Form of the Infinitive

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231. The Greek Tnfinitive is a Case-form-usually the Dative-of an abstract Verbal Noun (ποwmen actiοis). As a Dative it expresses an action to which that of the governing Verb is directed, or fὸr which it takes place,vi2. a purpose, efβfect, bearing, 8etc. of the main action. Γhus δόμεν-αι to gίwe, being the Dative of a Stem δο-μεν gίνίπρ, means b to or fοτ givingʼ hence in οτder to gίνe, πο as to gίνe, 8dc. But ovwing to the loss of all other uses of the Dative in Greek (ἡ 143), and the consequent isοlatiοn of the nfinitive, its meaning has been someςwhat extended. For the same reason the nfinitives derived from other Cases (§ 85) are no longer used with diβerent meaning, but are retained merely as alternative forms.

The Dative meaning evidently accounts for the common con- structions o the bnfinitive with Verbs expressing μκwisὰ, cορmwand, ρσσeτ, e22ρectatiοn, ὁegiππig, and the like : as ἐθέλω δόμεναι lit. απm μwittiπρ fοτ gίνίππg, δύναμαι ἰδέειν f ἀaνe ροκweτ fοτ πeeiπg, etc. In Homer it may be said to be the usual meaning of the nfini- tive. br is found in a great many simple phrases, such as ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι μuρed tαgetἀer to ρὰt (πο tἀαt tἄeγ fὸρὰt), δὸς ἄγειν gίνe for teadiπg awαγ (to θe ἰed aμwαγ), οἶδε νοῆσαι ποwς (as senπe) to ρeτceίνe, βῇ δʼ ἰέναι steρρed to ρο (ππtοοὲ ἄiς ααγ, Cp. γούνατʼ ἐνώμα φευγέμεναι) ; προέηκε πυθέσθαι, πέμπε νέεσθαι, ἄὥρτο πέτεσθαι, 8Cc. Cp. also-

Il. 1.22 ἐπευφήμησαν ἀχαιοί, αἰδεῖσθαι κτλ. re Greeὲς νμttered αρρτοciπρ cτίeς for (to tbὰe eθect ῃV) τε ᾳρectίπg, 5π.; so 2.290 ὀδύρονται οἶκόνδε νεεσθαι.

2.107 Ἀγαμέμνονι λεῖπε φορῆναι, πολλήσιν νήσοισι καὶ Ἀργεῖ παντὶ ἀνάσσειν ἴeft (the scepter) to Agamemnon to bear, therewith to rule over many islands and Argos

Od. 4. 634 ἐμὲ δὲ χρεὼ γίγνεται αὐτῆς λιθ’ ἐς εὐρύχορον διαβή- μεναι I have need of it for crossing over to Elis.

The notion of purpose often passes into that of adaptation, possibility, necessity, etc.

ll. 6.227 πολλοὶ μὲν γὰρ ἐμοὶ Γρῶες Il. Il. κτείνειν tθere are πmαdγ ἴbηαπς br πe to ἑit (μοοα πmαγ ἑit) ; cp. 9. 688 εἰσὶ καὶ οἵδε τάδʼ εἰπέμεν tὰese tοο are ere to let tkiκ, 11. 342 ἐγγὺς ἔσαν προφυγεῖν 0ere ππear fbr escaαnίng, 2ο escape with.

13.98 εἴδεται ἥμαρ ὑπὸ Γρώεσσι δαμῆναι iRe daγ cορwue for beiππρ sμμθdμued (μκwάen we wιuςt ὁe ςκtdned) ὁγ the roan; cp. Od. 2. 284.

Again, from the notion of direction or eect the nfinitive shades off into that of reference, sphere of action. etc.; as 17. 5. 601 οἷον δὴ θαυμάζομεν κτορα δίον αἰχμητήν τʼ ἔμεναι κτλ. 2οτ θeiππ9 α κwαrrίοr ; Od. 7. 148 θεοὶ ὄλβια δοῖεν ζωέμεναι πmαγ tῆe ροs gτaπnt θtessinngs for tiνiρ, i.e. in tge; ἀριστεύεσκε μάχεσθαι μκwaς best for (and so iπ) ρἀtiνρ, εὔχεται εἶναι ὁοaςtκ ντ (of) being.

In the passages quoted the infinitive is so far an abstract Vοππ that the action which it denotes is not predicated of an aρent. The agent, if there is one in the speakerʼs mind, is not given by the form of the sentence ; e.g. ἐγγὺς ἔσαν προφυγεῖν (μκeτe πeaτ for ecaρίng) might mean were πeaτ so as ἰο escαρe or (as the context of D. 11. 342 requires) κeτe ππear so taut ἄε cομίd escαρe; δῦναι ἐπειγόμενος would usually mean eager to πet, but in Od. 13. 30 it means eager for (tθe ςμuαʼς) ςettiπg. Hence the apparently harsh change of subject in such a case as-

Od. 2. 226 καί οἱ ἰὼν ἐν νηυσὶν ἐπέτρεπεν οἶκον ἅπαντα πείθεσθαί τε γέροντι καὶ ἔμπεδα πάντα φυλάσσειν

to tἄe intent tat it ςἄομὶ οὁeγ the οἰd πan and ἄε ςθομκίd ρuarοd alt ςαre(ν (lit. for οeγίππςVοτ ραατdίπρ). And so in Il. 9.230 ἐν δοιῇ δὲ σαωσέμεν ἦ ἀπολέσθαι νῆας, vwhere νῆας is first Obect, then Subject. The harshness disappears when ςwe understand that the abstract use is the prevailing one in Homer. It may also be noticed here that-

  1. With Verbs of privative meaning, the Infinitive may be used as with the corresponding affirmative words : as ἔρριγʼ ἀντι- βολῆσαι κἀμκdderς as to (τορwm) πmeetiππ9 ; Od. 9.468 ἀνὰ δʼ ὀφρύσι νεῦον ἑκάστῳ κλαίειν ἴποdded ὁacμwaradς to eacά for κweeρίκg (πηfοτ- ὁiddiπ9 ἀiπm to wecρ), Il. 22.474 εἶχον ἀπολέσθαι. But the proper use also appemrs, as in Il. 22.5 αὐτοῦ μεῖναι ἐπέδησε fettered ο tint Re τeρuainead. Here the context must determine the meaning.
  2. With φρονέω, ὀίω, etc. the Infinitive may express the elect or conclusion: tἄiμnὲ to re eθect , hence tἄiπέ ῇft ; as Ii. 13. 263 οὐ γὰρ ὁἰω Il. Il. πολεμίζειν f ὑaνe πο πmiπd to c. So εἰπεῖν to ρeaὲ to re intent tἄat, to ὁid, as Od. 3. 427 εἴπατε δʼ εἴσω δμωῇσιν Il. Il. πένεσθαι. Other examples are given in § 238.

    In this use, as was οbserved by Mr. Biddell (Dig. § 83), the 'dictative force -the notion of thinking right, advising, kkc.-comes through the Infβnitive to the governing Verb, not vice versa. The same remark holds of the use vwith ἔστι it is pοssίbe, it it is (a case) for (something to happen).