301. The classification which has been followed in discussing the subordinate clauses with the subjunctive will also be the most convenient in the case of the optative. Indeed there is so close a parallelism between the uses of these two moods that little is now left to do except to take clauses of the several types already analysed, and show in each case the difference which determines the use of one mood rather than the other.
The reason for using an optative will generally be found in the circumstance that the governing verb is incompatible with a subordinate clause expressing either the will or the assured expectatiοn of the speaker. If the occasion to which the whole sentence refers is past, or is a mere possibility, or an imaginary case, these two meanings of the subjunctive are generally out of place—and we can only have the mood which expresses a wish, or an admission of possibility. Hence it is a general rule—to which however we have found important exceptions (§ 298)—that the optative must be used when the principal verb is an optative, or one of the secondary tenses.
302. Clauses with ἡέ . . . ἦε. The optative in the Homeric examples is generally to be explained as the translation of the subjunctive into οratiο obliqua; that is to say, it expresses a doubt or deliberation thrown back into the past. Thus we have
a. past deliberation in
Il. 16.713 δίζε γὰρ ἠὲ μάχοιτο κατὰ κλόνον αὖτις ἐλάσσας,
ἦ λαοὺς ἐς τεῖχος ὁμοκλήσειεν ἀλῆναι
he debated—should he fight, etc.,
or should he call to the people, etc.
so Il. 1.189, 5.671, Od. 4.117, 6.141, 10.50, etc.
b. Past dοubt is less common: the examples are
Od. 4.789 ὁρμαίνουσʼ ἤ οἱ θάνατον φύγοι υἱὸς ἀμύμων
ἦ ὅ γʼ ὑπὸ μνηστῆρσιν ὑπερφιάλοισι δαμείη
Od. 15.305 συβώτεω πειρητίζων
ἤ μιν ἔτʼ ἐνδυκέως φιλέοι μεῖναί τε κελεύοι
αὐτοῦ ἐνὶ σταθμῷ, ἦ ὀτρύνειε πόλινδε
Odysseus tried the swineherd—whether would
he still be hospitable and bid him stay, οr, etc.
In this use we once find κεν . . . κεν, viz. Od. 15.300 ὁρμαίνων ἤ κεν θάνατον φύγοι ἦ κεν ἁλοίη (La Roche reads ἀλώῃ).
303. Clauses with μὴ. These are of two kinds, answering to the similar clauses with the subjunctive (§ 281)
- Final Clauses: a single example will suffice.
Il. 5. 845 δῦνʼ Ἄϊδος κυνέην μή μιν ἴδοι ὄβριμος Ἄρης
(so that) Ares should not see her
- Object Clauses: with verbs of thinking, etc.
Il. 21.515 μέμβλετο γάρ οἱ τεῖχος ἐϋδμήτοιο πόληος,
μὴ Δαναοὶ πέρσειαν
(his care was that) the Greeks should not, etc.
So Od. 16.179, 19.390.
Od. 21.394 πειρώμενος ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα
μὴ κέρα ἶπες ἔδοιεν ἀποιχομένοιο ἄνακτος
to see that worms should not have eaten it
So in the common use with verbs of fearing as
Il. 18.34 δείδιε γὰρ μὴ λαιμὸν ἐπαμήσειε
he feared feared lest, etc.
But in Il. 9.244
ταῦτʼ αἰνῶς δείδοικα κατὰ φρένα μή οἱ ἀπειλὰς
ἐκτελέσωσι θεοί, ἡμῖν δὲ δὴ αἴσιμον εἴη κτλ.
the subjunctive is used for the immediate object of the fear (the governing verb being a perfect), and the optative for the more remote event: see § 304.1.a. The true reading however may be εἴῃ, a subjunctive like μετ-είω (Il. 23.47).
These object clauses may be regarded as the negαtiνe forms answering to the clauses expressing past deliberatiοn. As in the corresponding uses of μὴ with the subjunctive and optative in principal clauses (§ 278), the mοοd is never qualified by κεν or ἄν.
