Uses in Subordinate Clauses

Book Nav


316. Passing over for the present the question vwhether the quasi-Imperative or the quasi- Future use is to be regarded in each case as representing the στginaἰ meaning of the Mood, vwe proceed to consider the uses in Subordinate Clauses. Here the main distinction is that betςween 'Final and 'ConditionalL7 if these terms are used with some latitude: especially if ςwe rank ςwith the Final Clauses not only those which distinctly express the end or purpose of an action, but also al Clauses which are referred to the time of the govern- ing Verb. It is trαe that this distinction does not alςways app1γ: d.g. to the Subj. in-

Δαναῶν ὀλοφυρόμεθʼ αἰχμητάων, οἴ κεν δὴ κακὸν οἶτον ἀναπλήσαντες ὄλωνται·

or to the Opt. in-

ἀλλὰ πολὺ μεῖζον . . . μνηστῆρες φράζονται, ὃ μὴ τελέσειε Κρονίων.

For there the Relative Clause is in sense a pαrentᾶeςiσ, and is construed accordingly as an independent Sentence. Again, in-

ἔσσεται ἦμαρ ὅτ ἄν ποτʼ ὀλώλῃ κτλ.
φρασσόμεθʼ ἠὲ νεώμεθʼ ἐφʼ ἡμέτερʼ ἢε μένωμεν.
δείδιε γὰρ μὴ λαιμὸν ἀποτμήσειε κτλ.

and generally in Oὄfeet Clauses, the Subordinate Clause does not express eπnd; but the time from vwhich it is regarded as spoken is fixed by the governing Verb, in the same way that the time of a true Final Clause is fixed by the action of which it gives the end. For the present purpose, accordingly, there are two kinds of Clause to be considered, (1) Final and Object Clauses, and (2) Conditional Clauses.

Regarding the meaning of the Subjunctive and Optative in Final Clauses there can be little doubt. Tho Subj. in most instances folloςws either a First Person (Present or Future), or an hnperative : that is to say, it expresses the immediate purpose vwith which the speaker announces his oςwn action, or commands the action of others. Hence, by a natural transference, it comes to express the purpose of another person (vi22. the Subeρt of the Principal Clause). Similarlgy the Opt, whether as the Mοοὰ of μwiaὰ or of eπρectatiοn, comes to express a vwish or expectation not noςw felt, but spoken of. Again, by virtue of its character as a softened or less confident Future, it naturally expresses a ρκττροse that does not lie ςwithin the speakerʼs ovwn sphere of action or direct influence.

It shοαldd be noticed, too, that the relation vwhich we imply by the term 'Final Clauseʼ may exist without grammatical Sub- ordination, i.e. vwithout a Particle such as ἴνα or ὡς to introduce the claαse. Thus in B. 6. 340 ἀλλʼ ἄγε νῦν ἐπίμεινον ἀρήία τεύχεα δύω the meaning vwould not be altered by saying ἐπίμεινον ἴνα δύω. So in Π. 18. 121-125 νῦν δὲ κλέος ἀροίμην καὶ Il. Il. στοναχῆσαι ἐφείην, γνοῖεν δʼ ὡς δὴ δηρὸν ἐγὼ πολέμοιο πέπαυμαι : the last wish is evidently also the result hoped for from the fulfilment of the preceding wishes (so that γνοῖεν δέππ ὡς γνοῖεν).

In Conditional Clauses, on the other hand, the condition or supposition is not subordinated to the time of the governing Verb, but is made from the ρτesent point of vieςw of the speaker. The question arises : What is the original force of the Subj. and Opt. in this αse?

In the case ob the Subj. we naturally look to the quasim- perative use. br is common to use the Ihnperative as a way of statiung a supposition ; as vwhen we say 'et it be so,' meaning 'if it is sοʼ (cp. Lsatin craς ρetitο, dabitur). Γhis vieςw is confirmed by the fact that negative Conditional Clauses take ὴ, not οὁ : that is to say, they are felt to be akin to ρrοὰiδitiοn rather than deniαt. Thus ὃς μὴ ἔλθῃ literally means not "who will not come" (ὃς οὐκ ἂν ἔλθῃ), but "who shall not come," i. e. whom we are not to suppose coming.

Similarly ςwe may αnderstand the Opt. in these Clauses as the Mood of cοncessίοn ; ' admitting this to be so : and so in a nega- tive sentence, ὃς μὴ ἔλθοι' whom 1 agree to suppose not coming. For the choice of the Mood does not depend on the greater or less 7μτοbαbiti(γ of the supposition being true, but on the tone in which it is made-on the degree of ciciidnesς, as Mr. Gooddςwin says, with which it is expressed (4fοοadς and eπςeε, ἡ 455).

