A School Grammar of Attic Greek

Thomas Dwight Goodell

COMPLEX SENTENCES/ Clauses with Ὅτε, Ὁπότε, Ἐπεί, Ἡνίκα, Ὁπηνίκα

627. Ὅτε while, when, and Ὁπότε whenever (236), introduce temporal clauses, the time of which is commonly the same as that of the leading verb. When ἄν with the subjunctive follows, ἄν is joined to the conjunction; ὅτε ἄν becomes ὅταν, ὁπότε ἄν becomes ὁπόταν.
Ὅτε and Ὁπότε, like when, since, while1 often take a causal meaning; rarely they take a concessive meaning, although.
Ὅτε and Ὁπότε Clauses are like Ὅς and Ὅστις Clauses. With the subjunctive they are always temporal:

Ὅτε ταῦτα ἦν, σχεδὸν μέσαι ἦσαν νύκτες.
It was about midnight when this was taking place.
Xen. Anabasis 3.1.33

 

ἐνταῦθα Ξέρξης, ὅτε ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἀπεχώρει, λέγεται οἰκοδομῆσαι ταῦτα τὰ βασίλεια.
There Xerxes is said to have built this palace when he was returning from Greece. (Here the infinitive οἰκοδομῆσαι, representing an aorist indicative, is the leading verb for the ὅτε clause which fixes its time.)
Xen. Anabasis 1.2.9

 

ὅτʼ οὗν παραινοῦσʼ οὐδὲν ἐς πλέον ποιῶ, πρὸς σὲ ἱκέτις ἀφῖγμαι.
Since then I accomplish naught by advising (him), to thee I have come, a suppliant.
Soph. Oedipus the King 918-920

 

χαλεπὰ τὰ παρόντα, ὁπότε ἀνδρῶν στρατηγῶν τοιούτων στερόμεθα.
The present situation is hard, since we are bereft of such commanders. Xen. Anabsais 3.2.2

 

Ὅταν σπεύδῃ τις αὐτός, χὠ θεὸς συνάπτεται.
Whenever one shows zeal himself, God also aids.
Aesch. Persians 742

 

ὅταν δὴ μὴ σθένω πεπαύσομαι.
I will stop when in truth l have no more strength.
Soph. Antigone 91

 

Ὅτε ἔξω τοῦ δεινοῦ γένοιντο,2 πολλοὶ αὐτὸν ἀπέλειπον.
Whenever they got out of danger, many would leave him.
Xen. Anabasis 2.6.12

 

ἅ ἐκεῖνος ἐθήρευεν ἀπὸ ἵππου ὁπότε γυμνάσαι βούλοιτο ἑαυτόν τε καὶ τοὺς ἵππους
which he used to hunt on horseback, whenever he wished to excercise both himself and his horses.
Xen. Anabasis 1.2.7

 

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Notes
1
Lat. cum has like changes of meaning ; but the Greek use of modes must not be confused with the Latin.
2
The optative in subordinate clauses of repeated past action, the use of the imperfect and aorist indicative with ἂν in principal clauses for occasional past action (361 a, 367 a), and our similar use of would, as in translating the above sentence, all seem to proceed from the same mental tendency. Instead of making the statement in the form of a fact, it is made in the form of a supposed case; the context shows that the case assumed is understood as a typical one, such as occurred repeatedly.