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261. In the following Homeric examples the independent subjunctive with μή expresses apprehension, coupled with a desire to avert the object of fear, both ideas being inherent in the construction. The third person is the most common here.

Μὴ δὴ νῆας ἕλωσι καὶ οὐκέτι φευκτὰ πέλωνται,” “may they not (as I fear they may) seize the ships and make it no longer possible to escape.” Il. xvi. 128.Μὴ δή μοι τελέσωσι θεοὶ κακὰ κήδεα θυμῷ,” “may the Gods not bring to pass (as I fear they may) bitter woes for my soul.” Il. xviii. 8.Μή τι χολωσάμενος ῥέξῃ κακὸν υἷας Ἀχαιῶν,” “may he not (as I fear he may) in his wrath do anything to harm the sons of the Achaeans.” Il. ii. 195. μοι ἐγὼ, μή τίς μοι ὑφαίνῃσιν δόλον αὖτε ἀθανάτωνOd. v. 356.Μή πώς μ᾽ ἐκβαίνοντα βάλῃ λίθακι προτὶ πέτρῃ κῦμα μέγ᾽ ἁρπάξαν, μελέη δέ μοι ἔσσεται ὁρμή,” “I fear that some great wave may dash me against a solid rock, and my effort will (then) be in vain” (the expression of fear being merged in an assertion). Od. v. 415. See also Il. xxi. 563; Od. v. 467, Od. xvii. 24, Od. xxii. 213.Τῶν εἴ κεν πάντων ἀντήσομεν, μὴ πολύπικρα καὶ αἰνὰ βίας ἀποτίσεαι ἐλθών, ” “I fear you may punish their violence only to our bitter grief (and may you not do this).” Od. xvi. 255.Μή τι κακὸν ῥέξωσι καὶ ἡμέας ἐξελάσωσιν, ἄλλων δ᾽ ἀφικώμεθα γαῖαν,” “may they not (as I fear) do us some harm and drive us out, and may we not come to some land of others.” Od. xvi. 381.Μή μιν ἐγὼ μὲν ἵκωμαι ἰὼν, δέ μ᾽ οὐκ ἐλεήσει,” “I fear I may approach him as I come, while he will not pity me.” Il. xxii. 122 (see Od. v. 415, above). “Μή τοι κατὰ πάντα φάγωσιν κτήματα δασσάμενοι, σὺ δὲ τηϋσίην ὁδὸν ἔλθῃςOd. xv. 12.

The present subjunctive occurs in Od. xv. 19,μή τι φέρηται” , and in xvi. 87,μή μιν κερτομέωσιν” . See also πέλωνται in Il. xvi. 128, above. (See 258.)

In these examples sometimes the fear itself, and sometimes the desire to avert its object, is more prominent.

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