previous next

627.After Homer.) The lyric poets, Herodotus, and the Attic writers use the infinitive after πρίν chiefly when the leading sentence is affirmative. But the infinitive is always required when πρίν means simply before, not until. E.g.

Πρὶν ἐκτελέσαι κατέβη δόμον Ἄιδος. THEOG. 917. Ἵσταμαι ἀμπνέων πρίν τι φάμεν, “I stand taking breath before I speak.” Nem. viii. 19; so Py. ix. 113. Πρὶν ὦν παρεῖναι ἐκεῖνον ἐς τὴν Ἀττικὴν, ὑμέας καιρός ἐστι προβοηθῆσαι ἐς τὴν Βοιωτίαν, before he comes into Attica, etc. HDT. viii. 144.Πρὶν νῦν τὰ πλείον᾽ ἱστορεῖν, ἐκ τῆσδ᾽ ἕδρας ἔξελθ᾽,” “before seeking further, etc.” SOPH. O.C. 36 . Ἀποπέμπουσιν οὖν αὐτὸν πρὶν ἀκοῦσαι. THUC. ii. 12.So ii. 13, πρὶν ἐσβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν Ἀττικήν. Ἀφίεσαν τὰ βέλη πολὺ πρὶν ἐξικνεῖσθαι. XEN. Cyr. iii. 3, 60. Ἡμεῖς τοίνυν Μεσσήνην εἵλομεν πρὶν Πέρσας λαβεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ κρατῆσαι τῆς ἠπείρου, καὶ πρὶν οἰκισθῆναί τινας τῶν πόλεων τῶν Ἑλληνίδων. ISOC. vi. 26. Καὶ πρὶν ἓξ μῆνας γεγονέναι, ἀπέδωκε. PLAT. Prot. 320A. Ἀπωλόμεσθ᾽ ἄῤ, εἰ κακὸν προσοίσομεν νέον παλαιῷ, πρὶν τόδ᾽ ἐξηντληκέναι, we are ruined, then, if we shall add a new calamity to the former one, before we shall have exhausted this (109). EUR. Med. 78.

In the following cases the infinitive is necessary, even after negatives. Πρὶν ὡς Ἄφοβον ἐλθεῖν μίαν ἡμέραν οὐκ ἐχήρευσεν, she was not a widow a single day before she went to Aphobus (where until would be absurd). XXX. DEM. 33. Οὐδὲ γὰρ πρὶν ἡττηθῆναι τὴν δίκην εἶχεν ὧν δικαζόμεθα, i.e. he did not have it even before he lost the suit (much less afterwards). ISAE. v. 21.So AR. Av. 964; THUC. i. 39, THUC. 68.See also ISOC. v. 70, ὅταν δεδίωσι μὴ πρότερόν τι πάθῃς πρὶν τέλος ἐπιθεῖναι τοῖς πραττομένοις, when they fear lest you may meet with some disaster before you finish what you are doing (not until you finish). Indeed, μή after a verb of fearing does not make a negative sentence so far as the sense is concerned, what affects the dependent clause being the positive idea in πάθῃς: see SOPH. Tr. 632.

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: