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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Hortatory Subjunctive

441. The Optative Subjunctive is used to express a Wish. The present tense denotes the wish as possible, the imperfect as unaccomplished in present time, the pluperfect as unaccomplished in past time. The negative is :—

ita vīvam (Att. 5.15), as true as I live, so may I live.

ne vīvam sī sciō (id. 4.16.8), I wish I may not live if I know.

dī tē perduint (Deiot. 21), the gods confound thee!

valeant, valeant cīvēs meī; sint incolumēs (Mil. 93), farewell, farewell to my fellow-citizens; may they be secure from harm.

facerent sine patre forem (Ov. M. 8.72), would that the gods allowed me to be without a father (but they do not)!

a. The perfect subjunctive in a wish is archaic:—

faxint (Fam. 14.3.3), may the gods grant.

quod dī ōmen āverterint (Phil. 12.14, in a religious formula), and may the gods avert this omen.

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