Relatival Adverbs

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284. The most important are

  • the adverbs of manner, ὡς and ὅπως
  • ἵνα, originally an adverb of place (= where) and
  • the adverbs of time, ὄφρα, ἕως (ἧος), εἰς ὅ, ὅτε and ὁπότε, εὖτε, ἦμος.

It will be best to take these words separately.

285. ὡς, ὅπως

  1. Final clauses with ὡς or ὅπως and the subjunctive generally depend upon an imperative, or some equivalent phrase, i.e. they express the aim or purpose of something which the speaker himself does, or wills to be done.

    Il. 1.32 ἀλλʼ ἴθι μή μʼ ἐρέθιζε, σαώτερος ὥς κε νέηαι

    Il. 7.293           ἀγαθὸν καὶ νυκτὶ πιθέσθαι,
                 ὡς σύ τʼ ἐϋφρήνῃς πάντας κτλ.

    The only instance in which the purpose expressed is not the speaker's own is

    Od. 14.180           τὸν δὲ μνηστῆρες ἀγαυοὶ
                      οἴκαδʼ ἰόντα λοχῶσιν, ὅπως ἀπὸ φῦλον ὄληται

  2. With verbs that by their own meaning imply aim or purpose a clause of this kind becomes an object clause.

    Il. 4.66 πειρᾶν δʼ ὥς κε Τρῶες . . .
                ἄρξωσι κτλ.
                (sο Od. 2.316)

    Il. 9.112 φραζώμεσθʼ ὥς κέν μιν ἀρεσσάμενοι πεπίθωμεν

    Od. 1.76           ἡμεῖς δʼ οἵδε περιφραζώμεθα πάντες
                  νόστον, ὅπως ἔλθῃσι
                  (how he is to come)

    Od. 3.19 λίσσεσθαι δέ μιν αὐτὸς ὅπως νημερτέα εἴπῃ
                  entreat him sο that he shall speak (i.e. tο speak)

    Here the clause expresses the thing to be tried, thought about, etc., rather than a consequence of such action. The purpose is sometimes that of some other person.

    Od. 1.205 φράσσεται ὥς κε νέηται
                     he will devise how he is to return
                     (cp. 2.368, 14.329)

    Il. 1.558 τῇ σʼ ὀΐω κατανεῦσαι ἐτήτυμον ὡς Ἀχιλῆα
                  τιμήσῃς, όλέσῃς δὲ κτλ.
                 (has nodded tο the effect, etc.)

    Regarding κεν and ἄν observe that in final and object clauses after ὡς the subjunctive with κεν is the commonest, occurring 32 times, while the subjunctive with ἄν and the pure subjunctive occur each 8 times. After ὅπως, which has a more indefinite meaning (in some such manner that), the pure subjunctive occurs 7 times, the subjunctive with κεν twice (Od. 1.296, 4.545, both object clauses).

  3. In conditional or limiting clauses.

    a. After a present the subjunctive is pure in the phrase ὅπως ἐθέλησι as he pleases (Od. 1.349, 6.189). In Il. 16.83

    πείθεο δʼ ὥς τοι ἐγὼ μύθου τέλος ἐν φρεσὶ θείω

    the pure subjunctive indicates that θείω is really an unconditional expression of will: "listen to me—I will tell you"; cp. the independent sentences such as Il. 6.340 ἐπίμεινον, ἀρήϊα τεύχεα δύω (§ 275.a).

    The use of ὡς and ὥς τε in similes belongs to this head.

    Il. 5.161 ὡς δὲ λέων ἐν βουσὶ θορὼν ἐξ αὐχένα ἄξῃ κτλ.

    Il. 11.67 οἱ δʼ ὥς τʼ ἀμητῆρες ἐναντίοι ἀλλήλοισιν
                  ὄγμον ἐλαύνωσιν κτλ.

    In this use, as in the corresponding use of the relative (§ 283), the subjunctive is pure, the case supposed being not a particular one actually expected, but a typical or recurring one.

    Delbrück (Synt. Forsch. I. p. 161) makes the curious observation that if the simile begins (as in the second instance quoted) with a demonstrative denoting the subject of the comparison, then the adverb used is always ὥς τε. This rule appears to be without exception.

    b. The subjunctive with ἄν occurs in the formula ὡς ἂν ἐγὼν εἴπω πειθώμεθα, which refers to a speech about to follow.

    The use of κεν in

    Il. 20.242 Ζεὺς δʼ ἀρετὴν ἄνδρεσσιν ὀφέλλει τε μινύθει τε
                   ὅππως κεν ἐθέλῃσιν

    is perhaps due to the contrast between opposite cases: so with ὅτε, § 289.2.b.

286. ἶνα is used in final clauses only. With a subjunctive it usually expresses the speakerʼs own purpose; even in

Od. 2.306 ταῦτα δέ τοι μάλα πάντα τελευτήσουσιν Ἀχαιοί,
                 νῆα καὶ ἐξαίτους ἐρέτας, ἵνα θᾶσσον ἵκηαι

the meaning is "I undertake that the Achaeans will do this for you." Exceptions (out of about 80 instances) are

Il. 1.203 ἦ ἵνα ὕβριν ἴδῃ
              is it that you may see, etc.

Il. 9.99, 12.435, 24.43; Od. 8.580, 10.24, 13.327.

An object clause with ἵνα is perhaps to be recognized in

Od. 3.327 λίσσεσθαι δέ μιν αὐτὸς ἵνα νημερτὲς ἐνίσπῃ

if the reading is right. The line may be an incorrect repetition of 3.19.

The pure subjunctive only is used with ἵνα, except in

Od. 12.156           ἵνα εἰδότες ἤ κε θάνωμεν
                   ἤ κεν ἀλευάμενοι θάνατον καὶ κῆρα φύγοιμεν

where two alternatives are given by the correlative ἤ κεν . . . ἤ κεν; cp. § 275.b. But some MSS. have ἠὲ θάνωμεν.

As Mr. Gildersleeve points out (Am. Jour. of Phil. iv. 425) ἵνα is the only purely final particle, i.e. the only one which does not limit the purpοse by the notion of time (ὄφρα, ἕως) or manner (ὡς, ὅπως), Hence clauses with ἵvα do not take κεv or ἄν, because the purpose as such is unconditional.

287. ὄφρα is sometimes final, sometimes conditional.

  1. In final clauses ὄφρα either retains a distinctly temporal force—meaning so long till, till the time when—or passes into the general meaning to the end that. Thus we have

    a. ὄφρα = until (as shall be), used with κεν or ἄν.

    Il. 1.509 τόφρα δʼ ἐπὶ Τρώεσσι τίθει κράτος, ὄφρʼ ἂν Ἀχαιοὶ
                  υἱὸν ἐμὸν τίσωσιν, ὀφέλλωσιν τέ ἑ τιμῇ

    Il. 22.192 ἀνιχνεύων θέει ἔμπεδον, ὄφρα κεν εὕρῃ

    With this meaning the pure subjunctive is found in

    Il. 1.82 ἔχει κότον ὄφρα τελέσσῃ
                he keeps his anger until he accomplishes it

    a general reflection; also in Il. 12.281 (in a simile).

    b. ὅφρα = to the end that, used with the pure subjunctive, rarely with κεν or ἄν. The transition to this meaning may be seen in

    Il. 6.258 ἀλλὰ μέν, ὄφρα κέ τοι μελιηδέα οἶνον ἐνείκω
                  stay till I bring (= giving me time to bring).

  2. Clauses with ὄφρα may be classed as conditional when it means so long as.

    Il. 4.345 ἔνθα φίλʼ ὀπταλέα κρέα ἔδμεναι . . .
                  ὄφρʼ ἐθέλητον

    Od. 2.123 τόφρα γὰρ οὖν βίοτόν τε τεὸν καί κτήματʼ ἔδονται,
                    ὄφρα κε κείνη τοῦτον ἔχῃ νόον

    The use of κεν or ἄν in these clauses is governed by the same rule as with ὅς: it is used when the reference is to the future, and is not expressly meant to be general (as Il. 23.47 ὄφρα ζωοῖσι μετείω). As to the form ὄφρʼ ἂν μέν κεν, see § 363-364.

    In Il. 6.112

    ἀνέρες ἔστε, φίλοι, μνήσασθε δὲ θούριδος ἀλκῆς,
    ὄφρʼ ἂν ἐγὼ βήω (cp. 8.375, 17.186; Od. 13.412, 19.17)

    the clause seems to mean until I go, i.e. long enough for me tο go. Delbrück however counts the uses of ὄφρα in Il. 6.112, etc., as conditiοnal (Synt. Forsch. i. p. 170).

