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Gothic Online

Lesson 4

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

The Earliest Raids of the Goths

The Goths began their famous foray into the history books in the third century AD, when they launched the first attack of what would become in the eyes of contemporaries a barbarian ravaging and pillaging machine. Their first entry into the literary records comes with their attacks on the Roman empire. At the time, the most exposed province was Transylvanian Dacia; but this region was protected by the Carpathian mountains, hence attacks generally came from south of the range across the lower reaches of the Danube or through a stretch of land connecting the so-called Dacian Salient to the Roman-occupied regions of the Balkans. The first known attack was the sack of Histria at the mouth of the Danube in 238. This was followed some 10 years later by other land attacks: Marcianople, a city inland from the westernmost extent of the Black Sea, was sacked in 249 by a Gothic group led by Argaith and Guntheric; in 250 Cniva crossed the Danube at Oescus and captured Philippopolis, wintered his army, and then in 251 defeated Roman forces and killed the emperor Decius at Abrittus.

The Goths then changed tactics and led sea-borne attacks via the Black Sea, the first series coming sometime around 255-257. The first attack fell on Pityus, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, but was unsuccessful. In the next attack a year later, the 'Boranoi' -- a group possibly including the Goths -- ravaged Pityus, Trapezus, and a large part of the Pontus, the region of Asia Minor bordering the Black Sea in the southeasternmost reaches. A year later the Goths explicitly attacked the cities Apamea, Chalcedon, Nicaea, Nicomedia, Prusa, as well as the surrounding areas of Bithynia and Propontis, lying near the southwesternmost reaches of the Black Sea.

The next attacks came another 10 years later. In 268 the Goths and other tribes formed a large fleet which headed across the Black Sea to the south, unsuccessfully attacking Tomi and Marcianople, and subsequently (also unsuccessfully) Cyzicus and Byzantium. They pushed through the Dardanelles into the Aegean and dispersed in three forces: (1) composed of Heruli attacking the northern Balkans near Thessalonica -- subsequently defeated by Emperor Gallienus in 268; (2) composed of Goths and Heruli, attacking Attica -- after pushing north over land they were defeated by Claudius at Naissus in 270; (3) probably led by the Gothic chieftains Respa, Thuruar, and Veduc, and attacking Asia Minor, then Rhodes and Cyprus, then Side and Ilium and Ephesus, destroying the temple of Diana. This third group was pushed back to the Black Sea in 269. After this foray into the Mediterranean, there were no other attacks through the Dardanelles.

The Goths returned to land battles in an attack across the Danube in 270 against Anchialus and Nicopolis. This was followed by a Roman attack across Danube in 271, defeating the Gothic king Cannabaudes. The Goths attacked the Pontus again in 276-277, pushing farther inland to Galatia and Cilicia.

The impact of these waves of Gothic attacks is clearly felt in the Canonical Letter of Gregory Thaumaturgus, bishop of Neocaesarea (modern Niksar) in the Pontus region of Asia Minor. His episcopate fell during the emperor Decius's persecution of Christians, which started c. 250 AD. He may have lived until the reign of Aurelian (270-275 AD). The letter is a response to a neighboring bishop's questions concerning the conduct of Roman soldiers during and after the most recent period of Gothic raids in the Pontus (translated in Heather and Matthews, 1991):

Canon 5   Others delude themselves by keeping the property of others which they have found, in place of their own which they have lost, in order that, since the Boranoi and Goths worked on them deeds of war, so they may become Boranoi and Goths to others. I have therefore sent my brother... [that he may] advise you whose accusations you should accept....
Canon 6   Concerning those who forcibly detain captives (who have escaped) from barbarians.... Send men out into the countryside, lest divine thunderbolts descend upon those who perpetrate such wickedness!
Canon 7   ... As for those who have been enrolled among the barbarians and followed after them as prisoners, forgetting that they were men of Pontus, and Christians, and have become so thoroughly barbarised as even to put to death men of their own race by the gibbet or noose, and to point out roads and houses to the barbarians, who were ignorant of them; you must debar them even from the ranks of Hearers, until a common decision is reached about them by the assembly of saints, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Canon 8   ... As for those who brought themselves to attack the houses of others, if they are convicted after accusation, let them not be fit even to be Hearers. If however they confess their own guilt and make restitution, they are to prostrate themselves among the ranks of the penitent.

It thus seems clear that the raiding parties, though in origin homogeneous groups of Goths or other individual tribes, were soon augmented by other enterprizing -- or coerced -- individuals within the lands they attacked. The attacks themselves thus only left a transitory material calamity. More long-term problems were felt when the raids had ceased, and there arose the issues of readmitting offenders and presumed offenders into the societies to which they formerly belonged.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage is Luke 4.1-13, in which Jesus is tempted by Satan. In the first verse, we find the collocation gawandida sik 'returned', encountered in several places in other readings. This phrase is more literally 'brought himself back'. Though Gothic has a functioning morphological mediopassive which might, on Indo-European historical grounds, serve to connote exactly the meaning reached here, Gothic is already very close to other Germanic languages in the frequent use of such periphrastic reflexive collocations to render transitive verbs intransitive.

In Luke 4.3 we find a nominative form suna'us instead of the proper nominative sunus 'son'; a similar form diabula'us replaces the proper nominative diabulus in Luke 4.5. It is likely that, shortly after the time of Wulfila (if not before), the diphthong a'u was monophthongized and subsequently indistinguishable from u, leading to occasional scribal confusion. Similar phonetically derived scribal confusion occurs in Luke 4.4: we find the forms hla'ib and liba'id, which do not show the expected devoicing of final -b and -d to -f and -th, respectively.

