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VARIATIONS FROM THE ORDINARY FORMS AND MEANINGS OF CONDITIONAL SENTENCES
Substitutions for the Protasis.—For the protasis with εἰ there may be substituted a participle, often in the genitive absolute ( cross2067, cross2070), an adverb, a prepositional phrase, a relative clause ( cross2560), or some other single word or phrase. The present participle represents the imperfect, as the perfect represents the pluperfect.
πῶς δῆτα δίκης οὔσης (= εἰ δίκη ἐστίν) ὁ Ζεὺς οὐκ ἀπόλωλεν τὸν πατέρ' αὑτοῦ δήσα_ς; how, pray, if there is any justice, has Zeus not perished since he bound his own father? Ar. Nub. 904, οὐ γὰρ ἦν μοι δήπου βιωτὸν τοῦτο ποιήσαντα (= εἰ ἐποίησα) for of course life had not been worth living if I had done this D. 21.120, οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἐβλήθη ἀτρεμίζων καὶ μὴ διατρέχων (= εἰ ἠτρέμιζε καὶ μὴ διέτρεχε) for he would not have been hit if he had been keeping quiet and not running acrossAnt. 3. β. 5, δικαίως ἂν ἀπέθανον I should justly (i.e. if I had met with my deserts) have been put to death D. 18.209, ἐμοὶ δὲ ἀρκοῦν ἂν ἐδόκει εἶναι for myself (i.e. if I had to decide) it would seem to be sufficient T. 2.35, διά γε ὑ_μᾶς αὐτοὺς (= εἰ ὑ_μεῖς αὐτοὶ μόνοι ἦτε)
D. 18.49, ὀλοῦμαι μὴ μαθών (= ἐὰ_ν μὴ μάθω) I shall be undone if I don't learn Ar. Nub. 792, νι_κῶντες (= εἰ νι_κῷεν) μὲν οὐδένα ἂν κατακάνοιεν, ἡττηθέντων (= εἰ ἡττηθεῖεν)
πάλαι ἂν ἀπολώλειτε if you had been left to yourselves, you would have perished long ago
X. A. 3.1.2, οὕτω (= εἰ οὕτως ἔχοιεν)
οὐδεὶς ἂν λειφθείη should they be victorious they would kill no one, but if defeated no one would be left
γὰρ πρὸς τὸ ἐπιέναι τοῖς ἐναντίοις εὐψυ_χότατοι ἂν εἶεν for thus they would be most courageous in regard to attacking the enemy
S. Ant. 240.
οὐδ' ἂν δικαίως ἐς κακὸν πέσοιμί τι nor should I justly come to any trouble
a. Sometimes the protasis has to be supplied from what precedes (example in cross1825); or from a main clause with ἀλλά, which follows: οὐδέ κεν αὐτὸς ὑπέκφυγε κῆρα μέλαιναν· ἀλλ' Ἥφαιστος ἔρυτο (= εἰ μὴ ἔρυτο) nor would he himself have escaped black fate; but Hephaestus guarded him E 23 (cp. X. A. 3.2.24- cross25).
Verb of the Protasis Omitted.—The verb of the protasis is usually omitted when the apodosis has the same verb. The protasis is often introduced by εἴ τις, εἴ ποτε, εἴπερ (ποτέ).
εἴ τις καὶ ἄλλος ἀνήρ, καὶ Κῦρος ἄξιός ἐστι θαυμάζεσθαι if any other man (is worthy to be admired), Cyrus, too, is worthy to be admired X. C. 5.1.6, φημὶ δεῖν . . . τῷ πολέμῳ προσέχειν, εἴπερ ποτέ (ἔδει), καὶ νῦν I say that we must now, if ever, apply ourselves to the war D. 1.6.
So with certain special phrases:
a. εἰ μή (if not) except: οὐ γὰρ . . . ὁρῶμεν εἰ μὴ ὀλίγους τούτους ἀνθρώπους for we do not see any except a few men yonder X. A. 4.7.5,
Ar. Nub. 229. So ἐὰ_ν μή D. 24.45 (in a decree).
οὐ γὰρ ἄν ποτε ἐξηῦρον ὀρθῶς τὰ μετέωρα πρά_γματα, εἰ μὴ κρεμάσα_ς τὸ νόημα for I could never have discovered aright things celestial, except by suspending the intellect
b. εἰ μὴ εἰ (if not if, unless if) except if: ἐπρά_χθη τε οὐδὲν ἀπ' αὐτῶν ἔργον ἀξιόλογον, εἰ μὴ εἴ τι πρὸς τοὺς περιοίκους τοὺς αὐτῶν ἑκάστοις and nothing noteworthy
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was done on their part except it might be (lit. except if there was done) something between each of them and his neighbours T. 1.17. Here εἰ μὴ is adverbial.
c. εἰ μὴ διά (if not on account of) except for: (οὐ) Μιλτιάδην . . . εἰς τὸ βάραθρον ἐμβαλεῖν ἐψηφίσαντο, καὶ εἰ μὴ διὰ τὸν πρύτανιν, ἐνέπεσεν ἄν; did they not vote to throw Miltiades into the pit, and except for the prytan would he not have been thrown there? P. G. 516e. With εἰ μὴ διά the ellipsis (which was not conscious to the Greeks) is to be supplied by the negatived predicate of the main clause (here οὐκ ἐνέπεσεν).
d. εἰ δὲ μή (but if not = si minus, sin aliter) otherwise, in alternatives, introduces a supposition opposed to something just said: ἀπῄτει τὰ τῶν Καλχηδονίων χρήματα· εἰ δὲ μή, πολεμήσειν ἔφη αὐτοῖς he demanded back the property of the Calchedonians; otherwise (i.e. if they should not restore it: εἰ μὴ ἀποδοῖεν) he said that he should make war upon them X. H. 1.3.3.
N. 1.—εἰ δὲ μή often occurs even where the preceding clause is negative and we expect εἰ δέ, as
X. A. 7.1.8. Conversely εἰ δέ, where we expect εἰ δὲ μή, as εἰ μὲν βούλεται, ἑψέτω· εἰ δ', ὅ τι βούλεται, τοῦτο ποιείτω if he wishes, let him boil me; otherwise, let him do whatever he wishes P. Eu. 285c.
μὴ ποιήσῃς ταῦτα· εἰ δὲ μὴ . . . αἰτία_ν ἕξεις do not do this; but if you do, you will have the blame
N. 2.—εἰ δὲ μή is used where (after a preceding ἐά_ν) we expect ἐὰ_ν δὲ μή, as ἐὰ_ν μέν τι ὑ_μῖν δοκῶ ἀληθὲς λέγειν, ξυνομολογήσατε· εἰ δὲ μή, ἀντιτείνετε if I seem to you to speak the truth, agree with me; otherwise, oppose me P. Ph. 91c.
N. 3.—The verb of the apodosis of the first of the alternatives is often omitted: ἐὰ_ν μὲν ἑκὼν πείθηται (scil. καλῶς ἕξει): εἰ δὲ μὴ . . . εὐθύ_νουσιν ἀπειλαῖς if he willingly obeys (it will be well) ; otherwise they straighten him by threats P. Pr. 325d.
On ὡς εἰ in comparative conditional clauses see cross2484.
In the Homeric εἰ δ' ἄγε come now, well! εἰ probably has the force of an interjectional or demonstrative adverb (cp. Lat. eia age). Thus, εἰ δ' ἄγε τοι κεφαλῇ κατανεύσομαι come now! I will nod assent to thee with my head A 524.
Omission of the Protasis.—The potential optative, and the indicative, with ἄν stand in independent sentences; in many cases a protasis may be supplied either from the context or generally; in other cases there was probably no conscious ellipsis at all; and in others there was certainly no ellipsis. Cp. cross1785, cross1825.
ποῦ δῆτ' ἂν εἶεν οἱ ξένοι; where, pray (should I inquire) would the strangers be found to be? S. El. 1450, ἀριθμὸν δὲ γράψαι . . . οὐκ ἂν ἐδυνάμην ἀκριβῶς but to give the number accurately I should not be able (if I were trying) T. 5.68, δεινὸν οὖν ἦν ψεύσασθαι it had been terrible to break my word (if it had been possible) D. 19.172.
MODIFICATIONS OF THE APODOSIS
The apodosis may be expressed in a participle or infinitive with or without ἄν as the construction may require; cp. cross1846, cross1848.
