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245. In most cases of the past tenses of the indicative with ἄν there is at least an implied reference to some supposed circumstances different from the real ones, so that ἦλθεν ἄν commonly means he would have gone (if something had not been as it was). When we speak of a past event as subject to conditions, we are apt to imply that the conditions were not fulfilled, as otherwise they would not be alluded to. This reference to an unfulfilled condition, however, does not make it necessary that the action of the potential indicative itself should be unreal, although this is generally the case. (See 412.) The unfulfilled past condition to which the potential indicative refers may be as vague and indistinct as the future condition to which the potential optative refers (235); as if he had wished, if he had tried, if it had been possible, in any case, and others which are implied in our auxiliaries might, could, would, should, etc., but are seldom expressed by us in words. Compare οὐδὲν ἂν κακὸν ποιήσειαν, they could do no harm (i.e. if they should try), with οὐδὲν ἂν κακὸν ἐποίησαν, they could have done no harm (i.e. if they had tried). E.g. “Οὐ γάρ κεν δυνάμεσθα θυράων ὑψηλάων ἀπώσασθαι λίθον,” “for we could not have moved the stone from the high doorway.” Od. ix. 304.Μένοιμ᾽ ἄν: ἤθελον δ᾽ ἂν ἐκτὸς ὢν τυχεῖν,” “I will remain; but I should have preferred to take my chance outside.” SOPH. Aj. 88.Τούτου τίς ἄν σοι τἀνδρὸς ἀμείνων εὑρέθη;” “who could have been found, etc.?” Ib. 119. Ἔκλυον ἃν ἐγὼ οὐδ᾽ ἂν ἤλπισ᾽ αὐδάν, “I heard a voice which I could never even have hoped to hear.” Id. El. 1281. Δὔ ἐξέλεξας, οἷν ἐγὼ ἥκιστ᾽ ἂν ἠθέλησ᾽ ὀλωλότοιν κλύειν. Id. Ph. 426. Κλύειν ἂν οὐδ᾽ ἅπαξ ἐβουλόμην, “I should have wished not to hear it even once.” Ib. 1239. Οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὅπως ἔτεκεν ἂν Διὸς δάμαρ Λητὼ τοσαύτην ἀμαθίαν, under no circumstances would Leto have been the mother of so great ignorance. I. T. EUR. 385. Οἰκεῖα πράγματ᾽ εἰσάγων, ἐξ ὧν γ᾽ ἂν ἐξηλεγχόμην, “by which I might have been exposed.” AR. Ran. 959. Τότε ὀψὲ ἦν, καὶ τὰς χεῖρας οὐκ ἂν καθεώρων, it was then dark, and they would not have seen the show of hands (in voting). XEN. Hell. i. 7, 7. Ποίων δ᾽ ἂν ἔργων πόνων κινδύνων ἀπέστησαν; from what acts, etc., would they have shrunk back (i.e. if they had been required of them)? Isoc. iv. 83. Πρὸ πολλῶν μὲν ἂν χρημάτων ἐτιμησάμην τοσοῦτον δύνασθαι τὴν φιλοσοφίαν: ἴσως γὰρ οὐκ ἂν ἡμεῖς πλεῖστον ἀπελείφθημεν, οὐδ᾽ ἂν ἐλάχιστον μέρος ἀπελαύσαμεν αὐτῆς: ἐπειδὴ δ᾽ οὐκ οὕτως ἔχει, βουλοίμην ἂν παύσασθαι τοὺς φλυαροῦντας. Id. xiii. 11. Οἳ ἐποίησαν μὲν οὐδὲν ἂν κακὸν, μὴ παθεῖν δ᾽ ἐφυλάξαντ᾽ ἂν ἴσως, τούτους ἐξαπατᾶν αἱρεῖσθαι, these who could have done him no harm, but who might perhaps have guarded themselves against suffering any. DEM. ix. 13. Τότε δ᾽ αὐτὸ τὸ πρᾶγμ᾽ ἂν ἐκρίνετο ἐφ᾽ αὑτοῦ, “but the case would then have been decided on its own merits.” Id. xviii. 224: so 101. Πῶς ἂν οὖν ὑβριστικώτερον ἄνθρωπος ὑμῖν ἐχρήσατο; Id. xix. 85. Οὗ μεῖζον οὐδὲν ἂν κατέλιπεν ὄνειδος. xlId. v. 35. δ᾽ ἡμῖν δικαίως ἂν ὑπῆρχεν ἐκ τῆς εἰρήνης, ταῦτ᾽ ἀνθ᾽ ὧν ἀπέδοντο αὐτοὶ λογίζεσθαι: ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ἦν ἂν ὁμοίως ἡμῖν, ἐκεῖνα δὲ τούτοις ἂν προσῆν εἰ μὴ διὰ τούτους, but (it is not right) to set off against what they themselves sold what would justly have been ours by the peace; but these would have been ours all the same (in any case), while the others would have been added (or would now be added) to them had it not been for these men. Id. xix. 91. (Here ὑπῆρχεν ἄν and ἦν ἄν refer to an actual fact, the possession of certain places; the apodosis προσῆν ἄν refers to something which was prevented from becoming a fact. This passage shows the natural steps from the potential form to the apodosis. See 247.)

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