Note also the construction in Luke 4.3: qith thamma sta'ina ei wai'rtha'i hla'ibs 'command this stone that it be made bread'. This is an example of the particle ei used to introduce an indirect command. The particle ei was originally a general relative marker, setting off an entire phrase as dependent on surrounding material. Only later did this particle become attached to demonstrative pronouns to form relative pronouns, such as saei. Some of these subsequently became subordinate conjunctions, e.g. thatei. Gothic may also use prepositional constructions for subordinate clauses, such as Luke 4.10: du gafastan '(in order) to support' shows the frequent use in Gothic of the preposition du with the infinitive in purpose constructions.

The phrase in Luke 4.7, in andwai'rthja meinamma 'in my presence', translates the Greek eno:pion emou, which is not explicit in the King James Version. The English phrase 'Get thee behind me, Satan' in Luke 4.8 does not appear in the Gothic, an indication that the Gothic translation was made from a different manuscript than the King James Version.

4:1 - Ith Iesus, ahmins weihis fulls, gawandida sik fram Iaurdanau jah tauhans was in ahmin in authidai

  • ith -- conjunction; <ith> but, however, if -- and
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ie:sus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • ahmins -- weak noun, masculine; genitive singular of <ahmins> spirit, the Spirit -- Ghost
  • weihis -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <weihs> holy -- of the Holy
  • fulls -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <fulls> full -- (being) full
  • gawandida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gawandjan> to bring back, return -- returned
  • sik -- reflexive pronoun; accusative of <sik> himself, herself, oneself -- ...
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- from
  • Iaurdanau -- strong proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <*Iau'rdanus> Jordan -- Jordan
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • tauhans -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of preterite participle of <tiuhan> to lead, to guide -- led
  • was -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be -- was
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- by
  • ahmin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <ahmins> spirit, the Spirit -- the Spirit
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • authidai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <a'uthida> desert, wasteland -- the wilderness

2 - dage fidwor tiguns, fraisans fram diabulau. jah ni matida waiht in dagam jainaim, jah at ustauhanaim thaim dagam, bithe gredags warth.

  • dage -- strong noun, masculine; genitive plural of <dags> day -- days
  • fidwor tiguns -- numeral; accusative plural of <fidwo:r tigjus> forty -- forty
  • fraisans -- strong verb class 7; nominative singular masculine of preterite participle of <fra'isan> to tempt -- (being) tempted
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- of
  • diabulau -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <diabau'lus> devil -- the devil
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- no-
  • matida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <matjan> to eat -- he did eat
  • waiht -- strong noun, feminine; accusative singular of <wai'hts> thing -- -thing
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • dagam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <dags> day -- days
  • jainaim -- demonstrative pronoun used as adjective; dative plural masculine of <ja'ins> that -- those
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • at -- preposition; <at> at, by, to, with, of -- when
  • ustauhanaim -- strong verb class 2; dative plural masculine of preterite participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- were ended
  • thaim -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- they
  • dagam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <dags> day -- ...
  • bithe -- adverb; <bithe:> while, when, after that, as soon as; then, thereupon -- afterwards
  • gredags -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <gre:dags> hungry -- hungered
  • warth -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <wai'rthan> to become, to happen -- he

3 - jah qath du imma diabulus: jabai sunaus sijais gudis, qith thamma staina ei wairthai hlaibs.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qath -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qithan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • diabulus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabau'lus> devil -- the devil
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jaba'i> if, even if, although -- if
  • sunaus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sunus> son -- the Son # scribal error for regular nominative sunus
  • sijais -- strong verb class 5; athematic second person singular present subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- thou be
  • gudis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <guth> God -- of God
  • qith -- strong verb class 5; second person singular imperative of <qithan> to say, speak -- command
  • thamma -- demonstrative used as adjective; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- to this
  • staina -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <sta'ins> stone -- stone
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • wairthai -- strong verb class 3; third person singular subjunctive of <wai'rthan> to become, to happen -- it be made
  • hlaibs -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hla'ifs> bread, loaf -- bread

4 - jah andhof Iesus withra ina qithands: gamelid ist thatei ni bi hlaib ainana libaid manna, ak bi all waurde gudis.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andhof -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <andhafjan> to answer -- answered
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ie:sus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • withra -- preposition; <withra> against, over against; by, near; to, in reply to, in return for; on account of, for -- ...
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • qithands -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <qithan> to say, speak -- saying
  • gamelid -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <game:ljan> to write, enroll -- written
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- it is
  • thatei -- conjunction; <thatei> that, because, if -- that
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- by
  • hlaib -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hla'ifs> bread, loaf -- bread # final -b for final -f
  • ainana -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <a'ins> alone, only -- alone
  • libaid -- weak verb class 3; third person singular of <liban> to live -- shall... live # final -d for final -th
  • manna -- irregular noun, masculine; nominative singular of <manna> man -- man
  • ak -- conjunction; <ak> but, however -- but
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- by
  • all -- adjective used as substantive; dative singular neuter of <alls> all, every -- every
  • waurde -- strong noun, neuter; genitive plural of <wau'rd> word -- word # literally 'by every (one) of the words'
  • gudis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <guth> God -- of God

5 - jah ustiuhands ina diabulaus ana fairguni hauhata, ataugida imma allans thiudinassuns this midjungardis in stika melis.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ustiuhands -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- taking... up
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • diabulaus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabau'lus> devil -- the devil # scribal error for regular nominative diabulus or diabau'lus
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- into
  • fairguni -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <fai'rguni> mountain -- a... mountain
  • hauhata -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <hauhs> high -- high
  • ataugida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <ata'ugjan> to show, to appear -- shewed
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto him
  • allans -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <alls> all, every -- all
  • thiudinassuns -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <thiudinassus> kingdom -- the kingdoms
  • this -- demonstrative used as article; genitive singular masculine of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- of the
  • midjungardis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <midjungards> earth, world -- world
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • stika -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <stiks> point, moment -- a moment
  • melis -- strong noun, neuter; genitive singular of <me:l> time, season -- of time