304. Relative Clauses—Final and Object. Sometimes the optative in a relative clause is used precisely as in an independent sentence; the wish or supposition being expressed from the speakerʼs present point of view, not subordinated to the point of view fixed by the governing verb. Thus in
Od. 4.698 ἀλλὰ πολὺ μεῖζόν τε καὶ ἀργαλεώτερον ἄλλο
μνηστῆρες φράζονται, ὃ μὴ τελέσειε Κρονίων
we have an independent parenthetical wish and in
Il. 3.234 νῦν δʼ ἄλλους μὲν πάντας ὁρῶ . . .
οὕς κεν ἐῢ γνοίην κτλ.
Il. 5.303 (= 20.286) μέγα ἔργον, ὃ οὐ δύο γʼ ἄνδρε φέροιεν
a parenthetical expectation (§ 299.f). In other places the relative clause is connected, by implication at least, with the action of the principal clause, and expresses an intended or expected consequence. We may distinguish the following cases.
- In Final Clauses.
a. The choice of the optative shows want of confident expectation of the result intended.
Il. 1.62 ἀλλʼ ἄγε δή τινα μάντιν ἐρείομεν ἢ ἱερῆα . . .
ὅς κʼ εἴποι κτλ.
(with the view that he may tell, cp. 7.342, 21.336, Od. 5.166)
Il. 7.231 ἡμεῖς δʼ εἰμὲν τοῖοι οἳ ἂν σέθεν ἀντιάσαιμεν
(= many of us are ready to meet you)
Od. 10.431 τί κακῶν ἱμείρετε τούτων,
Κίρκης ἐς μέγαρον καταβήμεναι, ἥ κεν ἅπαντας
ἢ σῦς ἠὲ λύκους ποιήσεται ἠὲ λέοντας,
οἵ κέν οἱ μέγα δῶμα φυλάσσοιμεν καὶ ἀνάγκῃ
Here ποιήσεται (subjunctive) expresses the immediate result, φυλάσσοιμεν the further and therefore (in the nature of things) less cοnfidently asserted consequence.
In this group of clauses the optative always takes κεν or ἄν (cp. the corresponding subjunctive § 282).
b. The optative with κεν is especially common after a principal clause of negative meaning (in which case the consequence is necessarily matter of mere supposition).
Il. 5.192 ἵπποι δʼ οὐ παρέασι καὶ ἅρματα τῶν κʼ ἐπιβαίην
Od. 1.253 ἦ δὴ πολλὸν ἀποιχομένου Ὀδυσῆος
δεύῃ, ὅ κε μνηστῆρσιν ἀναιδέσι χεῖρας ἐφείη
Od. 5.16 οὐ γάρ οἱ πάρα νῆες ἐπήρετμοι καὶ ἑταῖροι,
οἵ κέν μιν πέμποιεν
The pure optative occurs in Il. 22.348 οὐκ ἔσθʼ ὃς . . . ἀπαλάλκοι.
c. The optative is used if the governing verb is an optative, or a secondary tense.
Il. 14.107 νῦν δʼ εἴη ὃς τῆσδέ γʼ ἀμείνονα μῆτιν ἐνίσποι
Od. 6.113 ὡς Ὀδυσεὺς ἔγροιτο, ἴδοι τʼ εὐώπιδα κούρην,
ἥ οἱ Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν πόλιν ἡγήσαιτο
Od. 5.240 αὖα πάλαι, περίκηλα, τά οἱ πλώοιεν ἐλαφρῶς
dry, such as would float
- After verbs that express asking or finding out the clause acquires the force of a dependent interrogative, and so οf an object clause
Od. 9.331 αὐτὰρ τοὺς ἄλλους κλήρῳ πεπαλάσθαι ἄνωγον
ὅς τις τολμήσειεν κτλ.