288. ἕως (ἧος) and εἰς ὅ, used with the subjunctive always take κεν. The meaning until, with implied purpose, is the usual one.

Il. 3.290 αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ καὶ ἔπειτα μαχήσομαι εἵνεκα κούρης
              αὖθι μένων, ἧός κε τέλος πολέμοιο κιχείω

Il. 9.48 νῶϊ δʼ ἐγὼ Σθένελός τε μαχησόμεθʼ εἰς ὅ κε τέκμωρ
            Ἰλίου εὕρωμεν

The conditional meaning is only found in the recurring expression εἰς ὅ κʼ ἀϋτμὴ ἐν στήθεσσι μένῃ καί μοι φίλα γούνατʼ ὀρώρῃ (Il 9.609, 10.89) = so long as I have life.

289. ὅτε, ὁπότε

  1. Clauses with ὅτε and ὁπότε may be counted as final in a few instances in which the governing clause contains an expression of time.

    a. With the pure subjunctive.

    Il. 21.111 ἔσσεται ἢ ἡὡς ἢ δείλη ἢ μέσον ἦμαρ,
                    ὁππότε τις καὶ ἐμεῖο Ἄρει ἐκ θυμὸν ἕληται


    Il. 19.336           ἐμὴν ποτιδέγμενον αἰεὶ
                   λυγρὴν ἀγγελίην, ὅτʼ ἀποφθιμένοιο πύθηται
                   waiting for the message when he shall hear, etc.

    i.e. "waiting for the time when the news shall come that, etc." Here the clause with ὅτε becomes a kind of object clause.

    b. With κεν or ἄν.

    Il. 4.164 ἔσσεται ἦμαρ ὅτʼ ἄν ποτʼ ὀλώλῃ κτλ. (6.448)

    The use of ἄν gives definiteness to the expectation, as though a particular time were contemplated. Cp. also

    Il. 6.454 ὅσσον σεῦ (μέλει), ὅτε κέν τις . . .
                  δακρυόεσσαν ἄγηται
                  as I am cοncerned fοr you (in respect of the time) when, etc.

    Il 8.373 ἔσται μὰν ὅτʼ ἂν κτλ.

    It is obvious that in these places the clause is not strictly final, since the subjunctive expresses emphatic prediction (§ 275.b) rather than purpose. But they have the essential characteristic of final clauses: that the time of the clause is fixed by that of the governing verb.

  2. Clauses with ὅτε or ὁπότε which define the time of the principal clause may be regarded as conditional. In regard to the use of κεν and ἄν they follow the rules which hold in the case of cοnditiοnal relative clauses (§ 283).

    a. The pure subjunctive indicates that the speaker is supposing a case which may occur repeatedly, or at anγ time.

    Od. 7.71           οἵ μίν ῥα θεὸν ὣς εἰσορόωντες
                  δειδέχαται μύθοισιν, ὅτε στείχῃσʼ ἀνὰ ἄστυ
                  who lοοk on him as a god, and salute him when he walks, etc.

    Il. 1.163 οὐ μὲν σοί ποτε ἶσον ἔχω γέρας, ὁππότʼ Ἀχαιοὶ
                  Τρώων ἐκπέρσωσʼ εὖ ναιόμενον πτολίεθρον
                  whenever the Greeks sack a Trojan town

    So in maxims, etc.

    Il. 1.80 κρείσσων γὰρ βασιλεὺς ὅτε χώσεται ἀνδρὶ χέρηϊ

    Il. 15.207 ἐσθλὸν καὶ τὸ τέτυκται ὅτʼ ἄγγελος αἴσιμα εἰδῇ

    And in similes, as Il. 2.395 ὅτε κινήσῃ Νότος ἐλθών. So with the regular ὡς ὅτε as when, ὡς ὁπότε as in any case when.

    In a few instances ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἄν is found instead of ὡς δʼ ὅτε.

    Il. 15.170 ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἂν ἐκ νεφέων πτῆται κτλ.

    Il. 19.375 ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἂν ἐκ πόντοιο σέλας ναύτῃσι φανήῃ

    Od. 5.394 ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἂν ἀσπάσιος βίοτος παίδεσσι φανήῃ

    Od. 23.233 ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἂν ἀσπάσιος γῆ νηχομένοισι φανήῃ

    Il. 11.269 ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἂν ὠδίνουσαν ἔχῃ βέλος ὀξὺ γυναῖκα

    Il. 17.520 ὡς δʼ ὅτʼ ἂν ὀξὺν ἔχον πέλεκυν κτλ.

    Also Il. 10.5, 24.480; Od. 22.468. The resemblance that runs through these instances would seem to indicate some common source of peculiar ἄν.

    In the one or two places where the pure subjunctive occurs after a future there is an evident intention to speak quite generally, as

    Il. 21.322           οὐδέ τί μιν χρεὼ
                    ἔσται τυμβοχόης ὅτε μιν θάπτωσιν Ἀχαιοί

    so Od. 16.268, 23.257. But κεν is used in the similar passage Il. 10.129-30 οὔ τις νεμεσήσεται . . . ὅτε κέν τινʼ ἐποτρύνῃ.

    b. κεν or ἄν connects a supposition with a particular event or state of things; hence it is usually found after a future, subjunctive, or imperative.

    Il. 4.53 τὰς διαπέρσαι ὅτʼ ἄν τοι ἀπέχθωνται

    Od. 1.40 ἐκ γὰρ Ὀρέσταο τίσις ἔσσεται Ἀτρεΐδαο
                  ὁππότʼ ἂν ἡβήσῃ τε καὶ ἧς ἱμείρεται αἴης.

    Il. 20.130 δείσετʼ ἔπειθʼ, ὅτε κέν τις κτλ.

    Od. 2.357 ἑσπέριος γὰρ ἐγὼν αἱρήσομαι ὁππότε κεν δὴ κτλ.

    So after μοῖρα (Od. 4.475), followed by an infinitive.

    In other places it is not so clear why an event is treated as particular. Perhaps κεν or ἄν may be used with ὅτε, ὁπότε

    (1) When a contrast is made between supposed cases.

    Il. 6.224 τῷ νῦν σοὶ μὲν ἐγὼ ξεῖνος φίλος Ἀργεϊ μέσσῳ
                  εἰμί, σὺ δʼ ἐν Λυκίῃ, ὅτε κεν τῶν δῆμον ἵκωμαι

    Il. 20.166           πρῶτον μὲν . . .
                    ἀλλʼ ὅτε κέν τις κτλ.

    Od. 20.83 ἀλλὰ τὸ μὲν καὶ ἀνεκτὸν ἔχει κακόν, ὁππότε κέν τις κτλ.

    Od. 11.17 οὔθʼ ὁπότʼ ἂν στείχῃσι . . .
                    οὔθʼ ὅτ ἂν ἂψ κτλ.
                    (Here we should read ὁπότε στείχῃσι, § 363-364).

    So perhaps

    Il. 2.397 παντοίων ἀνέμων, ὅτʼ ἂν ἔνθʼ ἢ ἔνθα γένωνται

    Il 9.101 κρηῆναι δὲ καὶ ἄλλῳ, ὅτʼ ἄν τινα κτλ.

    Od. 13.100           ἔντοσθεν δέ τʼ ἄνευ δεσμοῖο μένουσι
                       νῆες ἐΰσσελμοι, ὅτʼ ἂν ὅρμου μέτρον ἵκωνται
                       (in contrast to those outside)

    But cp. the remark as to ὅτ ἄν in the last note.

    (2) When there is a change from plural to singular.

    Il. 9.501 λισσόμενοι, ὅτε κέν τις ὑπερβήῃ καὶ ἁμάρτῃ

    Od. 11.218 ἀλλʼ αὕτη δίκη ἐστὶ βροτῶν, ὅτε τίς κε θάνῃσι

    This last instance is doubtful, since the order ὅτε τίς κε is not Homeric (§ 365). We should probably read ὅτε τίς τε.

290. εὖτε, ἦμος. The word εὖτε is only once found with a pure subjunctive, viz. Od.7.202 (in a general assertion): εὖτʼ ἄν occurs after a future (Il. 1.242, 19.158), and an imperative (Il. 2.34): also in one or two places where the use of ἄν is more difficult to explain, viz. Il. 2.227 (read εὖτε πτολίεθρον ἕλωμεν), Od. 1.192, 17.320, 323, 18.194. The combination εὖτε κέν is not found.

The pure subjunctive with ἦμος occurs in one place

Od. 4.400 ἦμος δʼ ἠέλιος μέσον οὐρανὸν ἀμφιβεβήκῃ

where the reference is general, "each midday."

Suggested Citation

D.B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7.