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2744. Summary of Constructions after Verbs of Hindering, etc.

After verbs signifying (or suggesting) to hinder and the like, the infinitive admits the article τό or τοῦ (the ablatival genitive, 1392). Hence we have a variety of constructions, which are here classed under formal types. The simple infinitive is more closely connected with the leading verb than the infinitive with τὸ μή or τὸ μὴ οὐ, which often denotes the result (cp. ὥστε μή) of the action of the leading verb and is either an accusative of respect or a simple object infinitive. The genitive of the infinitive is very rare with κωλύ_ω and its compounds.

a. Some scholars regard the infinitive with the negative as an internal accusative, not as a simple object infinitive; and the infinitive without the negative as an external accusative.

1. εἴργει με μὴ γράφειν (the usual construction: examples 2739).

2. εἴργει με γράφειν (less common). Since the redundant μή is not obligatory, we have the simple infinitive as object (1989), as εἰ τοῦτό τις εἴργει δρᾶν ὄκνος if some scruple prevents us from doing this P. Soph. 242a, δ̀ν θανε<*>ῖν ἐρρυ_σάμην whom I saved from death E. Alc. 11, ““οἱ θεῶν ἡμᾶς ὅρκοι κωλύ_ουσι πολεμίους εἶναι ἀλλήλοιςthe oaths sworn in the name of the gods prevent our being enemies to each otherX. A. 2.5.7, and so usually with κωλύ_ω (cp. 2744. 7).

3. εἴργει με τὸ μὴ γράφειν (rather common; cp. 1): εἶργον τὸ μὴ . . . κακουργεῖν they prevented them from doing damage T. 3.1, ““οἷοί τε ἦσαν κατέχειν τὸ μὴ δακρύ_εινthey were able to restrain their weepingP. Ph. 117c.

4. εἴργει με τὸ γράφειν (not uncommon; cp. 2): ““ἐπέσχον τὸ εὐθέως τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις ἐπιχειρεῖνthey refrained from immediately attacking the AtheniansT. 7.33, ““ἔστιν τις, ὅς σε κωλύ_σει τὸ δρᾶνthere is some one who will prevent thee from the deedS. Ph. 1241.

5. εἴργει με τοῦ μὴ γράφειν, with the ablatival genitive, 1392 (not so common as 3): πᾶς γὰρ ἀσκὸς δύο ἄνδρας ἕξει τοῦ μὴ καταδῦναι for each skin-bag will pre- vent two men from sinking X. A. 3.5.11. Other cases are: Hdt. 1.86, T. 1.76, X. C. 2.4.13, 2. 4. 23, 3. 3. 31, I. 7.17, 12. 80, 15. 122, P. L. 637c, 832 b, D. 23.149, 33. 25. Observe that this idiom does not have the logical meaning ‘from not,’ which we should expect. Some write τὸ μή or μή alone.

6. εἴργει με τοῦ γράφειν (not common, and very rare with κωλύ_ω, as X. A. 1.6.2): τοῦ δὲ δρα_πετεύειν δεσμοῖς ἀπείργουσι; do they prevent their slaves from running away by fetters? X. M. 2.1.16, ““ἐπέσχομεν τοῦ δακρύ_εινwe desisted from weepingP. Ph. 117e (cp. 3).

7. οὐκ εἴργει με γράφειν (not very common, but more often with οὐ κωλύ_ω; cp. 2): οὐδὲ διακωλύ_ουσι ποιεῖν ὧν ἂν ἐπιθυ_μῇς; nor will they prevent you from doing what you desire? P. Lys. 207e, τί κωλύ_ει ( = οὐδὲν κ.) καὶ τὰ ἄκρα ἡμῖν κελεύειν Κῦρον προκαταλαβεῖν; what hinders our ordering Cyrus to take also the heights in advance for us? X. A. 1.3.16, ““ταῦτά τινες οὐκ ἐξαρνοῦνται πρά_ττεινcertain people do not deny that they are doing these thingsAes. 3.250.

8. οὐκ εἴργει με μὴ οὐ γράφειν (the regular construction): οὐκ ἀμφισβητῶ μὴ οὐχὶ σὲ σοφώτερον ἐμέ I do not dispute that you are wiser than I P. Hipp. Minor 369 d, ““οὐδὲν ἐδύνατο ἀντέχειν μὴ οὐ χαρίζεσθαιhe was not able to resist granting the favourX. C. 1.4.2, τί ἐμποδὼν ( = οὐδὲν ἐμποδών) μὴ οὐχὶ . . . ὑβριζομένους ἀποθανεῖν; what hinders our being put to death ignominiously? X. A. 3.1.13, τί δῆτα μέλλεις μὴ οὐ γεγωνίσκειν τὸ πᾶν; why pray dost thou hesitate to declare the whole? A. Pr. 627.

9. οὐκ εἴργει με τὸ μὴ γράφειν (since occasionally the sympathetic οὐ is not added; cp. 3): καὶ φημὶ δρᾶσαι κοὐκ ἀπαρνοῦμαι τὸ μή (δρᾶσαι) I both assent that I did the deed and do not deny that I did it S. Ant. 443, τίς . . . σοῦ ἀπελείφθη τὸ μή σοι ἀκολουθεῖν; who failed to follow you? X. C. 5.1.25.

10. οὐκ εἴργει με τὸ μὴ οὐ γράφειν (very common; cp. 8): ““οὐκ ἐναντιώσομαι τὸ μὴ οὐ γεγωνεῖν πᾶνI will not refuse to declare allA. Pr. 786, ““τὸ μὲν οὖν μὴ οὐχὶ ἡδέα εἶναι τὰ ἡδέα λὁγος οὐδεὶς ἀμφισβητεῖno argument disputes that sweet things are sweetP. Phil. 13a.

Very unusual constructions are

11. οὐκ εἴργει τὸ γράφειν (““οὐκ ἂν ἀρνοίμην τὸ δρᾶνI will not refuse the deedS. Ph. 118).

12. οὐκ εἴργει μὴ γράφειν (οὔτ᾽ ἠμφεσβήτησε μὴ σχεῖν neither did he deny that he had the money D. 27.15).

13. οὐκ εἴργει τοῦ μὴ οὐ γράφειν (once only: E. Hipp. 48, where τὸ μὴ οὐ is read by some).

On the negative after ὥστε, see 2759.

II. μὴ οὐ with the Infinitive depending on Negatived Verbs

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
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