previous next

227. Ἄν is sometimes used elliptically without a verb, when one can be supplied from the context. E.g. “Οἱ οἰκέται ῥέγκουσιν: ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἂν πρὸ τοῦ(sc. ἔρρεγκον), “the slaves are snoring; but they wouldn't have been doing so at this hour in old times.” AR. Nub. 5.Ὡς οὔτ᾽ ἂν ἀστῶν τῶνδ᾽ ἂν ἐξείποιμί τῳ, οὔτ᾽ ἂν τέκνοισι τοῖς ἐμοῖς ῾σξ. ἐξείποιμι, στέργων ὅμωςSOPH. O.C. 1528. Τί ἂν δοκεῖ σοι Πρίαμος (sc. πρᾶξαι), εἰ τάδ᾽ ἤνυσεν; “ but what think you Priam would have done if he had accomplished what you have?” AESCH. Ag. 935. Σώφρων μὲν οὐκ ἂν μᾶλλον, εὐτυχὴς δ᾽ ἴσως (sc. οὖσα). EUR. Alc. 182: cf. AR. Eq. 1252. (See 483.)

So πῶς γὰρ ἄν (sc. εἴη; how could it? πῶς οὐκ ἄν; and similar phrases; especially ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ (also written as one word, ὡσπερανεί), in which the ἄν belongs to the verb that was originally understood after εἰ; as φοβούμενος ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ παῖς, fearing like a child (originally for φοβούμενος ὥσπερ ἂν ἐφοβεῖτο εἰ παῖς ἦν). PLAT. Gorg. 479A. See DEM. xviii. 194: τί χρὴ ποιεῖν; ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις ναύκληρον πάντ᾽ ἐπὶ σωτηρία πράξαντα . . . τῆς ναυαγίας αἰτιῷτο, what are we to do? (We are to do) just what a shipowner would do (ποιοῖ ἄν) if any one should blame him for the wreck of his ship, etc. See φήσειεν ἄν, which explains the omitted verb, just afterwards.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

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