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • Nersēs -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Nersēs> Nerses -- Nerses
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- of
  • mecamecacʿn -- adjective used as substantive; ablative plural of <mecamec> very great, grand, important + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the greatest
  • Hayocʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- Armenians
  • satraps -- noun; accusative plural of <satrap> satrap -- satraps
  • tasn -- adjective; accusative plural of <tasn> ten -- ten
  • ənd -- preposition; <ənd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- ...
  • nma -- pronoun; locative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • aṙnel -- verb; infinitive nominative singular of <aṙnem> I do, make -- to furnish
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- so that
  • ertʿicʿē -- verb; 3rd singular aorist subjunctive of <ertʿam> I go, set out -- he should go
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • mēǰ -- noun; locative singular of <mēǰ> middle, midst -- between
  • kaysern -- noun; genitive singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the emperor
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • mēǰ -- noun; locative singular of <mēǰ> middle, midst -- ...
  • iwreancʿ -- reflexive pronoun; genitive plural of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- themselves
  • zuxtn -- direct object marker <z‘>... + noun; accusative singular of <uxt> agreement, covenant + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the treaty
  • hawanutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <hawanutʿiwn> accord -- of accord
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • xałałutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <xałałutʿiwn> peace -- of peace
  • norogescʿen -- verb; 3rd plural aorist subjunctive of <norogem> repair, renew -- (and) they renew

Apa čʿogan gnacʿin hasin i kayserakan pałatn tʿagaworacʿn Yunacʿ :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- then
  • čʿogan -- verb; 3rd plural aorist mediopassive of <ertʿam> I go, set out -- They... set out
  • gnacʿin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <gnam> go, walk -- travelled
  • hasin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <hasanem> I approach, arrive; obtain -- (and) reached
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • kayserakan -- adjective; undeclined form of <kayserakan> imperial -- imperial
  • pałatn -- noun; accusative singular of <pałat> palace + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the... palace
  • tʿagaworacʿn -- noun; genitive plural of <tʿagawor> king -- of the kings
  • Yunacʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Yoyn> Greek -- of the Greeks

Zaynu žamanakaw tʿagaworn mec Yunacʿ Vałēs i xotorutʿean heretikosutʿean ałandutʿeann arianosacʿ ēr i hawats :

  • zaynu -- preposition; <z‘> during; for; concerning; around, about + demonstrative pronoun; instrumental singular of <ayn> that, that over there -- at about that
  • žamanakaw -- noun; instrumental singular of <žamanak> time -- time
  • tʿagaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <tʿagawor> king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the... king
  • mec -- adjective; nominative singular of <mec> great, big -- great
  • Yunacʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Yoyn> Greek -- of the Greeks
  • Vałēs -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Vałēs> Valens -- Valens
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- under
  • xotorutʿean -- noun; locative singular of <xotorutʿiwn> bend; deviation; straying -- the sway
  • heretikosutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <heretikosutʿiwn> heresy -- of heresy
  • ałandutʿeann -- noun; genitive singular of <ałandutʿiwn> deception + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- of the... sect
  • arianosacʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <arianoskʿ> (pl.) Arians -- Arians'
  • ēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <em> I am -- was
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- in matters of
  • hawats -- noun; locative plural of <hawat> belief, religion -- faith

Ard ibrew etes znosa tʿagaworn, zaṙaǰinn mecapaycaṙ pʿaṙōkʿ mecaw škʿov mecareacʿ znosa :

