previous next


2955. οὖν (Ionic, Lesbic, Doric ὦν), a postpositive particle, is either confirmatory or inferential. οὖν points to something already mentioned or known or to the present situation.

2956. Confirmatory οὖν in fact, at all events, in truth belongs properly to the entire clause, but usually, for purposes of emphasis, attaches itself to some other particle, to a relative pronoun, or at times to other words (P. A. 22b). On γοῦν, see 2830; on μὲν οὖν, 2901; on τοιγαροῦν, 2987. In some of its combinations with other particles οὖν may be inferential or transitional.

2957. ἀλλ᾽ οὖν or ἀλλ᾽ οὖν . . . γε (stronger than δ᾽ οὖν) well, at all events; well, certainly, for that matter; as ἀλλ᾽ οὖν πονηροί γε φαινόμενοι well, at all events they look like sorry fellows, that they are X. C. 1.4.19, ἀλλ᾽ οὖν τοσοῦτόν γ᾽ ἴσθι well, at any rate you know this at least S. Ph. 1305. ἀλλ᾽ οὖν may stand in the apodosis to an hypothetical proposition (P. Ph. 91b).

2958. γὰρ οὖν (and καὶ γὰρ οὖν) for in fact (indeed, in any case; as ““εὖ γὰρ οὖν γέγειςfor indeed thou sayest wellS. Ant. 1255, ““ὀνήσεσθε ἀκούοντες: μέλλω γὰρ οὖν ἄττα ὑ_μῖν ἐρεῖν καὶ ἄλλαyou will profit by listening; for I am certainly going to tell you some other thingsP. A. 30c.

Also to mark a consequence (X. A. 1.9.11), and in replies, as οὐ γὰρ οὖν P. Phae. 277e, and also when the speaker repeats an important word of his interlocutor, as φημὶ γὰρ οὖν P. G. 466e.

2959. δ᾽ οὖν but certainly, at all events, anyhow, be that as it may with or without μέν in the preceding clause. Here οὖν shows that an unquestionable fact is to be set forth in its own clause; while the adversative δέ marks opposition to what has preceded and implies that the foregoing statement is uncertain and liable to dispute: ‘be that true or not, at any rate what follows is certainly true.’ δ᾽ οὖν is used (a) to set aside conjecture, surmise, or hearsay; (b) to resume the main argument after long digression, and to cut short further discussion and come to the point; (c), with imperatives, to denote assent marked by unwillingness, impatience, or indifference. Thus, (a) εἰ μὲν δὴ δίκαια ποιήσω, οὐκ οἶδα: αἱρήσομαι δ᾽ οὖν ὑ_μᾶς whether I shall do what is right (or not), I do not know; be that as it may, I will choose you X. A. 1.3.5, καὶ ἐλέγετο Κύ_ρω δοῦναι πολλὰ χρήματα. τῇ δ᾽ οὖν στρατιᾷ τότε ἀπέδωκε Κῦρος μισθὸν τεττάρων μηνῶν and she is said to have given Cyrus a large sum; at any rate Cyrus then gave the army four months' pay 1. 2. 12; (b) cp. T. 1.3, 6. 15, 8. 81. Resumptive δ᾽ οὖν may also set aside doubtful statements. (c) ““σὺ δ᾽ οὖν λέγε, εἴ σοι τῷ λόγῳ τις ἡδονήwell speak on then, if thou hast delight in speakingS. El. 891, ἔστω δ᾽ οὖν ὅπως ὑ_μῖν φίλον however, be it as you wish S. O. C. 1205.

ει᾽ δ᾽ οὖν = but if indeed, but if in point of fact; as εἰ δ᾽ οὖν τι κἀ_κτρέποιτο τοῦ πρόσθεν λόγου but if he should deviate at all from his former statement S. O. T. 851.

2960. δὴ οὖν certainly then; cp. οὖν δή. Thus, τί δὴ οὖν; or τί οὖν δή; well then pray? πῶς δὴ οὖν; how then pray? οὖν δῆτα really then.

2961. εἴτε οὖν, οὔτε οὖν: in alternative clauses οὖν (indeed) is added to one or both clauses as emphasis may be desired: εἴτε οὖν . . . εἴτε whether indeed . . . or, εἴτε . . . εἴτε οὖν whether . . . or indeed, or εἴτε οὖν . . . εἴτε οὖν whether indeed . . . or indeed. So also in exclusive clauses: οὔτε (μήτε) . . . οὔτε (μήτε) οὖν neither . . . nor yet, οὔτε (μήτε) οὖν . . . οὔτε (μήτε) neither indeed . . . nor.

2962. οὖν often follows interrogative pronouns and adverbs (in dialogue); as τίς οὖν; who pray? τί οὖν, generally with the aorist, in impatient questions asks why that which is desired has not been done (2197 c).

2963. οὖν affixed to a relative pronoun has a generalizing force and makes it indefinite (339 e). Such indefinite relative pronouns are construed like the indefinite τὶς or demonstratives; and do not introduce relative clauses (unlike whosoever, etc., which are both indefinite and relative).

So with adverbs (346 c), as ὁπωσοῦν in any way, no matter how (= utique not = utcunque). Thus, οὐδ᾽ ὁπωσοῦν not even in the slightest degree.

a. Simply placed after relatives οὖν has a strengthening force; as ὥσπερ οὖν as in fact (often in parentheses), οἷός περ οὖν just as in fact.

2964. Inferential οὖν therefore, accordingly (igitur, ergo), usually classed as a conjunction, signifies that something follows from what precedes. Inferential οὖν marks a transition to a new thought and continues a narrative (often after ἐπεί, ἐπειδή, ὅτε), resumes an interrupted narration (T. 3.42, X. C. 3.3.9), and in general states a conclusion or inference. It stands alone or in conjunction with other particles. Thus, ἀναρχίᾳ ἂν καὶ ἀταξίᾳ ἐνόμιζον ἡμᾶς ἀπολέσθαι. δεῖ οὖν πολὺ μὲν τοὺς ἄρχοντας ἐπιμελεστέρους γενέσθαι τοὺς νῦν τῶν πρόσθεν they were of the opinion that we would be overcome through our lack of leaders and discipline. It is imperative therefore that the leaders we have now should be much more watchful than those we had before X. A. 3.2.29.

a. The inferential and transitional use is derived from the confirmative meaning, and is scarcely marked until Herodotus and the Attic poets. Cp. μὲν οὖν. ἐπεὶ οὖν in Hom. is sometimes used in transitions.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: