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653. Πρότερον is sometimes used like πρὶν , in the sense of πρίν.

This occurs chiefly with the infinitive in Herodotus and Thucydides, and with the subjunctive in Herodotus. Πρότερον with the indicative is sometimes used like πρίν, but it more frequently expresses a looser relation between two sentences which are independent in their construction (654). E.g.

(Infin., only after past tenses.) Ταῦτα ἐξαγγέλθη πρότερον τὸν Δαυρίσην ἀπικέσθαι, “this was announced before D. arrived.” HDT. v. 118. Ἦσαν οὗτοι τὸ μὲν πρότερον Πέρσας ἄρξαι Μήδων κατήκοοι, τότε δὲ Κύρου. Id. i. 72. (Πρότερα as adj. for πρότερον): ταῦτα καὶ πέντε γενεῇσι ἀνδρῶν πρότερά ἐστι Ἡρακλέα ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι γενέσθαι. Id. ii. 44. Ἐπὶ τοὺς πομπέας πρότερον αἰσθέσθαι αὐτοὺς εὐθὺς ἐχώρησεν, “before they perceived them.” THUC. vi. 58.So i. 69. Besides the cases in Herodotus and Thucydides, a few occur in the orators: see DEM. xxxi. 14, and lv. 14 (πρότερον and πρίν together).

(Subj., without ἄν.) Μὴ ἀπανίστασθαι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλιος πρότερον ἐξέλωσι. HDT. ix. 86; so ix. 87. In iv. 196 we have οὔτε πρὶν ἂν ἀπισωθῇ οὔτε πρότερον λάβωσι. Besides five cases in Herodotus, we have only THUC. vii. 63, μὴ πρότερον ἀξιοῦν ἀπολύεσθαι ἀπαράξητε, and A. a. 2, οὐ πρότερον ἐπιχειροῦσιν ποιήσωνται.

(Indic.) Οὐδὲ ᾔδεσαν ἐοῦσαν (τὴν ἄτραπον) πρότερον περ ἐπύθοντο Τρηχινίων, “until they learned of it.” HDT. vii. 175. Οὐ πρότερον ἐνέδοσαν αὐτοὶ ἐν σφίσι περιπεσόντες ἐσφάλησαν. THUC. ii. 65. Οὐδ᾽ αὐτὴν τὴν ἀπόστασιν πρότερον ἐτόλμησαν ποιήσασθαι μετὰ πολλῶν ξυμμάχων ἔμελλον ξυνκινδυνεύσειν. Id. viii. 24 (see the following example). Οὐκ ἐν νόῳ ἔχοντες ταύτης τῆς ἡμέρης ἐπιθήσεσθαι, οὐδὲ πρότερον τὸ σύνθημά σφι ἔμελλε φανήσεσθαι, i.e. nor did they mean to make an attack until the signal was ready to appear to them. HDT. viii. 7. (With πρίν we should probably have had πρὶν ἂν μέλλῃ.) Εἰ ἔμαθε, οὐκ ἂν ἐπαύσατο πρότερον εἷλέ μιν καὶ αὐτὸς ἥλω, if he had known it, he would not have stopped until he had either captured her or had been captured himself (indicative in unfulfilled condition). Id. viii. 93.

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