(for the man) who should, etc.
Il. 3.316 κλήρους πάλλον . . .
they cast lots for which of the two should throw
Il. 14.507 (= 16.283) πάπτηνεν δὲ ἕκαστος ὅπῃ φύγοι
So Il. 6.177, 10.503, Od. 9.88, 10.101, 110, 19.464. As to the form of the relative clause see § 267.2.c.
The dependent interrogative properly so called is rare in Homer.
Il. 5.85 Τυδεΐδην δʼ οὐκ ἂν γνοίης ποτέροισι μετείη
Od. 15.423 εἰρώτα δὴ ἔπειτα τίς εἴη καὶ πόθεν ἔλθοι
Od. 17.368 ἀλλήλους τʼ ἐρέοντο τίς εἴη καὶ πόθεν ἔλθοι
It is evidently akin to the optatives with ἤ . . . ἤ which express past dοubt (§ 302.b): τίς εἴη who he should be comes to mean who he should prove to be. Cp. the subjunctive in the corresponding clauses relating to present time (§ 280).
305. Relative Clauses: Conditional. When the event to which the condition attaches is a matter of wish or mere expectatiοn, or is in past time, the condition is generally expressed by the optative. Hence we find the optative
a. With an Optative of Wish in the principal clause.
Il. 3.299 ὁππότεροι πρότεροι ὑπὲρ ὅρκια πημήνειαν,
ὧδέ σφʼ ἐγκέφαλος χαμάδις ῥέοι ὡς ὅδε οἶνος
Od. 1.47 ὡς ἀπόλοιτο καὶ ἄλλος ὅτις τοιαῦτά γε ῥέζοι
b. With an Optative of Expectation.
Il. 9.125 οὔ κεν ἀλήϊος εἴη ἀνὴρ ᾧ τόσσα γένοιτο
he will not be pοοr to whom such things cοme
Il. 12.228 ὥδέ χʼ ὑποκρίναιτο θεοπρόπος ὃς σάφα θυμῷ
εἰδείη τεράων καί οἱ πειθοίατο λαοί
sο will a diviner answer, who knows, etc.
Od. 4.222 ὃς τὸ καταβρόξειεν . . .
οὔ κεν ἐφημέριός γε βάλοι κατὰ δάκρυ παρειῶν
The optative of the governing clause may be itself subordinate.
Od. 2.53 ὥς κʼ αὐτὸς ἐεδνώσαιτο θύγατρα,
δοίη δʼ ᾧ κʼ ἐθέλοι καί οἱ κεχαρισμένος ἔλθοι
c. After a present or future, in one or two places where the time is purposely vague.
Od. 6.286 καὶ δʼ ἄλλῃ νεμεσῶ, ἥ τις τοιαῦτά γε ῥέζοι
= I am ready to be angry with any other who, etc.
Od. 19.510 καὶ γὰρ δὴ κοίτοιο τάχʼ ἔσσεται ἡδέος ὥρη,
ὅν τινά γʼ ὕπνος ἕλοι κτλ. (ἕλῃ La R.)
The optative avoids assuming that the case will ever occur.
The reading is very doubtful in Il. 5.407 ὅττι μάλʼ οὐ δηναιὸς ὅς ἀθανάτοισι μᾶχοιτο, the Ambrosian and some others having μάχηται.
d. When the principal verb is in a past tense; the relative clause generally expressing indefinite frequency, iteration, etc.
Il. 2.188 ὅν τινα μὲν βασιλῆα καὶ ἔξοχον ἄνδρα κιχείη,
τὸν δʼ ἀγανοῖς ἐπέεσσιν ἐρητύσασκε
Il. 15.22 ὃν δὲ λάβοιμι ῥίπτασκον τεταγὼν κτλ.
Od. 22.315 παύεσκον μνηστῆρας ὅτις τοιαῦτά γε ῥέζοι.
