Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
Previous SubSect

Next SubSect

-- 489 --

ASSIMILATION OF MOODS 2183

The mood of a subordinate clause which is intimately connected with the thought of the clause on which it depends, is often assimilated to the mood of that clause. Such subordinate clauses may be simply dependent or sub-dependent ( cross2180).

a. This idiom is most marked in Unreal and Less Vivid Future conditions where the mood of the protasis is the same as that of the principal clause. It is also very common when a past indicative or an optative attracts the mood of a subordinate clause introduced by a relative word referring to indefinite persons or things or to an indefinite time or place. But subordinate clauses standing in a less close relation to the main clause, because they do not continue the same mental attitude but present a new shade of thought, retain their mood unassimilated; e.g. a relative clause, or a temporal clause expressing purpose, after an unreal condition may stand in the optative (Is. 4.11, P. R. 600e). On the other hand, there are many cases where the writer may, or may not, adopt modal assimilation without any great difference of meaning. The following sections give the chief occurrences of mood-assimilation apart from that found in Unreal and Less Vivid Future conditions ( cross2302, cross2329):

2184

An indicative referring simply to the present or past remains unassimilated.

ξυνενέγκοι μὲν ταῦτα ὡς βουλόμεθα may this result as we desire T. 6.20, νι_κῴη δ' ὅ τι πᾶσιν μέλλει συνοίσειν but may that prevail which is likely to be for the common weal D. 4.51, ἐπειδὰν διαπρά_ξωμαι ἃ δέομαι, ἥξω when I shall have transacted what I want, I will return X. A. 2.3.29.

2185

Assimilation to the Indicative.—The subordinate clause takes a past tense of the indicative in dependence on a past tense of the indicative (or its equivalent) denoting unreality.

a. Conditional relative clauses: εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἦν μοι χρήματα, ἐτι_μησάμην ἂν χρημάτων ὅσα ἔμελλον ἐκτείσειν for if I had money, I should have assessed my penalty at the full sum that I was likely to pay P. A. 38b, εἰ . . . κατεμαρτύρουν ἃ μὴ σαφῶς ᾔδη ἀκοῇ δὲ ἠπιστάμην, δεινὰ ἂν ἔφη πάσχειν ὑπ' ἐμοῦ if I brought in as evidence against him matters which I did not know certainly but had learned by hearsay, he would have said that he was suffering a grave injustice at my hands Ant. 5.74.

b. Temporal clauses: οὐκ ἂν ἐπαυόμην . . ., ἕως ἀπεπειρά_θην τῆς σοφία_ς ταυτησί_ I would not have ceased until I had made trial of this wisdom P. Crat. 396c, ἐχρῆν . . . μὴ πρότερον περὶ τῶν ὁμολογουμένων συμβουλεύειν, πρὶν πρὶν περὶ τῶν ἀμφισβητουμένων ἡμᾶς ἐδίδαξαν they ought not to have given advice concerning the matters of common agreement before they instructed us on the matters in dispute I. 4.19.

c. Final clauses: here the principal clause is an unfulfilled wish, an unfulfilled apodosis, or a question with οὐ; and the indicative in the final clause denotes that the purpose was not or cannot be attained, and cannot be reached by the will of the speaker. Thus, εἰ γὰρ ὤφελον οἷοί τε εἶναι οἱ πολλοὶ τὰ μέγιστα

-- 490 --

κακὰ ἐργάζεσθαι, ἵνα οἷοί τε ἦσαν καὶ ἀγαθὰ τὰ μέγιστα would that the many were able to work the greatest evil in order that they might be able (as they are not) to work also the greatest good P. Cr. 44d, ἐβουλόμην ἂν Σίμωνα τὴν αὐτὴν γνώμην ἐμοὶ ἔχειν ἵνα . . . ῥᾳδίως ἔγνωτε τὰ δίκαια I should have liked Simon to be of the same opinion as myself in order that you might easily have rendered a just verdict L. 3.21, ἔδει τὰ ἐνέχυρα τότε λαβεῖν, ὡς μηδ' ει' ἐβούλετο ἐδύνατο ἐξαπατᾶν I ought to have taken security at the time in order that he could not have deceived us even if he wished X. A. 7.6.23, τί δῆτ' οὐκ ἔρρι_ψ' ἐμαυτὸν τῆσδ' ἀπὸ πέτρα_ς, ὅπως τῶν πάντων πόνων ἀπηλλάγην; why indeed did I not hurl myself from this rock, that I might have been freed from all these toils? A. Pr. 747.

N. 1.—In this (post-Homeric) construction, ἵνα is the regular conjunction in prose; ὡς and ὅπως are rare. ἄν is very rarely added and is suspected (Is. 11.6, P. L. 959e).

N. 2.—Assimilation does not take place when the final clause is the essential thing and sets forth a real future purpose of the agent of the leading verb, or does not show whether or not the purpose was realized. This occurs especially after ἵνα = eo consilio ut, rarely after ὅπως (X. A. 7.6.16); after ὡς only in poetry and Xenophon. The subjunctive or optative is used when the purpose of the agent, and not the non-fulfilment of the action, is emphasized. Thus, καίτοι χρῆν σε . . . ἢ τοῦτον μὴ γράφειν ἢ ἐκεῖνον λύ_ειν, οὐχ, ἵν' ὃ βούλει σὺ γένηται, πάντα τὰ πρά_γματα συνταράξαι you ought either not to have proposed this law or to have repealed the other; not to have thrown everything into confusion to accomplish your desire D. 24.44.

d. Causal clauses (rarely, as D. 50.67). Modal assimilation never takes place in indirect questions or in clauses dependent on a verb of fearing.

2186

Assimilation to the Optative.—When an optative of the principal clause refers to future time (potential optative and optative of wish), the subordinate clause takes the optative by assimilation in the following cases.

a. Conditional relative clauses (regularly): πῶς γὰρ ἄν ( cross1832) τις, ἅ γε μὴ ἐπίσταιτο, ταῦτα σοφὸς εἴη; for how could any one be wise in that which he does not know? X. M. 4.6.7, τίς μι_σεῖν δύναιτ' ἄν ὑφ' οὗ εἰδείη καλός τε καὶ ἀγαθὸς νομιζόμενος; who could hate one by whom he knew that he was regarded as both beautiful and good? X. S. 8. 17, ἔρδοι τις ἣν ἕκαστος εἰδείη τέχνην would that every man would practise the craft that he understood Ar. Vesp. 1431, τίς ἂν . . . μόλοι ( cross1832), ὅστις διαγγείλειε τἀ_μ' εἴσω κακά would that some one would come to report within my tale of woe E. Hel. 435.

N. 1.—If the relative has a definite antecedent, assimilation does not take place; but not all relative clauses with an indefinite antecedent are assimilated. Cp. ὥσπερ ἂν ὑ_μῶν ἕκαστος αἰσχυνθείη τὴν τάξιν λιπεῖν ἣν ἂν ταχθῇ ἐν τῷ πολέμῳ as each one of you would be ashamed to leave the post to which he may be appointed in war Aes. 3.7.

N. 2.—A relative clause depending on an infinitive rarely takes the optative: ἀλλὰ τοῦ μὲν αὐτὸν λέγειν ἃ μὴ σαφῶς εἰδείη εἵργεσθαι δεῖ one should abstain from saying oneself what one does not know for certain X. C. 1.6.19. (See cross2573.)

b. Temporal clauses (regularly): τεθναίην, ὅτε μοι μηκέτι ταῦτα μέλοι may I

-- 491 --

die when these things no longer delight me Mimnermus 1. 2, ὁ μὲν ἑκὼν πεινῶν φάγοι ἂν ὁπότε βούλοιτο he who starves of his own free will can eat whenever he wishes X. M. 2.1.18, εἰ δὲ πάνυ σπουδάζοι φαγεῖν, εἴποιμ' ἂν ὅτι παρὰ ταῖς γυναιξίν ἐστιν, ἕως παρατείναιμι τοῦτον κτλ. but if he was very desirous of eating, I would tell him thathe was with the womenuntil I had tortured him, etc. X. C. 1.3.11, ὄλοιο μήπω, πρὶν μάθοιμι perish not yet . . . until I learn S. Ph. 961. But οὐκ ἂν ἀπέλθοιμι πρὶν ἂν παντάπα_σιν ἡ ἀγορὰ_ λυθῇ I shall not be leaving until the gathering in the market-place is quite dispersed X. O. 12.1.

