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[*] 723. II. The optative in a wish with εἴθε (αἴθε), εἰ γάρ (αἲ γάρ), or εἰ is probably in its origin a protasis with the apodosis suppressed. E.g. Αἴθ᾽ οὕτως ἐπὶ πᾶσι χόλον τελέσεἰ Ἀγαμέμνων, “O if Agamemnon would thus fulfil his wrath upon all.” Il. iv. 178. Αἴθ᾽ οὕτως, Εὔμαιε, φίλον Διὶ πατρὶ γένοιο ὡς ἐμοί, “mayest thou become in like manner a friend to father Zeus.” Od. xiv. 440. Αἲ γὰρ δὴ οὕτως εἴη, φίλος ὦ Μενέλαε, “O that this may be so.” Il. iv. 189. Αἲ γὰρ ἐμοὶ τοσσήνδε θεοὶ δύναμιν περιθεῖεν, “O if the Gods would clothe me with so much strength!” Od. iii. 205. Ἀλλ᾽ εἴ μιν ἀεικισσαίμεθ᾽ ἑλόντες, τεύχεα τ᾽ ὤμοιιν ἀφελοίμεθα, καί τιν ἑταίρων αὐτοῦ ἀμυνομένων δαμασαίμεθα νηλέι χαλκῷ, but if we could only take him and insult him, and strip him of his armour, and subdue, etc. Il. xvi. 559. 1 Εἴθε μήποτε γνοίης ὃς εἶ, “may you never learn who you are.” SOPH. O.T. 1068. “Εἴθ᾽ ὗμιν ἀμφοῖν νοῦς γένοιτο σωφρονεῖν” Id. Aj. 1264. “Εἴθε παῖς ἐμὸς εὔθηρος εἴη” Bacch. 1252. Εἰ γὰρ γενοίμην, τέκνον, ἀντὶ σοῦ νεκρός. Id. Hipp. 1410. Εἴθ̓, ὦ λῷστε, σὺ τοιοῦτος ὢν φίλος ἡμῖν γένοιο. XEN. Hell. iv. 1, 38. Εἰ γὰρ γένοιτο. Id. Cyr. vi. 1, Id. Cyr. 38. Εἰ γὰρ ἐν τούτῳ εἴη, “if it may only depend on this!” PLAT. Prot. 310D. “Εἴθε γράψειεν ὡς χρή, κ.τ.λ.” Id. Phaedr. 227C. The simple εἰ (without -θε or γάρ) with the optative in wishes is poetic. Ἀλλ᾽ εἴ τις καὶ τούσδε μετοιχόμενος καλέσειεν. Il. x. 111.See three other Homeric examples cited in the footnote.2 Εἴ μοι ξυνείη μοῖρα. SOPH. O. T. 863. Εἴ μοι γένοιτο φθόγγος ἐν βραχίοσιν. EUR. Hec. 836. The future optative was not used in wishes. The perfect was probably not used, except in the signification of the present (see 48); as in Il. ii. 259, quoted in 722.
1 On this passage we have the note of Aristarchus in the Scholia : ἡ διπλῆ, ὅτι ἔξωθεν προσυπακουστέον τὸ καλῶς ἂν ἔχοι: εἰ αὐτὸν ἀνελόντες ἀεικισσαίμεθα, καλῶς ἂν ἔχοι. Schol. A. It does not follow necessarily from this that Aristarchus explained all optatives with forms of εἰ in wishes by supplying καλῶς ἂν ἔχοι as an apodosis (see Lange, p. 6, note 15); but if he explained this passage as an elliptical protasis, he can hardly have objected to the same explanation of other similar passages. It is surely no more necessary or logical to insist on explaining both forms of wishes alike, than it would be in English to insist that may I see him again and O if I might see him again are originally of the same construction.
2 The Homeric examples of the optative with various forms of εἰ or αἰ are of the highest importance for the understanding of the construction generally. The following is a list of the passages (according to Lange, Partikel EI, pp. 19-40):— Simple εἰ with optative: Il. x. 111, Il. xv. 571, Il. xvi. 559, Il. xxiv. 74. (4.) Αἲ γάρ or εἰ γάρ with optative: Il. iv. 189, Il. x. 536, Il. xvi. 97, Il. xviii. 272, Il. 464, Il. xxii. 346, Il. 454; Od. iii. 205, Od. iv. 697, Od. vi. 244, Od. viii. 339, Od. ix. 523, Od. xv. 156, Od. xvii. 251, Od. 513, Od. xviii. 235, Od. 366, Od. xix. 22, Od. xx. 169, Od. xxi. 402. (20.) Αἴθε or εἴθε with optative: Il. iv. 178; Od. ii. 33, Od. xiv. 440, Od. xv. 341, Od. xvii. 494, Od. xviii. 202, Od. xx. 61. (7.) Eight examples (five with εἴθε, two with εἰ γάρ, one with αἲ γάρ), in which the present optative expresses an unattained present wish, are omitted here and will be found under 739. The cases discussed in 730 are not included here. For the use of αἴθε, αἲ γάρ, and αἰ (for εἴθε, etc.) in Homer, see footnote to 379.
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