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2221. Object clauses after verbs of fear and caution are introduced by μή that, lest (Lat. ne), μὴ οὐ that . . . not, lest . . . not (Lat. ut = ne non).

a. μή clauses denote a fear that something may or might happen; μὴ οὐ clauses denote a fear that something may not or might not happen. Observe that the verb is negatived by οὐ and not by μή, which expresses an apprehension that the result will take place. μή is sometimes, for convenience, translated by whether; but it is not an indirect interrogative in such cases.

2222. The construction of μή after verbs of fearing has been developed from an earlier coördinate construction in which μή was not a conjunction (that, lest) but a prohibitive particle. Thus, δείδω μή τι πάθῃσιν (Λ 470) I fear lest he may suffer aught was developed from I fear + may he not suffer aught (1802); φυλακὴ δέ τις . . . ἔστω, μὴ λόχος εἰσέλθῃσι πόλιν (Θ 521) but let there be a guard, lest an ambush enter the city, where the clause μὴεἰσέλθῃσι meant originally may an ambush not enter. Here μή expresses the desire to avert something (negative desire).

a. When μή had become a pure conjunction of subordination, it was used even with the indicative and with the optative with ἄν. Some scholars regard μή with the indicative as standing for ἆρα μή (hence an indirect interrogative). Observe that the character of μή after verbs of fearing is different from that in final clauses, though the construction is the same in both cases.

2223. For the use of the subjunctive, without a verb of fearing, with μή, see 1801, 1802; with μὴ οὐ see 1801, with οὐ μή see 1804.

2224. Verbs and expressions of fear are: φοβοῦμαι, δέδοικα or δέδια, ταρβῶ, τρῶ and πέφρι_κα (mostly poetical); δεινός εἰμι, δεινόν ἐστι, δέος ἐστί, φοβερός εἰμι, φοβερόν ἐστι, etc.

a. Sometimes it is not actual fear that is expressed but only apprehension, anxiety, suspicion, etc. These are the verbs and expressions of caution: ὀκνῶ, ἀθυ_μῶ, ἀπιστῶ, ἀπιστία_ν ἔχω (παρέχω), ὑποπτεύω, ἐνθυ_μοῦμαι, αἰσχύ_νομαι (rare), κίνδυ_νός ἐστι, προσδοκία_ ἐστί. Here belong also, by analogy, ὁρῶ, σκοπῶ, ἐννοῶ, εὐλαβοῦμαι, φροντίζω, φυλάττω (-ομαι), which admit also the construction of verbs of effort (2210 b).


2225. Object clauses after verbs of fear and caution take the subjunctive after primary tenses, the optative (or subjunctive, 2226) after secondary tenses.

φοβοῦμαι μὴ γένηται I fear it may happen.

φοβοῦμαι μὴ οὐ γένηται I fear it may not happen.

ἐφοβούμην μὴ γένξιτο (or γένηται) I feared it might happen.

ἐφοβούμην μὴ οὐ γένοιτο (regularly γένηται) I feared it might not happen.

““δέδοικα μὴ . . . ἐπιλαθώμεθα τῆς οἴκαδε ὁδοῦI am afraid lest we may forget the way homeX. A. 3.2.25, ““φοβεῖται μὴ . . . τὰ ἔσχατα πάθῃhe is afraid lest he suffer the severest punishmentX. C. 3.1.22, φροντίζω μὴ κράτιστον μοι σι_γᾶν I am thinking that it may prove (2228) best for me to be silent X. M. 4.2.39, ““ἔδεισαν οἱ Ελληνες μὴ προσάγοιεν πρὸς τὸ κέρας καὶ . . . αὐτοὺς κατακόψειανthe Greeks were seized with fear lest they might advance against their flank and cut them downX. A. 1.10.9, ““δέδιμεν μὴ οὐ βέβαιοι ἦτεwe fear you are not to be depended onT. 3.57, οὐ τοῦτο δέδοικα, μὴ οὐκ ἔχω τι δῶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν φίλων . . . ἀλλὰ μὴ οὐκ ἔχω ἱκανοὺς οἷς δῶ I am afraid not that I may not have enough (lit. anything) to give to each of my friends, but that I may not have enough friends on whom to bestow my gifts X. A. 1.7.7.

a. The aorist is very common after μή. After secondary tenses Hom. usually has the optative.

b. μὴ οὐ with the optative is rare and suspicious (X. A. 3.5.3).

