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358. μή is commonly used (as we should expect) with the Moods expressive of cορmπaand or νwwiwὰ, vi2, the mperative, the Subunctive and the Optative. These αses having been dis- cussed (ἢ 278, 281, 299, 323, 8xc.), it only remains to notice some idiomatic uses in vwhich ῳνὴ is found ςwith the Mod of simple assertion or denial.

With the Indicative μή is used in Homer-

a.In the phrase μὴ ὥφελλον (or ὥφελον) would that I had not, etc. Logically the μὴ in this idiom belongs to the following infinitive (cp. § 355).

b. In οaths, to express solemn or impassioned denial.

Il. 10. 329 ἴστω νῦν ἐὺς αὐτός, ἐρίγδουπος πόσις Ἥρης, μὴ μὲν τοῖς ἵπποισιν ἀνὴρ ἐποχήσεται ἄλλος
(I swear that no one else shall ride, etc.)

Il. 15. 36-41 ἴστω νῦν τόδε γαῖα . . . μὴ διʼ ἐμὴν ἰότητα ΓΠοσειδάων ἐνοσίχθων | πημαίνει

In this use μή denies by disclaiming (as it were) or protesting against a fact supposed to be within the speakers power (= far be it from me that, etc.). We should probably add

Il. 19. 258 ἴστω νῦν Ζεὺς πρῶτα κτλ.
μὴ μὲν ἐγὼ κούρῃ Βρισηίδι χεῖρʼ ἐπένεικα

where the MSS. have ἐπενεῖκαι. The indicative form was restored conjecturally by Stephanus.

c. After ἢ, to express incredulity, etc.

Od. 6. 200 ἦ μή πού τινα δυσμενέων φάσθʼ ἔμμεναι ἀνδρῶν
(surely you do not suppose it is anγ enemy!)

Od. 9. 405 ἦ μή τίς σευ μῆλα βροτῶν ἀέκοντος ἐλαύνει; ἦ μή τίς σʼ αὐτὸν κτείνει δόλῳ ἠὲ βίηφι;
(surely no one is driving off your sheep? etc.)

This is the common type of "question expecting a negative answer," viz. a strong form of denial uttered in a hesitating or interrogative tone. Compare the quasi-interrogative use of ἦ (§ 338) to indicate surprise or indignation.

d. After Verbs of fearing which relate to a past event.

Od. 5. 300 δείδω μὴ δὴ πάντα θεὰ νημερτέα εἶπεν.

Here, as with the Subj.(§ 281. 1), the Clause with μὴ passes into an Object Clause. The difference is that the indicative shοws the event to be past.

So perhaps Od. 13. 216

μή τί μοι οἴχονται
fear they are gone

but the better reading is οἴχωνται, the Subj. being understood as in Il. 1. 555

μή σε παρείπ9
lest she have persuaded you (i. e. prove to have persuaded)

cp. Od. 21. 395

μὴ κέρα ἔπες ἔδοιεν
lest worms should (be found to) have eaten (§ 303, 1)

cp. Math. xvi. 5

ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν
they found that thεy hαd forgotten (Fiεldʼs Otium Norvicense, Pl. 3, p. 7).

The use of the Past indicative after Verbs of fearing is closely parallel to the use in Final Clauses, noticed in § 325. VWhie the Clause, as an expression of the speakers mind about an event—his fear or his purpose—should have a Subj. or Opt., the sense that the happening of the event is matter of past fact causes the Lbndicative to be preferred. Cp. the Modal uses noticed in ὅ 324-326, and the remark in § 323 as to the tendency in favor of the indicative.

The essence of these idioms is the combination of the imperative tone—shown in the use of μή—with the Mood proper to a simple assertion. The tendency to resort to the form of prohibition in order to express strong or passionate denial may be seen in the use of μνή with the Optative in deρτecatίπg a sup- positiοnn (§ 299, e), and of μὴ with the Subj. in οαtἀς, as Od. 12. 300, 18. 55.

359. Conditional Clauses. The rule which prescribes μὴ as the negative Particle to be used in every Clause ob Conditional meaning does not hold universally. In Homer

a. When the Verb is a Subjunctive or Optative μὴ is used: the very few exceptions being confined to οὐκ ἐθέλω (Il. 3. 289., 15. 492) and οὐκ ἐάω (1. 20. 139), which are treated almost as Compounds (§ 355. Cp. the use of οὐκ ἐθέλω in Final Clauses.

Il. 5. 233 μή . . . ματήσετον οὐδʼ ἐθέλητον κτλ.

b. With the Relatives ὅς, ὅσος, 8dc. when the Verb is an indicative οὐ is generally used.

Il. 2. 143 πᾶσι μετὰ πληθύν, ὅσοι οὐ βουλῆς ἐπάκουσαν.

Od. 3. 348 ὥς τέ τευ ἦ παρὰ πάμπαν ἀνείμονος ἠὲ πενιχροῦ, ὅ οὔ τι χλαῖναι κτλ. (a general description)

Il. 2. 338 νηπιάχοις, οἴςς οὔ τι μέλει κτλ.

So Il. 7. 235, 18. 353.

The only clear instance of μή is Il. 2. 301

ἐστὲ δὲ πάντες μάρτυροι, οὖς μὴ κῆρες ἔβαν θανάτοιο φέρουσαι

where the speaker wishes to make an exception to what he has just said. In Od. 5. 489

ιὧ μὴ πάρα γείτονες ἄλλοι

we may supply either εἰσί or ἔωσι: the latter is found in the similar cases Od. 4. 164, 23. 118. But Hesiod uses μή with the indicative; see Theοg. 387, Op. 225.

c. With εἰ and the indicative οὐ is used when the Clause with εἰ precedes the Principal Clause, as Il. 4. 160

εἴ περ γάρ τέκοι αὐτίκʼ Oλύμπιος οὐκ ἐτέλεσσε

and similarγ in Il. 9. 435, 15. 213; Od. 19. 85; and the (eight) other places quoted in § 316. But when the Clause with εἰ follows the other, μή is used, as in the sentences of the form

ll. 2. 155 ἔνθα κεν .. νόστος ἐτύχθη εἰ μὴ κτλ.

The only instance in which this rule fails seems to be Od. 9. 410

εἰ μὲν δὴ μή τίς σε βιάζεται οἷον ἐόντα, νοῦσόν γʼ οὔ πως ἔστι Διὸς μεγάλου ἀλέασθαι.

Here μή τις may be used rather than οὗ τις in order to bring out more clearly the misunderstanding of the 0ὅτις of Polyphemus.

This curious law was pointed out by A. R. Vierke, in a valuable dissertation De μή particulae cum indicativo conjunctae usu antiquiore (Lipsiae, 1876). With regard to the ground of it, we may observe that a Clause with εἷ in most cases precedes the apodosis ; and this is probably the original order. VWhen it is inverted it may be that the use of ukj instead of οὐ has a prohibitive character, as though the condition vwere addedd as an afterthought, in bar of vwhat has been already said. n any case the inversion throvws an empαsis on the Clause, which would account for the preference for h ; see § 358.

360. Infinitive and Participle. It appears from comparison with the forms of negation in the oldest Sanskrit that the negative Particles were originally used only with finite verbs. The negation of a Noun was expressed by forming it into a Compound with the prefix an- or a- (Greek ἀν-, ἀ-): and the infinitives and Participles were treated in this respect as Nouns. The first exception to this rule in Greek was probably the use of οὗ with the Participle—a use which is wet established in Homer.

οὐ with the infinitive is used in Homer (as in Attic) after Verbs of saying, thinking, knowing, etc. (§ 237).

Il. 16. 61 ἦ τοι ἔφην γε οὐ πρὶν μηνιθμὸν καταπαυσέμεν κτλ.

Od. 5. 342 δοκέεις δέ μοι οὐκ ἀπινύσσειν.

This use however is to be compared with that noticed above (§ 355), in which an οὐ which belongs in sense to the Infinitive is placed before the governing Verb; as οὔ φησιν· δακεῖν he says he will not give. Sometimes the Homeric language seems to hesitate between the two forms, or to use them indifferently: compare (e.g )

Il. 12. 106 οὐδʼ ἔτʼ ἔφαντο σχήσεσθʼ κτλ.

and (a few lines further)

Il. i. 125 ἔφαντο γὰρ οὐκέτ’ Ἀχαιοὺς σχήσεσθʼ κτλ.

Occasionally the negative is used with the Verb and repeated with the infinitive.

Il. 17. 641 ἐπεὶ οὔ μιν ὁομαι οὐδὲ πεπύσθαι (cp. 12. 73)

Od. 3. 27 οὐ γὰρ ὁὰὰr οὔ σε θεῶν ἀέκητι γενέσθαι κτλ.

It may be conjectured that the use of οὐ with the governing Verb is the more ancient; the use with the infinitive is obviously the more logical.

361. μή with the infinitive and participle. The Homeric uses of this kind are few and simple in comparison with those of later Greek.

The infinitive when used for the imperative (§ 241) naturally takes μή instead of οὗ

Il. 4. 42 μή τι διατρίβειν τὸν ἐμὸν χόλον, ἀλλά μʼ ἐᾶσαι.

An infinitive which stands as Object of a Verb of saying, etc., takes μή when it expresses command or wish

Il. 3. 434 παύεσθαι κέλομαι μηδὲ κτλ.
I bid you stop and not, etc.(so 9. 12)

Od. 1. 37 ἐπεὶ πρό οἱ εἴπομεν ἡμεῖς μήτʼ κτλ.
we told him before not to, etc.

So Od. 9. 530

δὸς μὴ Oδυσσῆα . . . ἱκέσθαι
grant that Odysseus may not come

Again, a dependent infinitive takes μή in oaths

Il. 19. 176 ὀμνυέτω Il. Il. μή ποτε τῆς εὐνῆς ἐπιβήμεναι κτλ.
let him swear that hε never, etc.

cp. Od. 5. 184

ἴστω νῦν τόδε γαῖα . . . μή τί σοι αὐτῷ πῆμα κακὸν βουλευσέμεν ἄλλο

and Il. 19. 258 (but see § 358. b). So generally after Verbs of promising, etc.

Il. 14. 45 ὥς ποτʼ ἐπηπείλησεν . . . μὴ πρὶν κτλ.
threatened that he would not, etc.

Il. 18. 500 ὁ δʼ ἀναίνετο μηδὲν ἑλέσθαι
refused to accept anything

(See Mr. Leafʼs note a. l.). This use of μὴ is evidently parallel to the use with the indicative, § 358. Compare also Il. 19. 22

οἶʼ ἐπιεικὲς ἔργʼ ἔμεν ἀθανάτων μηδὲ βροτὸν ἄνδρα τελέσσαι

where the puνή may be emphatic (such as we must not suppose any mortal to have made).1 Or this may be an instance of the use of μή in Relative Clauses containing a general description (§ 359. b).

The use of μὴ with the Participle appears in one Homeric instance

Od. 4. 684 μὴ μνηστεύσαντες μηδʼ ἄλλοθʼ ὁμιλήσαντες ὕστατα καὶ πύματα νῦν ἐνθάδε δειπνήσειαν.

Here μή belongs to ὁμιλήσαντες, and expresses a wish 'may they (after their wooing) have no other meeting, but sup now for the last time." For the parenthetical μνηστεύσαντες and the repetition of the negative with ἄλλοτε, cp. the parallel place Od. 11. 613

μὴ τεχνησάμενος μηδʼ ἄλλο τι τεχνήσαιτο.

  • 1. This would be akin to the later use with Verbs of belief. As to the verbs which take μὴ see Prof. Gildersleeve in the Am. Jοur. Phil. vol. i. p. 49.