In these uses, and generally, the optative is pure. Exceptions are
Od. 4.600 δῶρον δʼ ὅττι κέ μοι δοίης κειμήλιον ἔστω
(where the optative may be substituted for the subjunctive for the sake of courtesy, to avoid assuming the certainty of the gift)
Od. 21.161 ἡ δέ κʼ ἔπειτα
γήμαιθʼ ὅς κε πλεῖστα πόροι καὶ μόρσιμος ἔλθοι
Clauses formed by a relative and the pure optative are strictly parallel to the conditional clauses formed by a relative and the pure subjunctive, such as χαίρει δέ μιν ὅς τις ἐθείρῃ, or βέλτερον ὃς φεύγων προφύγῃ (§ 283.a). In both groups of clauses the reference is indefinite; but with the subjunctive the instances must be thought of as future instances, and consequently the governing verb must not imply that they are past or imaginary.
It may happen that the condition is expressed by the subjunctive (because regarded as certain to be fulfilled), while the main action is uncertain, and therefore put in the optative.
Il. 14.126 τῷ οὐκ ἄν με γένος γε κακὸν καὶ ἀνάλκιδα φάντες
μῦθον ἀτιμήσαιτε πεφασμένον, ὅν κʼ ἐῢ εἴπω
Il. 20.250 ὁπποῖόν κʼ εἴπῃσθα ἔπος, τοῖόν κʼ ἐπακούσαις
So with εἰ, as Od. 2.218
εἰ μέν κεν ἀκούσω, ἦ τʼ ἂν τλαίην
Cp. 11.104, 110, 12.137. But the general rule is to let the subordinate clause follow the mood of the governing verb: hence the sο-called "attraction" of the optative.
306. Clauses with ὡς, ὅπως, ἴνα and the optative are either final or object clauses (not conditional in Homer, see the note at the end of this section).
- In final clauses the optative may be used either (a) to indicate that the consequence is not immediate or certain (the governing verb having a present or future meaning), or (b) because the governing verb is an optative or (c) a secondary tense. Thus we have the optative
a. After a present, etc. in the principal clause; especially when the clause bears a πegatiνe meaning (so that the occasion is necessarily imaginary).
Il. 1.343 οὐδέ τι οἶδε νοῆσαι ἅμα πρόσσω καὶ ὀπίσσω,
ὅππως οἱ παρὰ νηυσὶ σόοι μαχέοιντο Ἀχαιοί
(μαχέοιντο however is not a good Homeric form, and makes an intolerable hiatus: read probably μαχέονται, cp. § 326.3).
Od. 2. 52 οἱ πατρὸς μὲν ἐς οἶκον ἀπερρίγασι νέεσθαι
Ἰκαρίου, ὥς κʼ αὐτὸς ἐεδνώσαιτο θύγατρα
But also after an affirmative Clause
Od. 23.134 ἡγείσθω φιλοπαίγμονος ὀρχηθμοῖο,
ὥς κέν τις φαίη γάμον ἔμμεναι ἐκτὸς ἀκούων
= so that anyοne whο happens to hear may
Od. 12.156 ἀλλʼ ἐρέω μὲν ἐγὼν ἵνα εἰδότες ἤ κε θάνωμεν
ἤ κεν ἀλευάμενοι θάνατον καὶ κῆρα φύγοιμεν
(the optative οf the less emphatic alternative,
Od. 17.249 τόν ποτʼ ἐγὼν ἐπὶ νηὸς ἐϋσσέλμοιο μελαίνης
ἄξω τῆλʼ Ἰθάκης, ἵνα μοι βίοτον πολὺν ἄλφοι
(ποτέ indicates a distant occasion)
Od. 13.401 κνυζώσω δέ τοι ὄσσε πάρος περικαλλέʼ ἐόντε,
ὡς ἂν ἀεικέλιος πᾶσι μνηστῆρσι φανείης (sο 16.297)
Od. 24.532 ἴσχεσθε . . .