2226. After secondary tenses, the subjunctive presents the fear vividly, i.e. as it was conceived by the subject. Cp. 2197.

ἐφοβοῦντο μή τι πάθῃ they feared lest she might (may) meet with some accident X. S. 2. 11, ἐφοβήθησαν μὴ καὶ ἐπὶ σφῖς στρατὸς χωρήσῃ they became fearful that the army might (may) advance against themselves too T. 2.101. So when the fear extends up to the present time: ““ἐφοβήθην . . . καὶ νῦν τεθορύβημαι μή τινες ὑ_μῶν ἀγνοήσωσί μεI was struck with fear and even now I am in a state of agitation lest some of you may disregard meAes. 2.4. The vivid use of subjunctive is common in the historians, especially Thucydides.

2227. The optative after a primary tense is rare and suspected (I 245, Hdt. 7.103, S. Aj. 279).

2228. The subjunctive and optative after μή (or ὅπως μή) may denote what may prove to be an object of fear (future ascertainment).

““δέδοικα μὴ ἄριστον I am afraid lest it prove to be bestS. Ant. 1114, ἔδεισαν μὴ λύττα τις . . . ἡμῖν ἐμπεπτώκοι they feared lest some madness might prove to have fallen upon us X. A. 5.7.26. The aorist subjunctive refers to the past in δείδοικα . . . μή σε παρείπῃ I fear it may prove that she beguiled thee A 555; cp. K 99, ν 216, ω 491 (after ὁρῶ).

2229. The future is rare with verbs of fearing after μή.

φοβοῦμαι δὲ μή τινας ἡδονὰ_ς ἡδοναῖς εὑρήσομεν ἐναντία_ς and I apprehend that we shall find some pleasures opposite to other pleasures P. Phil. 13a. So with verbs of caution: ““ὅρα_ μὴ πολλῶν ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν χειρῶν δεήσειsee to it lest each one of us may have need of many handsX. C. 4.1.18.

a. The future optative seems not to occur except in X. H. 6.4.27, X. M. 1.2.7, P. Euth. 15d.

2230. ὅπως μή with the subjunctive or optative is sometimes used instead of μή after verbs of fear and caution to imply fear that something will happen.

οὐ φοβεῖ . . . ὅπως μὴ ἀνόσιον πρᾶγμα τυγχάνῃς πρά_ττων; are you not afraid that you may chance to be doing an unholy deed? P. Euth. 4e, ἡδέως γ᾽ ἄν (θρέψαιμι τὸν ἄνδρα), ““εἰ μὴ φοβοίμην ὅπως μὴ ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν με τράποιτοI should gladly keep the man if I did not fear lest he might turn against meX. M. 2.9.3; see also 2220 b.

2231. ὅπως μή with the future indicative (as after verbs of effort) is sometimes used instead of μή with the subjunctive.

δέδοικα ὅπως μὴ . . . ἀνάγκη γενήσεται (v. l. γένηται) I fear lest a necessity may arise D. 9.75. The future optative occurs once (I. 17.22). On μή or ὅπως μή with verbs of caution, see 2220 a.

2232. The potential optative with ἄν is rarely used after μή.

δεδιότες μὴ καταλυθείη ἂν (Mss. καταλυθείησαν) ““ δῆμοςfearful lest the people should be put downL. 13.51. The potential use is most evident when an optative occurs in the protasis: εἰ δέ τινες φοβοῦνται μὴ ματαία_ ἂν γένοιτο αὕτη κατασκευή, εἰ πόλεμος ἐγερθείη, ἐννοησάτω ὅτι κτλ. if some are afraid that this condition of things may prove vain, if war should arise, let them (him) consider that, etc. X. Vect. 4.41.


