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307. The development of final clauses and of clauses with μή after verbs of fearing from an original parataxis, or co-ordination of two independent sentences, is especially plain in dependent negative clauses with the simple μή. Thus ἀπόστιχε, μή τι νοήσῃ Ἥρη, withdraw, lest Hera notice anything ( Il. i. 522), presents the form of an original paratactic expression, which would mean withdraw:—may not (or let not) Hera notice anything, the latter clause being like μὴ δὴ νῆας ἕλωσι, may they not take the ships ( Il. xvi. 128), and μὴ δή μοι τελέσωσι θεοὶ κακὰ κήδεα ( Il. xviii. 8). (See 261.) Such sentences as these last imply fear or anxiety lest the event may happen which μή with the subjunctive expresses a desire to avert; and in a primitive stage of the language they might naturally be preceded by a verb of fearing, to which the (still independent) subjunctive with μή would stand in the relation of an explanatory clause defining the substance of the fear. Thus δείδω:—μὴ νῆας ἕλωσι would originally be two independent sentences, I fear:—may they not take the ships; but would in time come to be felt as a single sentence, equivalent to our I fear that (lest) they may take the ships. After φοβοῦμαι μὴ τοῦτο πάθωσιν (for example) was domesticated in the sense I fear lest they may suffer this, the second clause followed the ordinary course, and began to be felt as a thoroughly dependent clause; and when the leading verb became past, the subjunctive became optative, as ἐφοβήθην μὴ τοῦτο πάθοιεν, I feared lest they might suffer this. When this stage is reached, all feeling of the original independence may be said to have vanished and a dependent clause is fully established. As this decisive evidence of complete dependence is constantly found in the Homeric language, we cannot suppose that such an expression as δείδοικα μή τι πάθωσιν ( Il. x. 538) was still felt to be composed of two independent sentences, although the original paratactic form is precisely preserved. Indeed, we have no evidence that the step from parataxis to hypotaxis was taken after the Greek language had an independent existence.1

1 See Brugmann, Griechische Grammatik, p. 122.

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