  • ard -- adverb; <ard> now; so, then -- Then
  • ibrew -- conjunction; <ibrew> when -- when
  • etes -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <tesanem> I see -- saw
  • znosa -- direct object marker <z‘>... + pronoun; accusative plural of <na> he, she, it -- them
  • tʿagaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <tʿagawor> king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • zaṙaǰinn -- preposition; <z‘> during; for; concerning; around, about + adjective used as substantive; accusative singular of <aṙaǰin> first + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- first
  • mecapaycaṙ -- adjective; undeclined form of <mecapaycaṙ> brilliant -- marvellous
  • pʿaṙōkʿ -- noun; instrumental plural of <pʿaṙkʿ> (pl.) glory, majesty -- with... glory
  • mecaw -- adjective; instrumental singular of <mec> great, big -- (and) great
  • škʿov -- noun; instrumental singular of <šukʿ> pomp -- splendor
  • mecareacʿ -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <mecare> I honor, venerate -- he honored
  • znosa -- direct object marker <z‘>... + pronoun; accusative plural of <na> he, she, it -- them

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 :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- Then
  • dēp -- adjective; nominative singular of <dēp> fitting, suitable; happening, occuring -- happened
  • ełew -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <ełanim> I become -- it
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- that
  • ordi -- noun; nominative singular of <ordi> son -- son
  • miamōr -- noun; nominative singular of <miamawr> only begotten, only -- the only
  • kaysern -- noun; genitive singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor + demonstrative suffix <‘s> this, this here, the -- of the emperor
  • ayn -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular of <ayn> that, that over there -- that one
  • isk -- conjunction; <isk> but, truly, and -- truly
  • gtanēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <gtanem> I find, get, obtain -- was... considered
  • nora -- pronoun; genitive singular of <na> he, she, it -- his
  • zawak -- noun; nominative singular of <zawak> child, offspring, progeny -- progeny
  • angeal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <ankanim> I fall -- lapsed
  • dnēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect mediopassive of <dnem> I put, place -- had
  • yaxts -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of + noun; accusative plural of <axt> illness, disease -- into the throes # or locative
  • sastik -- adjective; undeclined form of <sastik> severe, grievous -- a severe
  • hiwandutʿean -- noun; genitive singular of <hiwandutʿiwn> disease, illness -- of... illness
  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- thereupon
  • tʿagaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <tʿagawor> king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • vasn -- preposition; <vasn> because of, on account of, for the sake of -- On account of
  • ałōtʿs -- noun; accusative plural of <aławtʿkʿ> (pl.) prayers -- prayers
  • aṙneloy -- verb; infinitive genitive singular of <aṙnem> I do, make -- making
  • i veray -- compound preposition; <i veray> upon, over -- over
  • mankann -- noun; genitive singular of <manuk> child + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the child
  • stipēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <stipem> I push, urge -- urged
  • zsurb -- direct object marker <z‘>... + adjective; accusative singular of <surb> holy, blessed -- holy
  • katʿołikos -- noun; accusative singular of <katʿołikos> catholicos -- catholicos
  • Hayocʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • zNersēs -- direct object marker <z‘>... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Nersēs> Nerses -- Nerses # the ensuing speech of Nerses is omitted -- the narrative continues with the king's reply

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 -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • ibrew -- conjunction; <ibrew> when -- when
  • luaw -- verb; 3rd singular aorist mediopassive of <lsem> I hear -- heard
  • tʿagaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <tʿagawor> king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • zays -- direct object marker <z‘>... + demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular of <ays> this, this right here -- this
  • amenayn -- adjective; undeclined form of <amenayn> all, every -- all
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- for
  • minčʿ -- conjunction; <minčʿ> until, up to, as far as; while, during -- while
  • deṙ -- adverb; <deṙ> still -- still
  • xōsērn -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect mediopassive of <xawsim> I say, speak + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- he was... speaking # a demonstrative suffix is often placed after the first accented word of a subordinate clause
  • aṙaǰi -- preposition; <aṙaǰi> before, in front of -- before
  • nora -- pronoun; genitive singular of <na> he, she, it -- him # referring to the king
  • na -- pronoun; nominative singular of <na> he, she, it -- he # the king
  • luṙ -- adjective; nominative singular of <luṙ> silent -- silent
  • ewetʿ -- adverb; <ewetʿ> only, solely -- but
  • kayr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <kam> I am, exist -- remained
  • otn -- noun; accusative singular of <otn> foot -- foot
  • zotamb -- preposition; <z‘> during; for; concerning; around, about + noun; instrumental singular of <otn> foot -- over foot
  • arkeal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <arkanem> I throw, cast, hurl -- having set
  • armukn -- noun; accusative singular of <armukn> elbow -- elbow
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- on
  • cung -- noun; accusative singular of <cunr> knee -- knee # oblique cases built from cung
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • jeṙn -- noun; accusative singular of <jeṙn> hand -- hand
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- on
  • cnōti -- noun; locative singular of <cnaw\t> chin, cheek -- chin
  • nstaw -- verb; 3rd singular aorist mediopassive of <nstim> I sit -- he sat # the king
  • aynpēs -- adverb; <aynpēs> so, thus -- thus
  • minčʿew -- adverb; <minčʿew> until, as far as -- until
  • katareacʿ -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <katarem> I complete, carry out -- he finished # referring to Nerses
  • xōsecʿaw -- verb; 3rd singular aorist mediopassive of <xawsim> I say, speak -- speaking
  • zamenayn -- direct object marker <z‘>... + adjective; undeclined form of <amenayn> all, every -- all
  • zbans -- direct object marker <z‘>... + noun; accusative plural of <ban> speech, word -- words
  • iwr -- reflexive pronoun; genitive singular of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his

Ew grēin zays semiarkʿ notaracʿi arkʿayin, orkʿ kayinn aṙaǰi tʿagaworin :

  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • grēin -- verb; 3rd plural imperfect of <grem> I write -- transcribed
  • zays -- direct object marker <z‘>... + demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular of <ays> this, this right here -- this
  • semiarkʿ -- noun; nominative plural of <semiar> stenographer -- stenographers
  • notaracʿi -- adjective; undeclined form of <notaracʿi> notarizing -- notary
  • arkʿayin -- noun; genitive singular of <arkʿay> archon, leader, king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the archon's
  • orkʿ -- relative pronoun; nominative plural of <or> who, what, which -- who
  • kayinn -- verb; 3rd plural imperfect of <kam> I am, exist + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- were # a demonstrative suffix is often placed after the first accented word of a subordinate clause
  • aṙaǰi -- preposition; <aṙaǰi> before, in front of -- before
  • tʿagaworin -- noun; genitive singular of <tʿagawor> king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the king

Apa mecapēs i cʿasumn brdeal linēr tʿagaworn, ew tayr hraman` erkatʿi kapanōkʿ mecapēs kapel zsurb episkoposapetn Hayocʿ zNersēs, ew arkanel i pʿiwłakē :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- Then
  • mecapēs -- adverb; <mecapēs> greatly -- fiercely
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- into
  • cʿasumn -- noun; accusative singular of <cʿasumn> rage, anger -- a rage
  • brdeal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <brdem> I fall, descend -- fell
  • linēr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <linim> I am, exist -- ...
  • tʿagaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <tʿagawor> king + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • tayr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <tam> I give; permit, let -- gave
  • hraman -- noun; accusative singular of <hraman> command, order -- an order
  • erkatʿi -- noun; genitive singular of <erkatʿ> iron -- iron
  • kapanōkʿ -- noun; instrumental plural of <kapankʿ> (pl.) chains -- with... chains
  • mecapēs -- adverb; <mecapēs> greatly -- fast
  • kapel -- verb; infinitive accusative singular of <kapem> I bind -- to bind
  • zsurb -- direct object marker <z‘>... + adjective; accusative singular of <surb> holy, blessed -- holy
  • episkoposapetn -- noun; accusative singular of <episkoposapet> archbishop + demonstrative suffix <‘n> that, that over there, the -- the... archbishop
  • Hayocʿ -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • zNersēs -- direct object marker <z‘>... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Nersēs> Nerses -- Nerses
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • arkanel -- verb; infinitive accusative singular of <arkanem> I throw, cast, hurl -- to cast (him)
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- into
  • pʿiwłakē -- noun; accusative singular of <pʿiwłakē> prison -- prison

Lesson Text

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 :

Translation

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.

Grammar

11. Mixed Nominal Declension
11.1. Substantives with -n in the Plural Only

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.

    i-decl.   u-decl.   u-decl.   u-decl.
    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
                 
N Sg.   kʿar   paṙaw   pʿokʿr   barjr
Ac   kʿar   paṙaw   pʿokʿr   barjr
G   kʿari   paṙawu   pʿokʿu   barju
D   kʿari   paṙawu   pʿokʿu   barju
L   kʿari   paṙawu   pʿokʿu   barju
Ab   kʿarē   paṙaw(u)ē   pʿokʿuē   barjuē
I   kʿariw   paṙawu   pʿokʿu   barju
                 
N Pl.   kʿarinkʿ   paṙawunkʿ   pʿokʿunkʿ   barjunkʿ
Ac   kʿarins   paṙawuns   pʿokʿuns   barjuns
G   kʿarancʿ   paṙawancʿ   pʿokʿuncʿ   barjancʿ
D   kʿarancʿ   paṙawancʿ   pʿokʿuncʿ   barjancʿ
L   kʿarins   paṙawuns   pʿokʿuns   barjuns
Ab   kʿarancʿ   paṙawancʿ   pʿokʿuncʿ   barjancʿ
I   kʿariwkʿ   paṙawumbkʿ   pʿokʿunbkʿ   barjumbkʿ
11.2. Substantives with -n in the Singular Only

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.

    a-decl.   a-decl.   i-decl.
    T-n, Ht-A + T-a   T-n, Ht-A + T-a   T-n, Nt-B1 + T-a
             
N Sg.   jeṙn   serund   otn
Ac   jeṙn   serund   otn
G   jeṙin   serdean   otin
D   jeṙin   serdean   otin
L   jeṙin   serdean   otin
Ab   jeṙanē   serdenē   otanē
I   jeṙamb   serdeamb   otamb
             
N Pl.   jeṙkʿ   serundkʿ   otkʿ
Ac   jeṙs   serunds   ots
G   jeṙacʿ   serundacʿ   oticʿ
D   jeṙacʿ   serundacʿ   oticʿ
L   jeṙs   serunds   ots
Ab   jeṙacʿ   serundacʿ   oticʿ
I   jeṙawkʿ   serundawkʿ   otiwkʿ

Note the singular forms Ab jeṙanē, otanē and I jeṙamb, otamb wherein a precedes the nasal instead of i.

11.3. Anomalous Nouns

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.

    hayr   kʿoyr   awr
    'father'   'sister'   '(24-hour) day'
    T-r, Nt-B        
             
N Sg.   hayr   kʿoyr   awr
Ac   hayr   kʿoyr   awr
G   hawr   kʿeṙ   awur
D   hawr   kʿeṙ   awur
L   hawr   kʿeṙ   awur
Ab   hawrē   kʿeṙē   awrē (< awurē)
I   harb   kʿerb   awurb
             
N Pl.   harkʿ   kʿerkʿ   awurkʿ
Ac   hars   kʿers   awurs
G   harcʿ   kʿercʿ   awurcʿ
D   harcʿ   kʿercʿ   awurcʿ
L   hars   kʿers   awurs
Ab   harcʿ   kʿercʿ   awurcʿ
I   harbkʿ   kʿerbkʿ   awurbkʿ

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.

    nu   gewł   tiw
    'daughter-in-law'   'village'   'day(light)'
             
N Sg.   nu   gewł   tiw
Ac   nu   gewł   tiw
G   nuoy   gełǰ   tuənǰean
D   nuoy   gełǰ   tuənǰean
L   nu   gełǰ, gewł   tuənǰean
Ab   nuoy   gełǰē   tuənǰenē, tuē
I   nuov, nuav   giwłiw   tuəǰeamb
             
N Pl.   nu(an)kʿ   gewłkʿ   tiwkʿ
Ac   nu(an)s   gewłs   tiws
G   nua(n)cʿ   giwłicʿ   -
D   nua(n)cʿ   giwłicʿ   -
L   nu(an)s   gewłs   -
Ab   nua(n)cʿ   giwłicʿ   -
I   nuawkʿ   giwłiwkʿ   -

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.

    ayr   kin   tēr   tikin
    'man'   'woman'   'lord'   'lady'
                 
N Sg.   ayr   kin   tēr   tikin
Ac   ayr   kin   tēr   tikin
G   aṙn   knoǰ   teaṙn   tiknoǰ
D   aṙn   knoǰ   teaṙn   tiknoǰ
L   aṙn   knoǰ   teaṙn   tiknoǰ
Ab   aṙnē   knoǰē   teaṙnē   tiknoǰē
I   aramb   kanamb, knaw   teramb   tiknamb
                 
N Pl.   arkʿ   kanajkʿ   tearkʿ   tiknaykʿ
Ac   ars   kanajs   tears   tiknays
G   arancʿ   kanancʿ   terancʿ   tiknancʿ
D   arancʿ   kanancʿ   terancʿ   tiknancʿ
L   ars   kanajs   tears   tiknays
Ab   arancʿ   kanancʿ   terancʿ   tiknancʿ
I   arambkʿ   kanambkʿ   terambkʿ   tiknambkʿ

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'
N   akn   ačʿkʿ   akunkʿ   akankʿ
Ac   akn   ačʿs   akuns   akans
G   akan   ačʿacʿ   akancʿ   akanocʿ
D   akan   ačʿacʿ   akancʿ   akanocʿ
L   akan   ačʿs   akuns   akans
Ab   ak(a)   ačʿacʿ   akancʿ   akanocʿ
I   akamb   ačʿawkʿ   akambkʿ   akanovkʿ

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'
N   unkn   akanǰkʿ   unkunkʿ
Ac   unkn   akanǰs   unkuns
G   unkan   akanǰacʿ   unkancʿ
D   unkan   akanǰacʿ   unkancʿ
L   unkan   akanǰs   unkuns
Ab   unk(a)   akanǰacʿ   unkancʿ
I   unkamb   akanǰawkʿ   unkambkʿ
12. Personal Pronouns and Possessives
12.1. Personal Pronouns

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.

    es   du
    'I'   'thou'
         
N Sg.   es   du
Ac   is   kʿez
G   im   kʿo
D   imj   kʿez
L   is   kʿez
Ab   inēn, injēn   kʿēn, kʿezēn
I   inew   kʿew
         
N Pl.   mekʿ   dukʿ
Ac   mez   jez
G   mer   jer
D   mez   jez
L   mez   jez
Ab   mēnǰ, mezēn   jēnǰ, jezēn
I   mewkʿ   jewkʿ

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:

  • orpēs ew dukʿ isk jezēn vkayecʿēkʿ 'as you yourselves have borne witness';
  • es injēn gitem 'I myself know'.
12.2. Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns

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.

    iwr   inkʿn   anjn
    refl. pron.   refl./intens. pron.   refl. noun
             
N Sg.   -   inkʿn   anjn
Ac   -   inkʿn   anjn
G   iwr   inkʿean   anjin
D   iwr   inkʿean   anjin
L   iwr   inkʿean   anjin
Ab   iwrmē   inkʿenē   anjnē
I   iwrew, iwreaw, iwreamb   inkʿeamb   anjamb
             
N Pl.   -   inkʿeankʿ   anjinkʿ
Ac   iwreans   inkʿeans   anjins
G   iwreancʿ   inkʿeancʿ   anjancʿ
D   iwreancʿ   inkʿeancʿ   anjancʿ
L   iwreans   inkʿeans   anjins
Ab   iwreancʿ   inkʿeancʿ   anjancʿ
I   iwreambkʿ   inkʿeambkʿ   anjambkʿ

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'.

12.3. Possessive Pronouns and Adjectives

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.

    im   kʿo   nora   iwr   mer   jer   nocʿa   [iwreancʿ]
    'my'   'thy'   'his'   'his'(refl.)   'our'   'your' (pl.)   'their'   'their' (refl.)
                                 
N Sg.   im   kʿo   nora   iwr   mer   jer   nocʿa   [iwreancʿ]
Ac   im   kʿo   nora   iwr   mer   jer   nocʿa    
G   imoy   kʿoyoy, kʿoy   norayoy   iwroy   meroy   jeroy   nocʿayoy    
D   imum   kʿum   norayum   iwrum   merum   jerum   nocʿayum    
L   imum   kʿum   norayum   iwrum   merum   jerum   nocʿayum    
Ab   immē   kʿumē   norayoy   iwrmē   mermē   jermē   nocʿayoy    
I   imov   kʿuov   norayov   iwrov   merov   jerov   nocʿayov    
                                 
N Pl.   imkʿ   kʿoykʿ   noraykʿ   iwr   merkʿ   jerkʿ   nocʿaykʿ   [iwreancʿ]
Ac   ims   kʿoys   norays   iwr   mers   jers   nocʿays    
G   imocʿ   kʿoyocʿ, kʿocʿ   norayocʿ, norayicʿ   iwrocʿ   merocʿ   jerocʿ   nocʿayocʿ, nocʿayicʿ    
D   imocʿ   kʿoyocʿ   norayocʿ, norayicʿ   iwrocʿ   merocʿ   jerocʿ   nocʿayocʿ, nocʿayicʿ    
L   ims   kʿoys   norays   iwrum   mers   jers   nocʿays    
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'.

13. Verbal Classification and Anomalous Verbs
13.1. Present-Aorist Classification

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)
13.2. Anomalous and Suppletive Verbs

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.

    Present   Aorist
    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

    Present   Aorist   Aor. Subj.   Imperative
    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

Present                
    gam 'I come'   tam 'I give'   dnem 'I put'   linim 'I become'
                 
Aor. Ind.                
1 Sg.   eki   etu   edi   ełē
2   ekir   etur   edir   ełer
3   ekn   et   ed   ełew
                 
1 Pl.   ekakʿ   tuakʿ   edakʿ   ełeakʿ
2   ekikʿ   etukʿ   edikʿ   ełēkʿ
3   ekin   etum   edin   ełen
                 
Aor. Subj.                
1 Sg.   ekicʿ   tacʿ   edicʿ   ełecʿ
2   eke(s)cʿes   tacʿes   dicʿes   licʿis (ełicʿis)
3   eke(s)cʿē   tacʿē   dicʿē   licʿi (ełicʿi)
    etc.            
                 
Imperative                
2 Sg.   ek   tur   dir   ler (ełiǰir)
2 Pl.   ekaykʿ   tukʿ   dikʿ   lerukʿ (ełerukʿ)
                 
Participle                
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'.

14. The Passive Voice
14.1. Passive Voice in the Present System

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.

    Active   Passive
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
Present            
    hamarim   'I regard'   'I am regarded'
    banam   'I open'   'I am opened'
    argelum   'I hinder'   'I am hindered'
             
Imperfect            
    banayi   'I was opening'   'I was being opened'
    argelui   'I was hindering'   'I was being hindered'
             
Subjunctive            
    hamaricʿim   'I shall regard'   'I shall be regarded'
    argelucʿum   'I shall hinder'   'I shall be hindered'
14.2. The Aorist System and Mediopassive

The aorist system maintains a morphological distinction between active and passive. Regular alternation of endings displays the voice contrast:

    Present   Aor. Active   Aor. Passive
             
Indicative            
    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'
             
Subjunctive            
    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'
             
Imperative            
    (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'    
14.3. General Notes on Passive Usage

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

  • person, it is signified by the preposition i + Ablative;
  • thing, it is placed in the Instrumental.

For example, mrktein i nmanē 'they were baptized by him'; ahiw mecaw tagnapein 'they were struck with fear'.

15. Negation

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'.