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643. When a clause with πρίν, until, referring to the future, depends on a negative clause containing an optative in protasis or apodosis, in a wish, or in a final clause, it may have the optative (without ἄν) by assimilation, like a conditional relative clause (613, 4), or it may take the infinitive. These cases of the optative occur:—

Οὐ γὰρ ἂν εἰδείης ἀνδρὸς νόον οὐδὲ γυναικὸς, πρὶν πειρηθείης, “for you cannot know the mind of a man or a woman until you have tested it.” THEOG. 125 (the earliest example). “Οὔποτ᾽ ἔγωγ᾽ ἂν, πρὶν ἴδοιμ᾽ ὀρθὸν ἔπος, μεμφομένων ἂν καταφαίην,” “never would I assent when men blame him, until I should see the word proved true.” SOPH. O.T. 505. Μὴ σταίη πολύκωπον ὄχημα ναὸς αὐτῷ, πρὶν τάνδε πρὸς πόλιν ἀνύσειε, “may his ship of many oars not stop until it makes its way to this city.” Id. Tr. 655; so Phil. 961 (both after optative of wish). Παρανῖσχον φρυκτοὺς, ὅπως μὴ βοηθοῖεν πρὶν σφῶν οἱ ἄνδρες οἱ ἐξιόντες διαφύγοιεν, they raised signal torches, that the enemy might not come to the rescue until their own men who had gone forth had escaped. THUC. iii. 22. Νομίσαντες οὐκ ἂν ἔτι τὸν Βρασίδαν σφῶν προσαποστῆσαι οὐδὲν πρὶν παρασκευάσαιντο, “thinking that B. would not cause any further secessions of their allies until they had made preparations.” Id. iv. 117.So XEN. Hell. ii. 3, 48 (two examples). Οὐκ ἂν πρότερον ὁρμήσειε, πρίν τῃ βεβαίωσαιτο τὴν σκέψιν τῆς πορείας. Leg. 799 δ. Εἰ ἕλκοι τις αὐτὸν, καὶ μὴ ἀνείη πρὶν ἐξελκύσειεν εἰς τὸ τοῦ ἡλίου φῶς, if one should drag him, and not let him go until he had dragged him out into the sunlight. Rep. 515E.

These are all the cases of this use of the optative with πρίν cited by Sturm. In many cases where the optative could have been used, the infinitive appears (see 629).

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