It may be objected that on this view we ought to have εἰ οὐ, not εἰ μή, whenever the Vrb is in the hndicative. But there is no difficulty in supposing that μή vwas extended to the ndicative on the analogγ of the Clauses ςwith the Subj. and Opt.; just as μὴ ὥφελον is an extension from the common use of μfὴ in wishes. And this is strongly supported by the circumstance that in fact εἰ οὁ ςwith the bndicative occurs several times in Homer:-

Il. 15. 162 εἰ δέ μοι οὐκ ἐπέεσσʼ ἐπιπείσεται κτλ. (so 178).

Il. 20. 129 εἰ δʼ Ἀχιλεὺς οὐ ταῦτα θεῶν ἐκ πεύσεται ὀμφῆς.

Il. 24. 296 εἰ δέ τοι οὐ δώσει ἑὸν ἄγγελον κτλ.

Od. 2. 274 εἰ δʼ οὐ κείνου γʼ ἐσσὶ γόνος κτλ.

See also ll. 4. 160, Od. 12. 382., 13. 143. On the other hand, in the very feςw examples of εἷ οὁ ς2with a Subj., the οὐ goes closely with the Verb, vi2. Il. 3. 289 (οὐκ ἐθέλωσιν), 20. 139 (οὐκ εἰῶσι). On the whole, therefore, it is probable that the Subj. in Conditional Clauses represents the tone of τe9ίτement in vwhich the speaker ass ς to πrρροse the condition to be true : and that the Opt. implies cοncessιοn, or willingness to make the supposition involved.

317. Original meaning. Whether the use of the Subj. as an emphatic Huture vwas derived from its use to express VWill, or vice veτsα, and whether the Optative originally expressed wish or sιρροsι1οn, are questions vwhich take us back to a very early period in the history of ndo-European speech. The tςwο Moods are found in the same uses (generally speaking) in Homer and in the Veda : the formation of these uses therefore belongs in the main to the period before the separation of the different anggguages,-to the period, indeed, when the original parent language vwas itself in course of formation. The pro- blem therefore is one on vwhich comparison of the earliest forms of the knovwn Lkndo-European languages can hardly throvw any light. t is as though vwe vwere asked to divine whether the use of shall in commands (thοα shαὶt not κkιlt) or in predictions (γε shαlὶ see me) is the older, vwithout recourse to eerier English, or to other Germanic languages. Some considerations of a general character may however be suggested:

a. The Subj. is strongly differentiated from the imperative by its personal endings, and especially by the existence of a First Persona.

b.In most languages it will be found that the imperative meaning is expressed in more than one way. Thus in Sanskrit we find the imperative proper, the injunctive, the Subj, and the Optative: in Greek the imper., the Subj. and certain uses of the Future. The reason of this is evident. Variety in the expression of wit anddἄ vwish is one of the first needs of human society. The form vwhhich has been appropriated to express cοmmαnd is unsuitable to courteous τeqηηπιest, stl more unsuitable to humble entreαtῳ. Accordingly other forms are used, precisely because they are not Imperatives. n time these acquire a quasi-mperative character, and fresh forms are resorted to as the same vwant of a non-Imperative mode of expression is agan perceived.

c. The use of the Secondary Endings in the Optative points to the conclusion that in its origin it was a Mood of past time. The tendency to use a past Tense in wishes, and in some kinds of suppositionnma, may be ampγ illusratedd from English and other modern languag0a.

d. The uses with οὐ go far to show that the quasi-Future sense of the Subj. and Opt. is at least as primitive as the quasi-Emperative sense. Ti the strong negation οὐ γένηται is derived by gradual change of meaning from a pτοhibitοn, the appearance of οὐ is ἄificult to explain.

e. The use of the Subj as an bhmper. may be compared to the Attic use of the Future in a bjussive sense, and in Final Clauses to express purpose (Gooddςwin, D- 373). The change from an expression of wi to one of expectation is one to vwhich it vwοuld be much more dificult to find a parallel.

