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673.Imperfect Optative.) In a few cases, the present optative is used after past tenses to represent the imperfect indicative. The present optative thus supplies the want of an imperfect, like the present infinitive and participle (119 and 140). This can be done only when the context makes it perfectly clear that the optative represents an imperfect, and not a present. E.g. Τὸν Τιμαγόραν ἀπέκτειναν, κατηγοροῦντος τοῦ Λέοντος ὡς οὔτε συσκηνοῦν ἐθέλοι ἑαυτῷ μετά τε Πελοπίδου πάντα βουλεύοιτο. XEN. Hell. vii. 1, 38. (The words of Leon were οὔτε συσκηνοῦν ἤθελέ μοι, μετά τε Πελ. πάντα ἐβουλεύετο.) Τὰ πεπραγμένα διηγοῦντο, ὅτι αὐτοὶ μὲν ἐπὶ τοὺς πολεμίους πλέοιεν, τὴν δὲ ἀναίρεσιν τῶν ναυαγῶν προστάξαιεν ἀνδράσιν ἱκανοῖς. Ib. i. 7, Ib. 5. (The direct discourse was αὐτοὶ μὲν ἐπλέομεν, τὴν δὲ ἀναίρεσιν προσετάξαμεν.) Καί μοι πάντες ἀπεκρίναντο, ὅτι οὐδεὶς μάρτυς παρείη, κομίζοιτο δὲ λαμβάνων καθ᾽ ὁποσονοῦν δέοιτο Ἄφοβος παρ᾽ αὐτῶν, they all replied, that no witness had been present, and that Aphobus had received the money from them, taking it in such sums as he happened to want. DEM. xxx. 20. (The direct discourse was οὐδεὶς μάρτυς παρῆν, ἐκομίζετο δὲ λαμβάνων καθ᾽ ὁποσονοῦν δέοιτο. Παρείη contains the answer to the question εἴ τινες παρῆσαν in the preceding sentence, quoted in 672. The imperfect in that sentence prevents the optatives in the reply from being ambiguous.) Ἀκούσας πιστεύω τούτῳ, ὡς ἄρα Λεόντιος, αἰσθόμενος νεκροὺς παρὰ τῷ δημίῳ κειμένους, ἅμα μὲν ἰδεῖν ἐπιθυμοῖ, ἅμα δ᾽ αὖ δυσχεραίνοι καὶ ἀποτρέποι ἑαυτὸν, καὶ τέως μάχοιτό τε καὶ παρακαλύπτοιτο. PLAT. Rep. 439E. (All the optatives represent imperfects.) See also HDT. ix. 16 (end).

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