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159. The gnomic aorist is found in indirect discourse in the infinitive and participle, and even in the optative. E.g.


Ὅπου δ᾽ ὑβρίζειν δρᾶν θ᾽ βούλεται παρῇ,
ταύτην νόμιζε τὴν πόλιν χρόνῳ ποτὲ
ἐξ οὐρίων δραμοῦσαν ἐς βυθὸν πεσεῖν,
”“but where man is permitted to insult and to work his own will, believe that that state, though it may run before fair breezes, must in time sink to the depths.”

(Here πεσεῖν represents ἔπεσεν of the direct form, which can be only gnomic.) “Εἴ σοι δέος παρέστηκεν ἡγουμένῳ χαλεπὸν εἶναι φιλίαν συμμένειν, καὶ διαφορᾶς γενομένης κοινὴν ἀμφοτέροις καταστῆναι τὴν συμφοράν,” “if you fear, thinking that it is hard for friendship to abide, and that when a quarrel occurs the calamity that arises is common to both (the direct form would be χαλεπόν ἐστιν, καὶ κοινὴ κατέστη συμφορά).PLAT. Phaedr. 232 B. Ἡγουμένης δὴ ἀληθείας οὐκ ἄν ποτε φαῖμεν αὐτῇ χορὸν κακῶν ἀκολουθῆσαι, now when truth leads, we never could say that a chorus of evils accompany her (ἠκολούθησεν). PLAT. Rep. 490 C.

b) “Σμικρῷ χαλινῷ δ᾽ οἶδα τοὺς θυμουμένους ἵππους καταρτυθέντας,” “and I know that high-spirited horses are tamed by a small bit.” SOPH. Ant. 478. Οἶδα τοὺς τοιούτους ἐν μὲν τῷ κατ᾽ αὐτοὺς βίῳ λυπηροὺς ὄντας, τῶν δὲ ἔπειτα ἀνθρώπων προσποίησιν ξυγγενείας τισὶ καὶ μὴ οὖσαν καταλιπόντας, I know that such men, although in their own lifetimes they are offensive, yet often leave to some who come after them a desire to claim connexion with them, even where there is no ground for it. THUC. vi. 16.

c) A clear case of the gnomic aorist in the optative is seen in PLAT. Rep. 490 B, in the peculiar oratio obliqua introduced by ἀπολογησόμεθα ὅτι (in A), which implies a philosophic imperfect (40) and thus takes the optative. We have πεφυκὼς εἴη, ἐμμένοι, ἴοι, etc., representing πέφυκε, ἐμμένει, εἶσι, etc.; and afterwards γνοίη τε καὶ ἀληθῶς ζῴη καὶ τρέφοιτο (representing ἔγνω τε καὶ ἀληθῶς ζῇ καὶ τρέφεται), i.e. he attains knowledge (aor.), and then truly lives and is nourished (pres.), where the gnomic force of the aorist is plain. (See 676.)

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