318. Conditional Protasis with εἴ. The derivations that have been pro- posed for the Partice εἷ or αἴ are too uncertain to furnish ground for any theory as to the manner in vwhhich the Conditional Protasis may have been formed. The question arises for us on the passages in vwhhich εἰ vwith the Opt. is used to express a vwishh, Thus inn εῖ τι2 καλσειε pταy soοme one to call vwe may take the Clause as Conditional. vwith a 2oppressed Apodosis (καλῶς ἂν ἔχοι or the ike). Or vwe may follοςτw L. Lsange in holding that the Clause is not Subordinate at all, the Particle εἷ being originally a kind of affirmative nterjection, used to introduce expressions of vwish and supposition ; and we can thus explain the ordinary Complex Conditional Sentence as made up of two originally independent Clauses, vi2. (1) a oίsh or sι9φpοsίtiοn, introduced by εἷ, and (2) an assertion of the consequence to be expected from its being realised. On this theory the Clause of VWish introduced by εἷ is not an in- complete Sentence, derived from a Complex Sentence by omission of the Apodosis, but is one of the elements from vwhich the Complex Sentence vwas itsef developed.

The latter of these views has α pτίοrί the advantage of deriving the complex from the simple : and it has some apparent support in Homeric usage. We find in Homer-

  1. Wish, standing alone.

    ἄὡς ἀπόλοιτο καὶ ἄλλος ὅτις τοιαῦτά γε βέζοι.

  2. Wish followed by an independent Clause expressing expectation of a consequence.

    Od. 15. 180 οὕταωω νῦν Σεῦς θείη, ἔρίγδουπος πόσις ῥῆς· τῷ κέν τοι καὶ κεῖθι θεῷ ὡς εὐχετομην.

    Il. 13- 55 σφῶν δʼ ὥδε θεῶν τις ἐνὶ φρεσὶ ποιήσειεν, αὐτ θʼ ἑστάμεναι κρατερόῶς καἰ ἀνανγέμεν ἄλλους· τῷ κε καὶ ἐσσύμενόν περ ἔραήσαιτʼ ἀπὸ νηῶν

  3. Wish, with εἷ, εἷ γάρ, εἴθε, c., but without "Apοdosis".

    Il. 4. 189 αἱ γὰρ δὴ οὕταως εἴη, φίλος ἄὥ 5ενέλαε.

    I1. 670 ἐθ’ ὡς ἡβάνοιμι, βἴη δέ μοι ἔμπεδος εἴη, κτλ.

  4. Wish, with εἷ, εἷ γάρ, εἴθε, etc, followed by a Clause of Consequence.

    Il. 7. 157 εἴθʼ ὡς ἡβάῶοιμι, βἴη δέ μοι ἔμπεδος εἴη· τῷ κέ τάχʼ ἀντήσειε κτλ.

    Od. 15. 536 αἱ γὰρ τοῦτο, ξεῖνε, ἔπος τελέσειε Κρονίaων· γποίης χʼ οἴη ἐμὴ δύναμις καὶ χεῶbες ἕπονται.

  5. Supposition, with εἷ, followed by a Clause of expectation.

    I1. 7. 129 τοὺς νῦν εἰ πτάάῶσσοντας ὄφ’ Rκτορι πάντας ἀκούσαι, πολλά κεν ἀθανάτοισι φίλας ἀνὰ χεῖρας ἀείραι.

The similarity in these examples is manifest. The type in the first four sets consists of a Clause of Wish, either alone (1 and 3) or followed by a Clause of Consequence (2 and 4). Again, (5) only differs from (4) in punctuation, so to speak : the tςwο Clauses are taken together, and the the εἱ-Clause is no onger an independent sιιρpοsίtiοn, but is one made vwith a vievw to the expressed in the Clause vwith κεν. And this, it is contended, was the result of a gradual process, such as we find vwhenever parataxis passes into hypotaxis.

319. Final Clauses with εἷ. An argument for Lαngeʼs view of the original force of 2ἱ is found in the use in Final Clauses, such as εἴμι εἴ κε πίθηται. Γhe meaning here is essentially different from that of the Conditional sentence 9ο f he istens; and on the ordinary hypothesis, that εἷ originally expressed a condition, it is difficult to account for the tvwο uses. But if εἷ is a mere interjection, introducing vwish or supposition, it is intelligible that the Clause should be Conditional or Final, as the context may determine.

