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440.Optative in past unreal Apodosis.) Homer has four cases of the optative with κέ (three aorist and one present) in the apodosis referring to the past, with the regular indicative in the protasis expressing a past unfulfilled condition. These are—

Καί νύ κεν ἐνθ᾽ ἀπόλοιτο ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Αἰνείας, εἰ μὴ ἄρ᾽ ὀξὺ νόησε Διὸς θυγάτηρ Ἀφροδίτη, Aeneas would have perished, had not Aphrodite quickly perceived him. Il. v. 311. Καί νύ κεν ἐνθ᾽ ἀπόλοιτο Ἄρης ἆτος πολέμοιο, εἰ μὴ Ἠεριβοία Ἑρμέῃ ἐξήγγειλεν. Il. v. 388. Οὔ κε θανόντι περ ὧδ᾽ ἀκαχοίμην, εἰ μετὰ οἷς ἑτάροισι δάμη Τρώων ἐνὶ δήμῳ, I should not have felt so grieved if he had perished, θανόντι (=εἰ ἔθανεν) being further explained by εἰ . . . δάμη. Od. i. 236. Ἔνθα κε ῥεῖα φέροι κλυτὰ τεύχεα, εἰ μή οἱ ἀγάσσατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, “he would easily have borne away the famous armour had not Phoebus Apollo grudged him.” Il. xvii. 70.Here ἀπῴλετο, ἀκαχόμην, and ἔφερε would be the regular forms even in Homer, corresponding to the regular protases.

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