ὥς κεν . . . διακρινθεῖτε (read διακρινθῆτε?)
b. After an optative, either of wish or of expectation especially in the Odyssey, as
Od. 14.407 τάχιστά μοι ἔνδον ἑταῖροι
εἶεν, ἵνʼ ἐν κλισίῃ λαρὸν τετυκοίμεθα δόρπον
Od. 15.537 τῷ κε τάχα γνοίης . . .
ὡς ἄν τίς σε . . . μακαρίζοι
So Od. 18.369, 20.81: and à fortiοri after an implied prohibition.
Od. 3.346 Ζεὺς τό γʼ ἀλεξήσειε . . .
ὡς ὑμεῖς . . . κίοιτε
Zeus avert that you should gο, etc.
c. After a past tense—a use of which it is needless to give examples.
Regarding the use of κεν and ἄν, it is to be observed that
1. The optative with ἵνα and ὅπως is always pure.
2. The optative with ὡς takes κεν or ἄν in a few places where there is clear reference to a single occasion, as in Od. 2.52 (quoted above), Il. 19.331, Od. 17.362; and in the combinations ὡς ἄν τις (Od. 15.538), ὥς κέν τις (Od. 23.135).
- The corresponding object clause with ὡς and ὅπως is found (a) after verbs of trying, considering how, etc.
Il. 2.3 ἀλλʼ ὅ γε μερμήριζε κατὰ φρένα ὡς Ἀχιλῆα
τιμήσειʼ ὀλέσαι δὲ κτλ.
The reading τιμήσειʼ is supported by Ven. A, which has τιμήσηι (τιμήσει εὐκτικόν Schοl. A. B.): all other authorities have τιμήσῃ, and all have ὀλέσῃ.
Il. 9.181 πειρᾶν ὡς πεπίθοιεν
bade them try how to persuade
Il. 21.137 ὥρμηνεν δʼ ἀνὰ θυμὸν ὅπως παύσειε (so 24.680)
Od. 14.329 ὅππως νοστήσειʼ Ἰθάκης ἐς πίονα δῆμον
This reading is proved (against νοστήσῃ of the MSS.) by the parallel Od. 19.298
ὅππως νοστήσειε φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
Cp. also Od. 9.420, 11.479.
In one place ὡς with the optative follows a verb of saying, viz. in Od. 24.237
(μερμήριξε) εἰπεῖν ὡς ἔλθοι καὶ ἵκοιτʼ εἰς πατρίδα γαῖαν
to tell how he had come
This is the only Homeric instance of ὡς with the optative in oratio obliqua. The next is H. Ven. 215 εἶπεν δὲ ἕκαστα, ὡς ἔοι ἀθάνατος κτλ.
An example of ὅπως and the optative with iterative meaning (nearly = ὅτε, § 308.1.d) occurs in Hesiοd, Theοg. 156 καὶ τῶν μὲν ὅπως τις πρῶτα γένοιτο πάντας ἀποκρύπτασκε. This use is to be classed as conditional, like the corresponding uses of ὡς and ὅπως with the subjunctive, § 285.3.
307. Clauses with ἕως (ἢος) and ὄφρα. These also are final in character: i.e. the conjunction has the meaning till the time that, hence (commonly) in order that—nοt while, so lοng as. The notion of time is distinct in
Od. 12. 437 νωλεμέως ἐχόμην ὄφρʼ ἐξεμέσειεν ὀπίσσω
until it should vomit fοrth again (sο 12.428, 20.80).
Od. 23. 151 εἴρυσθαι μέγα δῶμα διαμπερὲς ἧος ἵκοιτο
till he should come (so 5.386, 9.376).
It is indistinct, or lost, in the ordinary use of ὄφρα
Il. 6.170 δεῖξαι δʼ ἠνώγει ᾧ πενθερῷ ὄφρʼ ἀπόλοιτο.
Od. 12.427 ἦλθε δʼ ἐπὶ Νότος ὦκα, φέρων ἐμῷ ἄλγεα θυμῷ,
ὄφρʼ ἔτι τὴν ὀλοὴν ἀναμετρήσαιμι Χάρυβδιν
to the end that I should measure again, etc.
and with ἕως in Od. 4.799
πέμπε δέ μιν . . ἧος Πηνελόπειαν παύσειε κλαυθμοῖο
and other places in the Odyssey (5.386, 6.80, 19.35).
The corresponding form of object clause with these conjunctions may be traced in one instance of each.
Il. 4.465 λελιημένος ὄφρα τάχιστα τεύχεα συλήσειε
Od. 19.367 ἀρώμενος ἧος ἵκοιο
Here, after a verb of wishing, the meaning until passes into the simple that.
With ἕως and ὄφρα the optative is nearly always pure, but we have ὄφρ’ ἄν in Od. 17.298 (until), 24.334; and ἕως κεν in
Od. 2.77 τόφρα γὰρ ἂν κατὰ ἄστυ ποτιπτυσσοίμεθα μύθῳ
χρήματʼ ἀπαιτίζοντες, ἕως κʼ ἀπὸ πάντα δοθείη
where there is a stress on the particular time contemplated. So
Il. 15.69 ἐκ τοῦ δʼ ἄν τοι ἔπειτα παλίωξιν παρὰ νηῶν
αἰὲν ἐγὼ τεύχοιμι διαμπερές, εἰς ὅ κʼ Ἀχαιοὶ
Ἴλιον αἰπὺ ἕλοιεν (the only instance with εἰς ὅ).
The similar uses of ἔστε, ἄχρι, μέχρι are post-Homeric.
The chief instance of ὄφρα with an optative following a future or subjunctive is Il. 7.339-40 πύλας ποιήσομεν . . . ὄφρα . . . ὁδὸς εἴη. But the example is open to doubt, partly because there may be a subjunctive εἴη (see § 80), partly because the line also occurs (7.349) where the governing verb is an imperfect, and it may have been wrongy inserted in v. 339. In other places—as Il. 7.72, Od. 5.378, 15.51, 22.444—where some editions have optative forms, the subjunctive is to be restored. It is true that the optative is found after the future with other conjunctions, to express remoteness or uncertainty; but a word which literally means till the time that could not naturally be used to express a remote end or consequence.
308. Causes with ὅτε, ὁπότε, etc. Most clauses of this kind are essentiall
- Cοnditiοnal. The verb of the principal clause may be
a. An optative of wish.
Il. 21.428 τοιοῦτοι νῦν πάντες, ὅσοι Τρώεσσιν ἀρωγοί,
εἶεν ὅτ Ἀργείοισι μακοίατο (cp. Il. 18.465, etc.).
b. An optative of expectation.
Od. 13.390 καί κε τριηκοσίοισιν ἐγὼν ἄνδρεσσι μαχοίμην
σὺν σοί, πότνα θεά, ὅτε μοι πρόφρασσʼ ἐπαρήγοις
Il. 14.247 Ζηνὸς δʼ οὐκ ἂν ἔγωγε Κρονίονος ἆσσον ἱκοίμην,
οὐδὲ κατευνήσαιμʼ ὅτε μὴ αὐτός γε κελεύοι
c. Α future, in one place
Il. 13.317 αἰπύ οἱ ἐσσεῖται . . . νῆας ἐνιπρῆσαι ὅτε μὴ αὐτός
γε Κρονίων ἐμβάλοι κτλ.
where the speaker does not wish to imply the fulfillment of the condition.
In Od. 24.343
ἔνθα δʼ ἀνὰ σταφυλαὶ παντοῖαι ἔασιν, ὁππότε δὴ Διὸς ὧραι ἐπιβρίσειαν
the present ἔασιv is open to suspicion, because all the rest of the description is in the past tense; with which the optative is in harmony.
