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644. The optative with πρίν is more frequent in indirect discourse after a negative verb of past time, representing a subjunctive of the direct form, which is often retained. (See the corresponding use of ἕως, 614.) E.g. Οὐκ ἔθελεν φεύγειν πρὶν πειρήσαιτ᾽ Ἀχιλῆος, he would not fly until he should try Achilles. Il. xxi. 580. (The direct form was πρὶν πειρήσωμαι, and πειρήσηται might have been used here. See Il. xviii. 190, in 639.) So Hymn. Cer. 334; HES. Scut. 18. Ἔδοξέ μοι μὴ σῖγα, πρὶν φράσαιμί σοι, τὸν πλοῦν ποιεῖσθαι. SOPH. Ph. 551. (In SOPH. Aj. 742 we have πρὶν τύχῃ in a similar sentence.) Ἐδέοντο μὴ ἀπελθεῖν πρὶν ἀπαγάγοι τὸ στράτευμα (v. l. πρὶν ἂν ἀπαγάγῃ). XEN. An. vii. 7, 57. (See εἶπον μηδένα τῶν ὄπισθεν κινεῖσθαι πρὶν ἂν πρόσθεν ἡγῆται, Cyr. ii. 2, Cyr. 8.) Ἀπηγόρευε μηδένα βάλλειν, πρὶν Κῦρος ἐμπλησθείη θηρῶν, “until Cyrus should be satisfied.” Cyr. i. 4, Cyr. 14. Ἥγοῦνθ᾽ οὐδὲν οἷοί τ᾽ εἶναι κινεῖν, πρὶν ἐκποδὼν ἐκεῖνος αὐτοῖς γένοιτο. ISOC. xvi. 5.So PLAT. Ap. 36 C, PLAT. Rep. 402 B, Leg. 678D.

For the infinitive, often preferred to the optative in such sentences, see 629.

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