320. The formula εἷ δʼ ἄγε, with the varieties εἷ δʼ ἄετʼ (l. 22. 381) and 2ἱ 8ὲ (l. 9. 46, 262), is often used in Homer to introduce an imperative or Subjunctive (5 275). t has generally ben supposed to be elliptical. standing for εἷ δʼ ἐθέλεις ἄγε, or the like. And εἷ 3ʼ ἐθέλει2 is actually found with an Imperative in a fevw places : ll. 19. 142 εἰ δʼ ἐθέλεις ἐπίμεινον, Od. 16. 82., 17. 277 (cp. 3. 324). t has been pointed out, however, by L2ange, in his dissertation on this question1 that εἷ 3ʼ ἐδέλειs is only found where it introduces a distinct second alternative. Thus in Od. 16. 82 the context is: "I will send the stranger wherever he desires ; or if you choose (εἰ δʼ ἐθέλεις) take him into your house." So Od. 3. 323 ἀλλʼ ἴθι νῦν σὺν νηί . . . εἷ δʼ ἐθέλεις πεζός κτλ. But with εἷ δʼ ἄκ this is not the case. VWα fβndd it at the beginning of a speech; as-

I1. 6. 376 εἷ δʼ ἄγε μοι, δμαωωαί, νημερτέα μυθήσασθε.

Od. 2. 178 ιὧ γέρον, εἷ δʼ ἄγε νῦν μαντεύεο κτλ.

so Il. 16. 697., 17. 685, Od. 12. 112., 22- 391., 23- 35.

Or in the Apodosis of a Conditional sentence, as-

Od. 4. 831 εἰ μὲν δὴ θεός ἐσσι, θεοῖό τε ἔκλυες αὐδῆς, εἷ δʼ ἄγε μοι κτλ.: so Il. 22. 379-381.

Or to express an appeal which is consequent upon something just said.

I1. Il. 301 τῶν οὐκ ἄν τι φέροις ἀνελῶν ἀέκοντος ἐμεῖο εἷ δʼ ἄγε μὴν πείρησαι
(ay, come now and try); cp. ll. 8. 18.

Il. 1. 523 ἐμοὶ δέ κε ταῦτα μελήσεται ὄφρα τελέσσαω· εἷ δʼ ἄγε τοι κεφαλῇ κατανεύσομαι
(so come, wίll nod wm heααd).

23. 579 εἰ δʼ ἄγ ἔγὼν αὐτὸς δικάσαωω, καί μʼ οὔ τινά φημι ἄλλον ἐπιπλήξειν φαναῶν· ἰθεῖα γὰρ ἔσται· λντίλοχʼ, εἰ δʼ ἄγε δεῦρο . . . ὄμνυθι κτλ.
come wit be fudge πmῳse[f . . . so come, Antilochμs, taκke this οαth:
see also Od. Il. 271, 9- 37, 21. 217., 24. 335.

Hence, Lange argues, ib is probable that εἷ does not express condition, but has an interjections character (cp. L2atin eα age) : and if so it may be the same vwith the use in Clauses expressing wish.

321. Conclusion. Notwithstanding these arguments, the common explanation of the εἱ-Clause of wish (as primarily a Clause of supposition) seems to be the more probable one.2 For-

    1. The uses of εἷ present a marked correspondence with those of the Relative and its derivatives. Note especially the use of ὅτε μή as almost exacty αα εἰ μή.
    2. The analogy εἶτα : εἷ :: ἕππειτα : ἐπεί makes it ikely that εἷ vwas originally temporal. The fact that εἴτα is not Homeric takes something from the force of this argument.
    3. The use of alternative forαms of vwish, and the use of some form of apposition to express vwish, are phenomena vwhich can be exemplified from many language0 : cp. the Lsatin ο si, German 0en, ν0enn nνsτ, ἄc. And eipse of the apodosis occurs vwith εἱ-clauses of other kinds; see 5 324.3
    4. The εἱ-clause, vwhether of supposition or of wish, is specificallly Greek, vwhereas the chief meanings of the Optativevwish, concession, suppositiοn- are much older, being common to Greek and Sanscrit. Hence the εἱ-clause vwas formed at a time vwhen the Opt. of vwish had long been established in use. The presumption surely is that the εἱ-clause, vwhen it came to be used as a form of vwish, vwas a ne0 way of expressing vwish, Ti would probably be adopted at first as a less direct form, suited for vwishes couched in a different tone (as εἴθε is conined to hopeless wish).
    5. The onlgy use of εἷ not obviously expressive of supposition is that vwhich iha seen in the isolated phrase εἰ δʼ ἄγε, of 2which L2angge has given an exceedd- ingly probable analysis. Possibly bhowever the εἷ of εἷ δʼ ἄγε is not the same 2wοrdd as εἰ (f, but an interjection, ike εἶεν and Lsatin iα. VWe may ggο further, and point out that the δέ of εἰ δʼ ἄγε has been shovwn by Lunge himself to be out of place, hence the true form may be εἷ’ ἄγε, like Lsatin eία age.

It may be observed, in conclusion, that the question of the εἱ-clause is gαite distinct from the question of the original meaning of the Optative. Ll is possible to combine sangeʼs theory of εἷ vwith Delbrckʼs earlier vieςw of the Optative as originally the Mod of wish,4 but Lange himself does not do so. He regards the εἱ-clause of supposition (θαllset2ιng) as developed independently of the εἱ-clause of wish. His main thesis is that εἷ does not imply a correlative particle, or an apodosis (καλῶς ἂν ἔχοι or the ike), so that the tvwο meanings of εἰ γένοιτο-sιpοse it αρpened and ιοuldd tιαt it hαgpened- belong to originally distinct meanings of the pl. γένοιτο. That is to say, the development of εἷ (f vwith various Moοds-Opt., Subj., Indicvwas parallel to an entirely distinct development of interjectional εἷ with the Opt. of wish.

322. Homeric and Attic uses. The main difference between Homer and later vwriters in regard to the Moods may be said to be that the later uses are much more restricted. Thus the Subj. is used by Homer in Principal Clauses of every kindAffirmative and Hegative, as well as Prohibitive, Lnterrogative, ἄἂ1c. In Attic it is confined to the Prohibitive use vwith μή, and the idiomatic ’Hortatory and 'Deliberative uses.

Again, in Subordinate Clauses the important Homeric distinction between the 'pureb Subj. and the Subj. vwith ἄν or κεν is almost vwholly lost in Attic. n Clauses of Conditional meaning, vwhether Relatival, Γempοral, or intro- duced by εἷ, the Subj. vwith ἄν has become the only generally allovwable con- struction : the pure Subj. being confined to a few instances in poetry. VWith the Optative, on the other hand, an equal uniformity has been attained by the loss of the use vwith ἄς or κεν. n short, of the four distinct Homeric construction-

      1. δς ἔλθῃ (ὅτε ἔλθῃ, εἰ ἔλθῃ, etc)
      2. δ2 ἂν (or ὅς κες) ἔλθῃ (ὅτʼ ἂν ἔλθῃ, ἑὰν ἔλθῃ, etc.)
      3. δὲ ἔλθοι (ὅτε ἔλθοι, εἰ ἔλθοι, etc.)
      4. δs ἂν (or ὅς κες) ἔλθοι (ὅτʼ ἂν ἔλθοι, ἑὰν ἔλθοι, etc.)

the language droppedἄ the first and last : with the result that as ἄν alςway5 accompannied the Subj. and vwass absent from the Opt., it ceased to convey a distinct meaning, independent of the meaning given by the Mood. bhn other words, the use became a mere idiom. The change, though apparently slight, is very significant as an evidence of linguistic progress.

In regard to Final Clauses the most noticeable point is the use of the Relative vwith a Subjunctive. n this respect Homeric Greek agrees vwith Lsatin : vwhile in later Greek the Subj. vwas replaced, generalLy speaEingg, by the Future Lndicative. It is also vworth observing here that in Homer, as has been said (5 316), the Final Clause in the great majority of instances expresses the speakerʼs ovwn purpose, not a purpose vwhich he attributes to a person spoken of : see 55 280, 281, 285, 286. ha other words, the subordina- tion of the Clause to the governing Verb does not often go so far as to put the Tbhirdd Person for the First (e. g. φράσσεται ἄὡς κε νέηται αν he cιὶὶ cοnsideτ - ahοισ am to return ). The further icense by vwhich a past purpose is thought of as if still present-sο that the Subj. is used instead of the Opt. -is not Homeric () 298).

  • 1. De fοrπnmαlα fοmerίcα εἷ δʼ ἄγε cοmwmentαtiο, ipsiae 1873.
  • 2. This is also the conclusion maintained by Mr. Goodwin, who discuses the question very fully in the new edition of his 3οοαdς and 7eases (pp. 376 ff.).
  • 3. This is also the conclusion maintained by Mr. Goodwin, who discuses the question very fully in the new edition of his 3οοαdς and 7eases (pp. 376 ff.).
  • 4. This vievw vwas proposed in Delbrhckʼs Sῳntαktische Fοrscὰνungen (vol. i. p. 1 3), but is withdrawn in his recent wοrk (ltindίscὰs Sytα2d, § 172).