(860 words)


Although the aorist is traditionally defined as a temporal stem, its function in the Greek verbal system is primarily aspectual: it corresponds to the cross-linguistic category of perfective aspect, by representing the event as a single whole. The indicative also has a temporal meaning, in being a past tense, whereas the non-indicative moods only have an aspectual function.  

The aorist is one of the so-called temporal stems of the Greek verbal system (Aorist Formation, Aorist (aóristos), Ancient Theories of). However, its …

Cite this page
Maria Napoli, “Aorist”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 18 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2013

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