αἰτεῖ αὐτὸν εἰς δισχι_λίους ξένους καὶ τριῶν μηνῶν μισθόν, ὡς οὕτως περιγενόμενος (= περιγενοίμην) ἂν τῶν ἀντιστασιωτῶν he asked him for pay for two thousand mercenaries and for three months, stating that thus he would get the better of his
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adversaries X. A. 1.1.10. (Here οὕτως represents the protasis, 2344.) οὐδενὸς ἀντειπόντος διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀνασχέσθαι ἂν τὴν ἐκκλησία_ν no one spoke in opposition because the assembly would not have suffered it (= εἰ ἀντεῖπε, οὐκ ἂν ἠνέσχετο ἡ ἐκκλησία_) X. H. 1.4.20, εἰ (Τεγέα_)
T. 5.32. See cross2616.
σφίσι προσγένοιτο, νομίζοντες ἅπα_σαν ἂν ἔχειν Πελοπόννησον they thought that, if Tegea too should come over to them, they would have the whole of the Peloponnese
Verb of the Apodosis Omitted.—The verb of the apodosis is often omitted, and especially when the protasis has the same verb (cp. cross2345). Here a potential optative with ἄν is represented by ἄν alone ( cross1764 a, cross1766 a). Thus, εἰ δή τῳ σοφώτερός του φαίην εἶναι, τούτῳ ἄν (φαίην εἶναι) if I should say that in any respect I am wiser than any one, (I should say) in this P. A. 29b. Also in other cases, as τί δῆτ' ἄν (λέγοις), ἕτερον εἰ πύθοιο Σωκράτους φρόντισμα; what then would (you say), if you should hear another excogitation of Socrates? Ar. Nub. 154. On ὥσπερ εἰ, ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ, ὡς εἰ, see cross1766 a, cross2478, 2484.
Omission of the Apodosis.—a. When the conclusion is it is well (καλῶς ἔχει) or the like, it is often omitted. So often when the second of alternative opposing suppositions is expressed by εἰ δὲ μή ( cross2346 d, N. 3). Cp. “yet now, if thou wilt forgive this sin, —: and if not, blot me . . . out of thy book” (Exodus 32. cross32).
b. When we should introduce the conclusion by know that or I tell you: εἰ καὶ οἴει με ἀδικοῦντά τι ἄγεσθαι, οὔτε ἔπαιον οὐδένα οὔτε ἔβαλλον if you possibly think that I was taken for some wrong-doing, know that I neither struck nor hit any one X. A. 6.6.27. Here the apodosis might be introduced by σκέψασθε, ἐνθυ_μήθητε, etc.
c. Sometimes when the protasis is merely parenthetical:
E. Hec. 1206.
ὁ χρυ_σός, εἰ βούλοιο τἀ_ληθῆ λέγειν, ἔκτεινε τὸν ἐμὸν παῖδα it was the gold—wouldst thou only tell the truth—that slew my child
d. In passionate speech for rhetorical effect (aposiopēsis, cross3015): εἴ περ γάρ κ' ἐθέλῃσιν Ὀλύμπιος ἀστεροπητὴς ἐξ ἑδέων στυφελίξαι· ὁ γὰρ πολὺ φέρτατός ἐστιν for if indeed the Olympian lord of the lightning will to thrust us out from our habitations, thrust us he will; for he is by far the most powerful A 581.
e. There is properly no omission of an apodosis after clauses with εἰ, εἰ γάρ, εἴθε, etc., in wishes (see cross1816). In such clauses it is often possible to find an apodosis in an appended final clause:
PROTASIS AND APODOSIS COMBINED
E. Supp. 621.
ποτανὰ_ν εἴ μέ τις θεῶν κτίσαι, διπόταμον ἵνα πόλιν μόλω if only some one of the gods were to make me winged so that I might come to the city of twin rivers!
εἰ and ἄν both in Protasis.—The potential optative with ἄν or the unreal indicative with ἄν, standing as the apodosis in the conditional clause with εἰ, is the apodosis of another protasis expressed or understood.
a. Potential Optative.—ἀλλὰ μὴν εἴ γε μηδὲ δοῦλον ἀκρατῆ δεξαίμεθ' ἄν, πῶς οὐκ ἄξιον αὐτόν γε φυλάξασθαι τοιοῦτον γενέσθαι; and yet indeed if we would not accept even a slave who was intemperate, how is it not right for a man (the master) to guard against becoming so himself? X. M. 1.5.3. Here δεξαίμεθα is
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the protasis with εἰ; and also, with ἄν, the apodosis to an understood protasis (e.g. if we should think of so doing). The verb of the protasis may be contained in a participle, as εἰ δὲ μηδεὶς ἂν ὑ_μῶν ἀξιώσειε ζῆν ἀποστερούμενος τῆς πατρίδος, προσήκει κτλ. but if no one of you should think life worth having if he were to be deprived of his country, it is right, etc. I. 6.25. Such clauses form simple present conditions (if it is true that we would accept, etc.). The verb following the compressed condition stands usually in the present, at times in the future, indicative. X. C. 3.3.55: θαυμάζοιμι ἂν . . . εἰ ἂν ὠφελήσειε is an exception.
b. Unreal Indicative.—εἰ τοίνυν τοῦτο ἰσχυ_ρὸν ἦν ἂν τούτῳ τεκμήριον . . ., κἀ_μοὶ γενέσθω τεκμήριον if then this would have been strong evidence for him (if he had been able to bring it forward), let it be evidence for me too D. 49.58. This is a present condition (if it is true that this would, etc.) except in so far as the unexpressed protasis refers to the past. Such conditions may also be past.
N. 1.—The real protasis is: if it is (or was) the case that something could now (or hereafter) be (or could have been), it follows that.
N. 2.—In some of these cases, εἰ has almost the force of ἐπεί since (D. 49.58).
ει', ἐά_ν, on the chance that.—εἰ or ἐά_ν may set forth the motive for the action or feeling expressed by the apodosis, and with the force of on the chance that, in case that, in the hope that, if haply.
After primary tenses in the apodosis, we have εἰ with the indicative or ἐά_ν (πως) with the subjunctive; after secondary tenses, εἰ with the optative or, occasionally, ἐά_ν (πως) with the subjunctive. Homer has sometimes the optative after primary tenses. The reference is to the future as in final clauses.
The protasis here depends, not on the apodosis proper, but on the idea of purpose or desire suggested by the thought. The accomplishment of the purpose may be desired or not desired, and by the subject either of the apodosis or of the protasis.
νῦν αὖτ' ἐγχείῃ πειρήσομαι, αἴ κε τύχωμι but now I will make trial with my spear on the chance (in the hope) that I may hit thee E279, ἄκουσον καὶ ἐμοῦ, ἐά_ν σοι ἔτι ταὐτὰ δοκῇ listen to me too on the chance (in the hope) that you may still have the same opinion P. R. 358b,
T. 2.67, πρὸς τὴν πόλιν, εἰ ἐπιβοηθοῖεν, ἐχώρουν they advanced toward the city on the chance that they (the citizens) should make a sally 6. 100.
πορευόμενοι ἐς τὴν Ἀσία_ν ὡς βασιλέα_, εἴ πως πείσειαν αὐτόν going into Asia to the king in the hope that somehow they might persuade him
N.—This use is to be distinguished from that of εἰ ἄρα if perchance, εἰ μὴ ἄρα unless perchance (often ironical).
a. This construction should be distinguished from cases like
T. 3.20, where we have implied indirect discourse (ἐξέλθωμεν, ἢν δυνώμεθα βιάσασθαι).
ἐπιβουλεύουσιν . . . ἐξελθεῖν . . ., ἢν δύνωνται βιάσασθαι they planned to get out, if they might make their way by force
b. Homer uses this construction as an object clause in dependence on οἶδα, εἶδον, or on a verb of saying. Thus τίς δ' οἶδ', εἴ κέν οἱ σὺν δαίμονι θυ_μὸν ὀρί_νω παρειπών; who knows if, perchance, with God's help I may rouse his spirit by persuasion? O 403 (i.e. the chances of rousing his spirit, if haply I may), ἐνίσπες, εἴ πως . . . ὑπεκπροφύγοιμι Χάρυβδιν tell me if haply I shall (might) escape Charybdis μ 112. Here the apodosis is entirely suppressed. Observe that this construction is not an indirect question.