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211. The infinitive with ἄν, in the cases already mentioned, stands in indirect discourse after a verb of saying or thinking. Sometimes, however, it is found in other constructions, where the present or aorist infinitive (without ἄν) would be expected. In such cases there is an approach to the usage of indirect discourse, so far at least that the infinitive with ἄν has the force of the corresponding tense of the indicative or optative. E.g. Τὰ δὲ ἐντὸς οὕτως ἐκαίετο, ὥστε ἥδιστα ἂν ἐς ὕδωρ ψυχρὸν σφᾶς αὐτοὺς ῥίπτειν, so that they would most gladly have thrown themselves into cold water (ῥίπτειν ἄν here being equivalent to ἔρριπτον ἄν). THUC. ii. 49. Μιᾶς τρέφει πρὸς νυκτὸς, ὥστε μήτ᾽ ἐμὲ μήτ᾽ ἄλλον, ὅστις φῶς ὁρᾷ, βλάψαι ποτ᾽ ἄν, so that you could harm (βλάψειας ἄν) neither me nor any other who beholds the light. OSOPH. .T. 374. So SOPH. Tr. 669. Ἔφθασαν παρελθόντες τὴν τῶν Ἀθηναίων οἰκοδομίαν, ὥστε μηκέτι μήτε αὐτοὶ κωλύεσθαι ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν, ἐκείνους τε καὶ παντάπασιν ἀπεστερηκέναι, εἰ καὶ κρατοῖεν, μὴ ἂν ἔτι σφᾶς ἀποτειχίσαι, so as to be no longer themselves obstructed by them, and so as to have deprived them absolutely of the power of ever again walling them in, even if they should be victorious. THUC. vii. 6.Ὕσομεν τὴν νύκτα πᾶσαν: ὥστ᾽ ἴσως βουλήσεται κἂν ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ τυχεῖν ὢν μᾶλλον κρῖναι κακῶς,” “we will rain all night long, so that perhaps he will wish to have the luck to be (that he might by chance find himself) in Egypt rather than to judge unfairly.” AR. Nub. 1130. (Here τυχεῖν ἄν follows βούλομαι like the future infinitive in THUC. vi. 57: see 113.) We have ἐλπίζω followed by the infinitive and ἄν in THUC. vii. 61, τὸ τῆς τύχης κἂν μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν ἐλπίσαντες στῆναι, hoping that fortune may take sides with us (σταίη ἄν). See also SOPH. El. 1482, ἀλλά μοι πάρες κἂν σμικρὸν εἰπεῖν, but permit me at least to say a little (that I might say even a little, εἴποιμι ἄν).

See the corresponding use of the future infinitive in similar expressions, where there is the same approach to indirect discourse (113).

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