6 - jah qath du imma sa diabulus: thus giba thata waldufni thize allata jah wulthu ize, unte mis atgiban ist, jah thishwammeh thei wiljau, giba thata.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qath -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qithan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • sa -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- the
  • diabulus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabau'lus> devil -- devil
  • thus -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <thu> thou, you -- thee
  • giba -- strong verb class 5; first person singular of <giban> to give, yield -- will I give
  • thata -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular neuter of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- this
  • waldufni -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <waldufni> authority -- power
  • thize -- demonstrative; genitive plural neuter of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- ...
  • allata -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <alls> all, every -- all
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • wulthu -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <wulthus> splendor, glory -- the glory
  • ize -- personal pronoun; genitive plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- of them
  • unte -- conjunction; <unte:> for, because, since, until -- for
  • mis -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <ik> I -- unto me
  • atgiban -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <atgiban> to give, deliver -- delivered
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- that is
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • thishwammeh -- indefinite pronoun; dative singular masculine of <thishwazuh> whoever, whosoever -- to whomsoever
  • thei -- conjunction; <thei> that, so that; as -- ...
  • wiljau -- irregular verb; first person singular of <wiljan> to will, wish -- I will
  • giba -- strong verb class 5; first person singular of <giban> to give, yield -- I give
  • thata -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <sa, so, thata> this, that -- it

7 - thu nu jabai inweitis mik in andwairthja meinamma, wairthith thein all.

  • thu -- personal pronoun; vocative singular of <thu> thou, you -- thou
  • nu -- adverb; <nu> now, therefore -- therefore
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jaba'i> if, even if, although -- if
  • inweitis -- strong verb class 1; second person singular of <inweitan> to worship -- wilt worship
  • mik -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <ik> I -- me
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- (in)
  • andwairthja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <andwai'rthi> face, presence -- (presence)
  • meinamma -- possessive adjective; dative singular neuter of <meins> my, mine -- (my)
  • wairthith -- strong verb class 3; third person singular of <wai'rthan> to become, to happen -- shall be
  • thein -- possessive adjective; nominative singular neuter of <theins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thine
  • all -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular neuter of <all> all, every -- all

8 - jah andhafjands imma Iesus qath: gamelid ist, fraujan guth theinana inweitais jah imma ainamma fullafahjais.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andhafjands -- strong verb class 6; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <andhafjan> to answer -- answered (and)
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto him
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ie:sus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • qath -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qithan> to say, speak -- said # the phrase 'Get thee behind me, Satan' does not occur in the Gothic
  • gamelid -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <game:ljan> to write, enroll -- written
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- (for) it is
  • fraujan -- weak noun, masculine; accusative singular of <fra'uja> lord, master -- the Lord
  • guth -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <guth> God -- God
  • theinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <theins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • inweitais -- strong verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <inweitan> to worship -- thou shalt worship
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • ainamma -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <a'ins> alone, only -- only
  • fullafahjais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <fullafahjan> to satisfy, to serve -- shalt thou serve

9 - thathroh gatauh ina in Iairusalem jah gasatida ina ana giblin alhs jah qath du imma: jabai sunus sijais gudis, wairp thuk thathro dalath;

  • thathroh -- adverb; <thathro:h> afterwards, thence -- afterwards
  • gatauh -- strong verb class 2; third person singular preterite of <gatiuhan> to lead, to bring -- he brought
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- to
  • Iairusalem -- indeclinable noun; feminine of <Iai'rusale:m> Jerusalem -- Jerusalem
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • gasatida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gasatjan> to set, to place -- set
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- on
  • giblin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <gibla> gable, pinnacle -- a pinnacle
  • alhs -- strong noun, feminine; genitive singular of <alhs> temple -- of the temple
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qath -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qithan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jaba'i> if, even if, although -- if
  • sunus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sunus> son -- the Son
  • sijais -- strong verb class 5; athematic second person singular present subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- thou be
  • gudis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <guth> God -- of God
  • wairp -- strong verb class 3; second person singular imperative of <wai'rpan> to throw, to cast -- cast
  • thuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <thu> thou, you -- thyself
  • thathro -- adverb; <thathro:> thence -- from hence
  • dalath -- adverb; <dalath> down -- down

10 - gamelid ist auk thatei aggilum seinaim anabiudith bi thuk du gafastan thuk,

  • gamelid -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <game:ljan> to write, enroll -- written
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- it is
  • auk -- conjunction; <a'uk> for, because; but, also -- for
  • thatei -- conjunction; <thatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • aggilum -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <aggilus> angel, messenger -- angels
  • seinaim -- possessive adjective; dative plural masculine of <*seins> one's own -- his
  • anabiudith -- strong verb class 2; third person singular of <anabiudan> to command, order -- he shall give... charge
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- over
  • thuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <thu> thou, you -- thee
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- to
  • gafastan -- weak verb class 3; infinitive of <gafastan> to keep, hold fast -- keep
  • thuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <thu> thou, you -- thee

