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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Complex Conditions

523. Either the Protasisor the Apodosis may be a complex idea in which the main statement is made with expressed or implied qualifications. In such cases the true logical relation of the parts is sometimes disguised:—

    sī quis hōrum dīxisset ... sī verbum dē rē pūblicā fēcisset ... multa plūra dīxisse quam dīxisset putārētur (Rosc. Am. 2), if any of these had spoken, in case he had said a word about politics he would be thought to have said much more than he did say. [Here the apodosis of dīxisset is the whole of the following statement (sī ... putārētur), which is itself conditioned by a protasis of its own: sī verbum, etc.].

    quod sī in hōc mundō fierī sine deō nōn potest, nē in sphaerā quidem eōsdem mōtūs sine dīvīnō ingeniō potuisset imitārī (Tusc. 1.63), now if that cannot be done in this universe without divine agency, no more could [Archimedes] in his orrery have imitated the same revolutions without divine genius. [Here sī potest (a protasis with nothing implied) has for its apodosis the whole clause which follows, but potuisset has a contrary-to-fact protasis of its own implied in sine ... ingeniō.]

    peream male sī nōn optimum erat (Hor. S. 2.1.6), confound me (may I perish wretchedly) if it wouldn't be better. [Here peream is apodosis to the rest of the sentence, while the true protasis to optimum erat, contrary to fact, is omitted.]

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