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815. 1. The use of μή with the infinitive in the forms (c) and (d) in 807 is to be referred to the general principle, by which the infinitive after all verbs expressing a negative idea (as those of denying, distrusting, ,concealing, forbidding, preventing, etc.) can always take μή, to strengthen the negation implied in the leading verb. Thus we say ἀρνεῖται μὴ ἀληθὲς εἶναι τοῦτο, he denies that this is true; ἀπηγόρευε μηδένα τοῦτο ποιεῖν, he forbade any one to do this. This μή can, however, be omitted without affecting the sense.

2. An infinitive which for any reason would take μή (either affecting the infinitive itself, as an ordinary negative, or strengthening a preceding negation, as in the case just mentioned) generally takes the double negative μὴ οὐ, if the verb on which it depends is itself negatived or is interrogative with a negation implied. Thus the example given above, ἀρνεῖται μὴ ἀληθὲς εἶναι τοῦτο, if we negative the leading verb, generally becomes οὐκ ἀρνεῖται μὴ οὐκ ἀληθὲς εἶναι τοῦτο, he does not deny that this is true. So, when the original μή really negatives the infinitive, as in δίκαιόν ἐστι μὴ τοῦτον ἀφιέναι, it is just not to acquit him, if we negative the leading verb, we commonly have οὐ δίκαιόν ἐστι μὴ οὐ τοῦτον ἀφιέναι, it is not just not to acquit him. E.g.

Ὡς οὐχ ὅσιόν σοι ὂν μὴ οὐ βοηθεῖν δικαιοσύνῃ, because (you said) it would be impious for you not to bring aid to Justice. PLAT. Rep. 427 E. Οὐκ ἂν πιθοίμην μὴ οὐ τάδ᾽ ἐκμαθειν σαφῶς, “I cannot consent not to learn the whole.” SOPH. O.T. 1065. Ἄνδρα δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστι μὴ οὐ κακὸν ἔμμεναι, “it is not possible for a man not to be base.” SIMON. v. 10.See also PLAT. Phaed. 72 D (in 749). For examples in which μὴ οὐ strengthens the negation of the leading verb, see 807.

This applies also to the infinitive with τὸ μή. See 811 and 814.

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