11 - jah thatei ana handum thuk ufhaband, ei hwan ni gastagqjais bi staina fotu theinana.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • thatei -- conjunction; <thatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- in
  • handum -- strong noun, feminine; dative plural of <handus> hand -- (their) hands
  • thuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <thu> thou, you -- thee
  • ufhaband -- weak verb class 3; third person plural of <ufhaban> to hold up, to bear up -- they shall bear... up
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- ...
  • hwan -- adverb; <hwan> at any time -- at any time
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- lest
  • gastagqjais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <gastangqjan> to dash against -- thou dash
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- against
  • staina -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <sta'ins> stone -- a stone
  • fotu -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <fo:tus> foot -- foot
  • theinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <theins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy

12 - jah andhafjands qath imma Iesus thatei qithan ist: ni fraisais fraujan guth theinana.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andhafjands -- strong verb class 6; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <andhafjan> to answer -- answering
  • qath -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qithan> to say, speak -- said
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto him
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ie:sus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • thatei -- conjunction; <thatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • qithan -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <qithan> to say, speak -- said
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- it is
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • fraisais -- strong verb class 7; second person singular present subjunctive of <fra'isan> to tempt -- thou shalt... tempt
  • fraujan -- weak noun, masculine; accusative singular of <fra'uja> lord, master -- the Lord
  • guth -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <guth> God -- God
  • theinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <theins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy

13 - jah ustiuhands all fraistobnjo diabulus, afstoth fairra imma und mel.

  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ustiuhands -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- when... had ended
  • all -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <alls> all, every -- all
  • fraistobnjo -- strong noun, feminine; genitive plural of <fra'istubni> temptation -- the temptation # literally 'all of the temptations'
  • diabulus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabau'lus> devil -- the devil
  • afstoth -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <afstandan> to stand off, to depart -- he departed
  • fairra -- preposition; <fai'rra> far from -- from
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • und -- preposition; <und> up to, until, for -- for
  • mel -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <me:l> time, season -- a season

Lesson Text

4:1 Ith Iesus, ahmins weihis fulls, gawandida sik fram Iaurdanau jah tauhans was in ahmin in authidai 2 dage fidwor tiguns, fraisans fram diabulau. jah ni matida waiht in dagam jainaim, jah at ustauhanaim thaim dagam, bithe gredags warth. 3 jah qath du imma diabulus: jabai sunaus sijais gudis, qith thamma staina ei wairthai hlaibs. 4 jah andhof Iesus withra ina qithands: gamelid ist thatei ni bi hlaib ainana libaid manna, ak bi all waurde gudis.

5 jah ustiuhands ina diabulaus ana fairguni hauhata, ataugida imma allans thiudinassuns this midjungardis in stika melis. 6 jah qath du imma sa diabulus: thus giba thata waldufni thize allata jah wulthu ize, unte mis atgiban ist, jah thishwammeh thei wiljau, giba thata. 7 thu nu jabai inweitis mik in andwairthja meinamma, wairthith thein all. 8 jah andhafjands imma Iesus qath: gamelid ist, fraujan guth theinana inweitais jah imma ainamma fullafahjais.

9 thathroh gatauh ina in Iairusalem jah gasatida ina ana giblin alhs jah qath du imma: jabai sunus sijais gudis, wairp thuk thathro dalath; 10 gamelid ist auk thatei aggilum seinaim anabiudith bi thuk du gafastan thuk, 11 jah thatei ana handum thuk ufhaband, ei hwan ni gastagqjais bi staina fotu theinana. 12 jah andhafjands qath imma Iesus thatei qithan ist: ni fraisais fraujan guth theinana.

13 jah ustiuhands all fraistobnjo diabulus, afstoth fairra imma und mel.

Translation

From the King James version:
4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Grammar

16. Weak Nominal Declension

The weak declension of nouns is nothing more than n-stem nominal formation. In principle it is no different from the formation of r-stems or nd-stems: the affix -Vn- intercedes between nominal root and endings, where V is some vowel. Just as bro:thar 'brother' is inherently an r-stem noun (employing no other formations), likewise weak nouns are inherently weak, i.e. only n-stem. While adjectives may employ strong or weak declension (see Sections 13 and 17) according to contextual demands, a given noun by contrast employs only one declension at all times: a weak noun always declines weak, a strong noun always strong.

16.1. an/jan/wan-Stems

The an/jan/wan-stem nouns are generally masculine or neuter. Nouns with the j- or w-augment take the same endings as those without. The nouns atta 'father', arbja 'heir', and gawau'rstwa 'fellow-worker' -- respectively an-, jan-, and wan-stems -- serve to illustrate the masculine forms. The nouns hai'rto: 'heart', a'ugo: 'eye', and sigljo: 'seal' -- respectively an-, an-, and jan-stems -- serve to illustrate the neuter forms.

Weak an-Stem   Masculine           Neuter        
                         
Stem   attan-   arbjan-   gawau'rstwan-   hai'rtan-   a'ugan-   sigljan-
                         
N Sg.   atta   arbja   gawau'rstwa   hai'rto:   a'ugo:   sigljo:
A   attan   arbjan   gawau'rstwan   hai'rto:   a'ugo:   sigljo:
G   attins   arbjins   gawau'rstwins   hai'rtins   a'ugins   *sigljins
D   attin   arbjin   gawau'rstwin   hai'rtin   a'ugin   *sigljin
                         
N Pl.   attans   arbjans   gawau'rstwans   hai'rto:na   a'ugo:na   *sigljo:na
A   attans   arbjans   gawau'rstwans   hai'rto:na   a'ugo:na   *sigljo:na
G   attane:   arbjane:   gawau'rstwane:   hai'rtane:   a'ugane:   *sigljane:
D   attam   arbjam   gawau'rstwam   hai'rtam   a'ugam   *sigljam
                         

Note that the dative plural is built by analogy to a-stem nouns, without the intervening Vn-affix. The nouns aba (masc.) 'man, husband'; au'hsa (masc.) 'ox'; namo: (neut.) 'name'; and wato: (neut.) 'water' have different forms in the plural. These are boldfaced in the chart below. The masculine noun manna 'man' generalized the zero-grade of the n-stem formation (-n- rather than -Vn-), yielding a peculiar declension.

Weak an-Stem   Masculine           Neuter    
                     
Stem   ab(a)n-   au'hs(a)n-   man(a)n-   nam(a)n-   wat(a)n-
                     
N Sg.   aba   au'hsa   manna   namo:   wato:
A   aban   au'hsan   mannan   namo:   wato:
G   abins   au'hsins   mans   namins   watins
D   abin   au'hsin   mann   namin   watin
                     
N Pl.   abans   au'hsans   mans, mannans   namna   wato:na
A   abans   au'hsans   mans, mannans   namna   wato:na
G   abne:   au'hsne:   manne:   namne:   watane:
D   abnam   au'hsam   mannam   namnam   watnam
                     

For the zero-grade forms of manna, compare Latin declension: nom. sg. caro: 'flesh' with acc. carnem, as opposed to nom. sg. homo: 'man' with acc. hominem.

16.2. o:n/jo:n/wo:n-Stems

The o:n/jo:n/wo:n-stem nouns are generally feminine. Nouns with the j- or w-augment take the same endings as those without. The nouns tuggo: 'tongue', arbjo: 'heiress', and u:htwo: 'early morning' -- respectively o:n-, jo:n-, and wo:n-stems -- serve to illustrate the forms.

Weak o:n-Stem   Feminine        
             
Stem   tuggo:n-   arbjo:n-   u:htwo:n-
             
N Sg.   tuggo:   arbjo:   u:htwo:
A   tuggo:n   arbjo:n   u:htwo:n
G   tuggo:ns   arbjo:ns   u:htwo:ns
D   tuggo:n   arbjo:n   u:htwo:n
             
N Pl.   tuggo:ns   arbjo:ns   u:htwo:ns
A   tuggo:ns   arbjo:ns   u:htwo:ns
G   tuggo:no:   arbjo:no:   u:htwo:no:
D   tuggo:m   arbjo:m   u:htwo:m
             

The vowel o: has generalized throughout the declension, so that the dative, though characteristically lacking any sign of the n-stem, still maintains the vowel.

16.3. i:n-Stems

The i:n-stem nouns (recall [i:] is spelled ei in Gothic) are generally feminine. These nouns derive for the most part from adjectives, forming the associated abstract noun. The nouns managei 'multitude', a'ithei 'mother', and fro:dei 'understanding' serve to illustrate the forms.

Weak i:n-Stem   Feminine        
             
Stem   managein-   a'ithein-   fro:dein-
             
N Sg.   managei   a'ithei   fro:dei
A   managein   a'ithein   fro:dein
G   manageins   a'itheins   fro:deins
D   managein   a'ithein   fro:dein
             
N Pl.   manageins   a'itheins   fro:deins
A   manageins   a'itheins   fro:deins
G   manageino:   a'itheino:   fro:deino:
D   manageim   a'itheim   fro:deim
             

The formation is similar to the declension of o:n-stems. The vowel i: has generalized throughout the declension, so that the dative maintains the vowel while losing the n.

17. Adjectives: Weak Declension

Adjectives decline according to weak or strong paradigms based on the requirements of context (cf. Section 13 on strong adjective declension). The choice is one of specificity: Gothic employs weak adjective forms to modify a definite noun, and strong forms to modify an indefinite noun. For example, ahma sa weiha 'the holy ghost' and tha'i ana ai'rtha'i thiza'i go:do:n saianans 'they that are sown on the good ground' (Mark 4.20). For comparison, weihs ahma would be 'a holy spirit', ana go:da'i ai'rtha'i 'on (some) good ground', saiana'i 'sown'. Weak endings are generally used for nominalized adjectives: unkarjans 'careless (ones)'. Compare weihs 'holy' (strong) to weiha 'priest' (weak), literally '(the) holy one'. From a morphological point of view, weak adjective endings are simply n-stem endings. In this way, their use for definite reference parallels proper names in Latin, e.g. catus 'sly' vs. Cato: (G. Cato:nis) 'the Sly One', and in Greek, e.g. platu's 'broad' vs. Pla'to:n 'the Broad (Shouldered) One'.

17.1. Weak Adjective Formation

As mentioned above, the weak declension of adjectives is actually simply n-stem declension. The weak masculine endings of a-stem adjectives exactly parallel those of the an-stem noun atta, and the neuter a-stem weak endings those of the an-stem hai'rto: (Section 16.1); the feminine weak endings of a-stem adjectives parallel those of the o:n-stem noun tuggo: (Section 16.2). Again the adjective blinds 'blind' illustrates the declension.

Weak a-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   blinda   blindo:   blindo:
A   blindan   blindo:   blindo:n
G   blindins   blindins   blindo:ns
D   blindin   blindin   blindo:n
             
N Pl.   blindans   blindo:na   blindo:ns
A   blindans   blindo:na   blindo:ns
G   blindane:   blindane:   blindo:no:
D   blindam   blindam   blindo:m
             

The ja-stem adjectives decline analogously, the masculine forms following the jan-stem noun arbja, the neuter following sigljo:, the feminine following arbjo:. The distinctions of Group (1) and Group (2) ja-stems do not play a role in weak declension. Likewise, i-stem and u-stem adjectives follow the same weak declension as ja-stems, exhibiting the same j-augment in all forms. The adjectives niujis 'new' and wiltheis 'wild' illustrate the weak declension of ja-stems; hra'ins 'clean' illustrates the i-stems; hardus 'hard' illustrates the u-stems. The forms are as follows.