2233. Fear that something actually is or was is expressed by μή with the indicative (negative μὴ οὐ).

““δέδοικα . . . μὴ πληγῶν δέειI fear that you need a beatingAr. Nub. 493, ““ἀλλ᾽ ὅρα_ μὴ παίζων ἔλεγενbut have a care that he was not speaking in jestP. Th. 145b, ““φοβούμεθα μὴ ἀμφοτέρων ἅμα ἡμαρτήκαμενwe are afraid that we have failed of both objects at onceT. 3.53, ““ὁρᾶτε μὴ οὐκ ἐμοὶ . . . προσήκει λόγον δοῦναιhave a care lest it does not rest with me to give an accountAnd. 1.103.

a. Contrast φοβοῦμαι μὴ ἀληθές ἐστιν I fear that it is true with φοβοῦμαι μὴ ἀληθὲς I fear it may prove true (2228).

b. The aorist occurs in Homer: ““δείδω μὴ δὴ πάντα θεὰ_ νημερτέα εἶπενI fear that all the goddess said was trueε 300.


2234. In Indirect Questions.—Here the ideas of fear and doubt are joined. Thus, φόβος εἰ πείσω δέσποιναν ἐμήν (direct πείσω; 1916) I have my doubts whether I shall (can) persuade my mistress E. Med. 184, τὴν θεὸν δ᾽ ὅπως λάθω δέδοικα (direct πῶς λάθω; 1805) I am fearful how I shall escape the notice of the goddess E. I. T. 995, ““δέδοικα τι ἀποκρινοῦμαιI am afraid what to answerP. Th. 195c.

2235. In Indirect Discourse with ὡς (rarely ὅπως) that.—Verbs of fearing may have the construction of verbs of thinking and be followed by a dependent statement. This occurs regularly only when the expression of fear is negatived. Thus, ““ἀνδρὸς δὲ τῇ θυγατρὶ μὴ φοβοῦ ὡς ἀπορήσειςdo not fear that you will be at a loss for a husband for your daughterX. C. 5.2.12. Here μή or ὅπως μή would be regular. With ὡς the idea is fear, thinking that.

2236. With ὅτι (ὡς) Causal.—““ἐφοβεῖτο ὅτι ἀπὸ Διὸς . . . τὸ ὄναρ ἐδόκει αὐτῷ εἶναιhe was afraid because the dream seemed to him to be from ZeusX. A. 3.1.12.

2237. With a Causal Participle.—οὔτε τὴν ἀκρόπολιν . . . προδιδοὺς ἐφοβήθη nor was he terrified at having betrayed the Acropolis Lyc. 17.

2238. With the Infinitive.—Verbs of fearing often take an object infinitive (present, future or aorist) with or without the article; and with or without μή (2741). Thus, ““φοβήσεται ἀδικεῖνhe will be afraid to injureX. C. 8.7.15, ““οὐ φοβούμεθα ἐλασσώσεσθαιwe are not afraid that we shall be beatenT. 5.105 (the future infinitive is less common than μή with the subjunctive), φυλαττόμενος τὸ λυ_πῆσαί τινα ( = μὴ λυ_πήσω) taking care to offend no one D. 18.258, ἐφυλάξατο μὴ ἄπιστος γενέσθαι he took precautions not to become an object of distrust X. Ag. 8. 5.

a. With the articular infinitive, φοβοῦμαι, etc. means simply I fear; with the infinitive without the article, φοβοῦμαι commonly has the force of hesitate, feel repugnance, etc. Cp. φοβοῦμαι ἀδικεῖν and φοβοῦμαι μὴ ἀδικεῖν; I fear to do wrong (and do not do it); φοβοῦμαι τὸ ἀδικεῖν I fear wrong-doing (in general, by myself or by another), like φοβοῦμαι τὴν ἀδικία_ν.

2239. With ὥστε of Result (after a verb of caution).—ἢν οὖν ἔλθωμεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς πρὶν φυλάξασθαι ὥστε μὴ ληφθῆναι if then we move against them before they take precautions (so as) not to be caught X. A. 7.3.35.

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