c. Final and object clauses (rarely in prose, but occasionally after an optative of wish in poetry): πειρῴμην (ἂν) μὴ πρόσω ὑ_μῶν εἶναι, ἵνα, εἴ που καιρὸς εἴη, ἐπιφανείην I will try to keep not far away from you, in order that, if there should be any occasion, I may show myself X. C. 2.4.17 (and five other cases in Xen.); ἔλθοι ὅπως γένοιτο τῶνδ' ἐμοὶ λυτήριος may she come to prove my liberator from this affliction A. Eum. 297. Ordinarily the subjunctive or future indicative is retained, as ὀκνοίην ἂν εἰς τὰ πλοῖα ἐμβαίνειν ἃ Κῦρος ἡμῖν δοίη μὴ ἡμᾶς . . . καταδύ_σῃ I should hesitate to embark on the vessels which Cyrus might give us lest he sink us X. A. 1.3.17, τεθναίην, δίκην ἐπιθεὶς τῷ ἀδικοῦντι, ἵνα μὴ ἐνθάδε μένω καταγέλαστος let me die, when I have punished him who has done me wrong, that I may not remain here a laughing-stock P. A. 28d.

d. Indirect questions, when the direct question was a deliberative subjunctive: οὐκ ἂν ἔχοις ἐξελθὼν ὅ τι χρῷο σαυτῷ if you should escape, you would not know what to do with yourself P. Cr. 45b ( = τί χρῶμαι;). But when a direct question or a direct quotation stood in the indicative, that mood is retained, as εἰ ἀποδειχθείη τίνας χρὴ ἡγεῖσθαι τοῦ πλαισίου if it should be settled who must lead the square X. A. 3.2.36.

e. Very rarely in relative clauses of purpose (P. R. 578e possibly); after ὥστε (X. C. 5.5.30), and in dependent statements with ὅτι or ὡς (X. C. 3.1.28).

f. Assimilation and non-assimilation may occur in the same sentence (E. Bacch. 1384 ff.)

2187

An optative referring to general past time in a general supposition usually assimilates the mood of a conditional relative or temporal clause depending on that optative.

ἔχαιρεν ὁπότε τάχιστα τυχόντας ὧν δέοιντο ἀποπέμποι but he was wont to rejoice whenever he dismissed without delay his petitioners with their requests granted (lit. obtaining what they wanted) X. Ag. 9. 2. But the indicative may remain unassimilated, as ἐκάλει δὲ καὶ ἐτί_μα_ ὁπότε τινὰς ἴδοι τοιοῦτόν τι ποιήσαντας ὃ αὐτὸς ἐβούλετο ποιεῖν and he was wont to honour with an invitation any whom he saw practising anything that he himself wished them to do X. C. 2.1.30.

So when the optative refers to past time through dependence on a verb of past time, as προσκαλῶν τοὺς φίλους ἐσπουδαιολογεῖτο ὡς δηλοίη οὓς τι_μᾷ summoning his friends he used to carry on a serious conversation with them in order to show whom he honoured X. A. 1.9.28 (here τι_μῴη would be possible).

2188

Assimilation to the Subjunctive.—Conditional relative clauses and temporal clauses referring to future or general present time, if dependent on a subjunctive, take the subjunctive.

a. In reference to future time: τῶν πρα_γμάτων τοὺς βουλευομένους (ἡγεῖσθαι

-- 492 --

δεῖ), ἵν' ἃ_ν ἐκείνοις δοκῇ, ταῦτα πρά_ττηται men of counsel must guide events in order that what they resolve shall be accomplished D. 4.39.

b. In reference to general present time: οὐδ', ἐπειδὰν ὧν ἂν πρίηται κύ_ριος γένηται, τῷ προδότῃ συμβούλῳ περὶ τῶν λοιπῶν ἔτι χρῆται nor when he has become master of what he purchases, does he any longer employ the traitor to advise him concerning his plans for the future D. 18.47. But the indicative may occur (D. 22.22).

Previous SubSect

Next SubSect


Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
Powered by PhiloLogic