Masculine   ja-Stem (1)   ja-Stem (2)   i-Stem   u-Stem
                 
N Sg.   niuja   wilthja   hra'inja   hardja
A   niujan   wilthjan   hra'injan   hardjan
G   niujins   wilthjins   hra'injins   hardjins
D   niujin   wilthjin   hra'injin   hardjin
                 
N Pl.   niujans   wilthjans   hra'injans   hardjans
A   niujans   wilthjans   hra'injans   hardjans
G   niujane:   wilthjane:   hra'injane:   hardjane:
D   niujam   wilthjam   hra'injam   hardjam
                 
Neuter                
                 
N Sg.   niujo:   wilthjo:   hra'injo:   hardjo:
A   niujo:   wilthjo:   hra'injo:   hardjo:
G   niujins   wilthjins   hra'injins   hardjins
D   niujin   wilthjin   hra'injin   hardjin
                 
N Pl.   niujo:na   wilthjo:na   hra'injo:na   hardjo:na
A   niujo:na   wilthjo:na   hra'injo:na   hardjo:na
G   niujane:   wilthjane:   hra'injane:   hardjane:
D   niujam   wilthjam   hra'injam   hardjam
                 
Feminine                
                 
N Sg.   niujo:   wilthjo:   hra'injo:   hardjo:
A   niujo:n   wilthjo:n   hra'injo:n   hardjo:n
G   niujo:ns   wilthjo:ns   hra'injo:ns   hardjo:ns
D   niujo:n   wilthjo:n   hra'injo:n   hardjo:n
                 
N Pl.   niujo:ns   wilthjo:ns   hra'injo:ns   hardjo:ns
A   niujo:ns   wilthjo:ns   hra'injo:ns   hardjo:ns
G   niujo:no:   wilthjo:no:   hra'injo:no:   hardjo:no:
D   niujo:m   wilthjo:m   hra'injo:m   hardjo:m
                 

The wa-stem adjectives maintain the w-augment. Few weak forms are extant. The adjective triggws 'true' exhibits only the weak N sg. triggwa and D sg. triggwin. The wa-stem adjectives lasiws 'weak', *qius 'alive', *fa'us 'little', *usska'us 'vigilant' show no weak forms.

17.2. Comparative, Superlative, and Intensive Adjectives

The comparative of adjectives is formed by addition of the suffix -iz- or -o:z-. The superlative is derived by addition of the suffix -st- or -o:st-. Consider the following examples.

Meaning   Positive   Comparative   Superlative
             
'much, many'   manags   managiza   managists
'wise'   fro:ths   fro:do:za    
'poor'   arms       armo:sts
'strong'   swinths   swintho:za    
'old'   altheis   althiza    
'sweet'   suts   sutiza   sutists
'hard'   hardus   hardiza    
'high'   *ha'uhs       ha'uhists
             

As with the positive degree, the superlative degree declines either strong or weak according to the requirements of context. The superlative, however, does not take the alternate pronominal ending -ata in the neuter singular nominative or accusative. The comparative, by contrast, only assumes weak adjectival endings, regardless of context. The only difference between comparative endings and general weak adjectival endings occurs in the feminine: the feminine declines like the i:n-stem managei, rather than tuggo:. The adjective ju:hiza 'younger', from juggs 'young', serves to illustrate comparative declension.

Comparative   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   ju:hiza   ju:hizo:   ju:hizei
A   ju:hizan   ju:hizo:   ju:hizein
G   ju:hizins   ju:hizins   ju:hizeins
D   ju:hizin   ju:hizin   ju:hizein
             
N Pl.   ju:hizans   ju:hizo:na   ju:hizeins
A   ju:hizans   ju:hizo:na   ju:hizeins
G   ju:hizane:   ju:hizane:   ju:hizeino:
D   ju:hizam   ju:hizam   ju:hizeim
             

Several adjectives are members of suppletive systems, whereby the positive forms derive from a base different than that of the comparative and superlative. A few of the most common such adjectives appear below.

Meaning   Positive   Comparative   Superlative
             
'good'   go:ths   batiza   batists
'little'   leitils   minniza   minnists
'great'   mikils   ma'iza   ma'ists
'old'   sineigs       sinista
'evil'   ubils   wai'rsiza    
             

The superlative sinista generally translates Greek presbu'teros 'elder': tha'i sinistans 'the elders'.

Intensive adjectives are formed by addition of the ending -(t)uma. These formations inflect like comparatives, but they generally do not mark any specific comparison. These have a superlative formed by adding -(t)umist-. Consider the following examples.

Intensitve   Meaning   Superlative   Meaning
             
aftuma   'latter, following'   aftumists   'last'
au'huma   'high'   au'h(u)mists   'highest'
fruma   'former, prior'   frumists   'first'
        hindumists   'hindmost, uttermost'
hleiduma   'the left'        
iftuma   'next, following'        
innuma   'inner'        
miduma   'middle'        
        spe:dumists   'last, latest'
             

Compare af-tuma to Lat. op-timus, as well as in-timus and Sanskrit a'n-tamas. Likewise compare the formation of ordinals such as Lat. septimus, Sanskrit saptama's.

The dative case is used in conjunction with a comparative to denote the standard of reference or comparison, as denoted by the Modern English 'than'. For example, swintho: mis 'mightier than me'.

18. Relatives, Interrogatives, and Indefinites
18.1. Relatives

As with the other Germanic languages, Gothic has no independent pronoun which functions specifically as a relative. The most prominent relative marker is the particle ei, which functions analogously to Old Norse es (later er) or sem (or even the conjunction at 'that') and to Old English the. These particles are self-standing markers introducing subordinate clauses and as such have no inherent meaning of their own. In Gothic the relative use of the particle ei is restricted to a few phrases involving temporal or modal expressions. For example, sija'is thahands jah ni magands rodjan und thana dag ei wai'rtha'i thata 'thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that this should happen' (Luke 1.20); fram thamma daga ei anaba'uth mis 'from the time that it befell me' (Nehemiah 5.14); fram thamma daga ei ha'uside:dum 'since the day we heard it' (Colossians 1.9); aththan thamma ha'ida'u ei Jannis jah Mambre:s andsto:thun Mo:se:za 'Now in the manner in which Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses' (2 Timothy 3.8).

The particle ei occurs most frequently in a relativizing role conjoined to the demonstrative pronoun sa, thata, so: 'this, that, the'. This yields a relative pronoun for the third person. The declension is as follows.

Relative Pron.   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   saei (izei)   thatei   so:ei (sei)
A   thanei   thatei   tho:ei
G   thizei   thizei   thizo:zei
D   thammei   thammei   thiza'iei
             
N Pl.   tha'iei (izei)   tho:ei   tho:zei
A   thanzei   tho:ei   tho:zei
G   thize:ei   thize:ei   *thizo:ei
D   tha'imei   tha'imei   tha'imei
             

When the particle ei is suffixed, a preceding weakly stressed a is lost, and s becomes z. The nominative singular masculine is of the third person pronoun also forms a relative in this manner: izei. This is occasionally found instead of the corresponding relative saei. It also occurs in the role of the nominative masculine plural instead of tha'iei. The nominative singular feminine si of the third person pronoun similarly forms a relative si + ei > sei.

The first and second person pronouns form relatives in the same fashion. The particle ei is suffixed to the appropriate form of the pronoun: ikei 'I who'; thuei 'thou who'; thukei 'thee whom'; thuzei 'to thee whom'; juzei 'ye who'; izwizei 'to you whom'.

Like Modern English, but unlike Old English and Old Norse, the relative pronoun saei, thatei, so:ei derives its case from its function in the relative clause. In the Modern English sentence 'and a man came whose name was Jairus', the relative whose derives its case (genitive) from its function in the clause 'whose name was Jairus', not from the clause in which its antecedent man appears (otherwise it would be the nominative who, agreeing with man). By contrast, Old Norse favors a construction in which the demonstrative agrees with the antecedent in the main clause: hann sendi hingat til lands prest thann es he't Thangbrandr 'he sent there to the land a priest who was called Thangbrand'. The phrase thann es exactly parallels the formation of the relative pronoun in Gothic, being the union of the demonstrative pronoun followed by the relative particle (es in ON, ei in Gothic). But in the Old Norse phrase, thann is accusative, modifying the direct object of the main clause, even though the antecedent of thann subsequently becomes the subject of the relative clause. The same generally occurs in Old English with the particle |e. Gothic uses the relative saei, thatei, so:ei in the fashion of Modern English. For example, jah sa'i qam wai'r thizei namo: Iaeirus 'And a man came whose name (was) Jairus' (Luke 8.41). The relative thizei takes its genitive case from its function in the relative clause, not from the main clause.

18.2. Interrogatives

The interrogative pronoun hwas, hwa, hwo: 'who?, what?' occurs only in the singular. The forms are as follows.

Interrogative   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   hwas   hwa   hwo:
A   hwana   hwa   hwo:
G   hwis   hwis   *hwizo:s
D   hwamma   hwamma   hwiza'i
             

The neuter instrumental form hwe: occurs with the meaning 'with what, wherewith, how'. The plural is preserved in the form hwanzuh: insandida ins twans hwanzuh 'he sent them forth two and two'.

The interrogative adjective hwathar 'which (of two)' occurs only in the nominative singular masculine and neuter. This contrasts with hwarjis 'which (of more than two)', which declines like midjis (cf. Section 13.1), though the neuter nominative singular always ends in -ata. The interrogative adjectives hwileiks 'what sort of' and *hwe:la'uths (fem. hwe:la'uda) 'how great' follow the declension of blinds (cf. Section 13.1), as do their respective correlatives swaleiks 'such' and swala'uths (fem. swala'uda) 'so great'.

The enclitic particle -u is often appended to the first word of an interrogative statement. For example, niu 'not?'; skuldu ist 'is it lawful?'; abu thus silbin 'of thyself?'

18.3. Indefinites

Simple indefinites, formed by suffixing the particle -hun to forms of hwas 'who', manna 'man', and a'ins 'one', occur only in negated constructions. See Section 21.2 on Negatives.

A general indefinite, akin to Modern English 'whosoever, whoever', is formed by the combinations hwazuh saei, sahwazuh saei, and sahwazuh izei. These occur only in the nominative singular masculine. The neuter counterpart, thatahwah thei 'whatsoever', occurs only in the accusative singular. Indefinites of similar meaning are formed by prefixing this (genitive of thata) to forms of hwazuh. These are followed by the relative saei, or by thei. The attested forms are as follows.

thishwazuh saei 'whosoever'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   thishwazuh saei   thishwah thei (thatei)    
A   thishwano:h saei   thishwah thei (thatei)    
G       thishwizuh thei    
D   thishwamme:h saei   thishwamme:h thei    
             

The form thatei occasionally replaces thei in the neuter. No feminine forms occur.

a'in- 'one, anyone, a certain one' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds (Section 13.1), e.g. masc. N sg. a'ins, pl. a'ina'i; neut. N sg. a'in(ata), pl. a'ina; fem. N sg. a'ina, pl. a'ino:s. The plural forms are used in the sense 'only, alone'. Note correlated structures: a'ins... jah a'ins 'the one... and the other'.