In Il. 4.263
ἕστηχ’ ὥς περ ἐμοί, πιέειν ὅτε θυμὸς ἀνώγοι
the optative is read by most MSS. It may be regarded as an optative of the remoter event (§ 305.c), depending on πιέειν, which is an infinitive of purpose (Goodwin § 555). But La Rοche reads ἀνώγη.
d. Α past tense, generally of an event which happens repeatedly or habitually.
Il. 1.610 ἔνθα πάρος κοιμᾶθʼ ὅτε μιν γλυκὺς ὕπνος ἱκάνοι.
Il. 21.265 ὁσσάκι δʼ ὁρμήσειε κτλ.
as often as he started, etc.
Od. 8.87 ἦ τοι ὅτε λήξειεν . . . ἕλεσκεν (iterative)
So with ὅτε after πρίν, in Il. 9.486-88
οὐκ ἐθέλεσκες . . . πρίν γ’ ὅτε δὴ . . . ἄσαιμι
equals you would only . . . when, etc.; cp. § 297.
In these cases the optative after a past tense answers to the pure subjunctive after a present, § 289.2.a. In one place the optative with ὅτε represents the subjunctive with ὅτε κεν, viz. in Od. 20. 138
ἀλλʼ ὅτε δὴ κοίτοιο καὶ ὕπνου μιμνήσκοιτο, ἡ μὲν
δέμνιʼ ἄνωγεν ὑποστορέσαι δμωῇσι
bade them spread the couch against the time
when he should bethink him, etc.
In this group of uses the optative is pure, except in
Il. 9.524 οὕτω καὶ τῶν πρόσθεν ἐπευθόμεθα κλέα ἀνδρῶν
ἡρώων, ὅτε κέν τινʼ ἐπιζάφελος χόλος ἵκοι
where the κέν may be accounted for by the change from the plural to the singular: cp. § 283.b-c.
- After a past tense of a verb of waiting ὁπότε with the aorist optative forms a kind of object clause.
Il. 7.415 ποτιδέγμενοι ὁππότʼ ἄρʼ ἔλθοι
waiting for (the time) when he should come
So Il. 9.191, 18.524, and (after μένοντες) 4.334. Cp. § 289.1.
309. Clauses with ἐπεί. The few examples of this use shοw the same varieties as with ὅτε.
a. After another optative.
Il. 9.354 νῦν γάρ χʼ Ἕκτορ’ ἕλοις, ἐπεὶ ἂν μάλα τοι σχεδὸν
Il. 24.226 αὐτίκα γάρ με κατακτείνειεν Ἀχιλλεὺς
ἀγκὰς ἑλόντʼ ἐμὸν υἱόν, ἐπὴν γόου ἐξ ἔρον εἵην.
Od. 4.222 ὃς τὸ καταβρόξειεν, ἐπὴν κρητῆρι μιγείη, κτλ.
b. After a present, in the statement of a supposed consequence.
Od. 24.254 τοιούτῳ δὲ ἔοικας, ἐπεὶ λούσαιτο φάγοι τε, εὐδέμεναι
(such a one as would sleep after that, etc.)
c. After a past tense, in the iterative sense.
Il. 24.14 ἀλλʼ ὅ γʼ ἐπεὶ ζεύξειεν κτλ.
Od.2. 105 (= 19.150, 24.140) ἐπὴν δαΐδας παραθεῖτο (v.l. ἐπεί).
The use of ἄν is intelligible in the first of these passages (Il. 9.304), since it refers to an event in the immediate future; perhaps also in Il. 24.227, after an optative of concession. But as to the form ἐπήν see § 362.
310. πρίν. The peculiar way of expressing a condition by a negative fοllοwed by πρίν (§ 297) is transferred to the past, the subjunctive becoming an optative, in one passage.
Il. 21.580 οὐκ ἔθελεν φεύγειν πρὶν πειρήσαιτʼ Ἀχιλῆος