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263.Μὴ οὐ, with the Subjunctive.) The clause with μή expressing desire to avert an object of fear, in its original simple form as well as in the developed final construction, may refer to a negative object, and express fear that something may not happen. Here μὴ οὐ is used with the subjunctive, like ne non in Latin.

Thus μὴ νῆας ἕλωσι being may they not seize the ships, μὴ οὐ νῆας ἕλωσι would be may they not fail to seize the ships, implying fear that they may not seize them. Homer has one case of μὴ οὐ after a verb of fearing: δείδω μὴ οὔ τίς τοι ὑπόσχηται τόδε ἔργον, Il. x. 39.He has several cases of μὴ οὐ in final clauses and one in an object clause (354). Il. i. 28, μή νύ τοι οὐ χραίσμῃ σκῆπτρον καὶ στέμμα θεοῖο, is often cited as a case of independent μὴ οὐ, meaning beware lest the staff and fillet of the God shall prove of no avail to you. So Delbrück (I. p. 119), who nevertheless quotes Il. i. 565, ἀλλ᾽ ἀκέουσα κάθησο ἐμῷ δ᾽ ἐπιπείθεο μύθῳ, μή νύ τοι οὐ χραίσμωσιν ὅσοι θεοί εἰσ᾽ ἐν Ὀλύμπῳ, as containing a dependent final clause. In the two other cases of μὴ οὐ with the subjunctive in Homer, Il. xv. 164 (an object clause, see 354), and xxiv. 569 (final), the dependence of the clause with μὴ οὐ is even more obvious; and in Il. xxiv. 584 we have in μὴ οὐκ ἐρύσαιτο the decisive proof that this clause is felt to be dependent in the change from the subjunctive to the optative after a past tense. It is therefore more than doubtful whether μὴ οὐ χραίσμῃ in Il. i. 28 is not dependent on μή σε κιχείω in vs. 26. Plato in paraphrasing this passage ( Rep. 393E) takes the clause as final and dependent (see 132). But, whether we have a case of independent μὴ οὐ with the subjunctive in Homer or not, there can be no doubt that this is the original form from which came the dependent final clause with μὴ οὐ.

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