all- 'all, every, whole' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds, e.g. masc. N sg. alls, pl. alla'i; neut. N sg. all(ata), pl. alla; fem. N sg. alla, pl. allo:s.

anthar- 'second, other' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds, though the neuter N sg. never takes the pronominal ending -ata. For example, masc. N sg. anthar (cf. Section 6.2.2), pl. anthara'i; neut. N sg. anthar, pl. anthara; fem. N sg. anthara, pl. antharo:.

sum- 'some one, a certain one' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds, e.g. masc. N sg. sums, pl. suma'i; neut. N sg. sum(ata), pl. suma; fem. N sg. suma, pl. sumo:s. Forms of this pronoun are often repeated in correlated structures: sums... sums 'the one... the other'. The particle -uh is frequently suffixed to the second member of such constructions, and occasionally to both members: suma'i(h)... suma'ih 'some... and others' (masc. nom. pl.).

19. Present Participle

The present participle adds the suffix -nd- to the present stem (yielding a stem which resembles the 3rd person plural, present indicative active). Adjectival endings are then added to the resulting stem. The present participle declines exclusively as a weak adjective, with the sole exception of the masculine nominative singular, which has an alternate strong ending. The feminine forms follow the declension of i:n-stem nouns like managei, rather than o:n-stems. The verb niman 'take' has present participle stem nimand-. The declension is as follows.

Present Ptcple   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   nimanda, nimands   nimando:   nimandei
A   nimandan   nimando:   nimandein
G   nimandins   nimandins   nimandeins
D   nimandin   nimandin   nimandein
             
N Pl.   nimandans   nimando:na   nimandeins
A   nimandans   nimando:na   nimandeins
G   nimandane:   nimandane:   nimandeino:
D   nimandam   nimandam   nimandeim
             

The present participle denotes an action ongoing at the time of the main verb. The present participle generally takes its object in the same case as the finite forms of the participle, though frequently the object is omitted. For example, tha'i wau'rd ha'usjandans 'those hearing the word' (Mark 4.18); Sa saijands wau'rd saijith 'The one sowing sows the word', equivalent to 'The sower sows the word' (Mark 4.14).

Some nouns, such as the nd-stem fijands 'enemy', were originally participles but have subsequently become frozen in a substantive role. These infrequently take objects in the accusative, instead generally employing the genitive. Compare the following contructions: thans fijands galgins Xrista'us 'the enemies of the cross of Christ' (Philippians 3.18) vs. tha'im fijandam izwis 'to those hating you' (Luke 6.27). Also note the following passage: aththan ik qitha izwis: frijo:th fijands izwarans, thiuthja'ith thans wrikandans izwis, wa'ila ta'uja'ith tha'im hatjandam izwis, jah bidja'ith bi thans usthriutandans izwis 'But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those abusing you' (Matthew 5.44).

20. Adjective Use

Adjectives agree with the nouns they modify in gender, case, and number. But the adjective at times agrees with the natural gender of the referent, rather than with the gender of the noun representing it. Consider the following example, where the feminine noun handugei 'wisdom' is modified by a neuter adjective agreeing with the genderless concept represented by handugei: ei kannith we:si handugei guths 'that the wisdom of God be known'. Note also the following, where neuter a'inhun (leike:) 'any (of bodies)' is modified by a masculine singular adjective taking its gender from the person or man whom the circumlocution represents: ni wai'rthith garai'hts a'inhun leike: 'no man becomes just'.

When a singular noun denotes a collection of individual members, the adjective may take its number and gender according to the individuals. For example, the feminine singular managei 'multitude, people' is generally modified by adjectives in the masculine plural: jah was managei beidandans Zakariins 'and the people were waiting for Zacharias'. This likewise occurs with the noun hiuhma 'crowd': jah alls hiuhma was manageins beidandans 'and the whole crowd of people was waiting'.

Unlike many of the Indo-European languages, but like e.g. Old Norse, an adjective modifying both masculine and feminine beings takes a neuter plural form. For example, we:sunuh than garai'hta ba andwai'rthja guths 'they were both righteous before God', where the referents are Zacharias and Elizabeth.

Adjectives take either strong or weak endings. Strong adjective forms modify indefinite nouns. Consider the following examples: stibna'i mikila'i 'in a loud voice'; gaguds ragineis 'a good counselor'; wastja'i hweita'i 'in a white cloth'. Predicate adjectives regularly take strong endings: goth thus ist hamfamma in liba'in galeithan 'it is better for thee to enter into life maimed'. All cardinal numerals only decline strong, as well as the ordinal anthar 'second'; likewise the possessive adjectives like meins 'my'; pronominal adjectives like sums 'some', alls 'all', ja'ins 'that', swaleiks 'such'; and other adjectives like fulls 'full', gano:hs 'enough', halbs 'half', midjis 'middle'.

Weak adjective forms modify definite nouns, and therefore generally accompany the definite article. For example, stiur thana alidan 'the fattened calf'; (a'ina) anabusne: thizo: minnisto:no: '(one) of the smallest commandments'; wastja tho: frumisto:n 'the best garment'; ni mag bagms thiutheigs akrana ubila gata'ujan 'a good tree cannot bear evil fruits'. A weak adjective generally accompanies a noun in the vocative: atta weiha 'holy father!'; o unfrodans Galateis 'O foolish Galatians'. All ordinal numerals beside anthar exhibit only weak declension. The same is true for comparatives, as well as intensives ending in -ma, e.g. aftuma 'latter'. The present participle takes weak endings, except for the alternate strong ending in the masculine nominative singular. The adjectives sama 'same' and silba 'self' always take weak endings.