previous next

312.Ως.) 1. Ὡς is originally an adverb of manner, derived from the stem ὁ- of the relative ὅς, like οὕτως from the stem of οὗτος. As a relative it means originally in which way, as; as an indirect interrogative it means how, whence comes its use in indirect discourse (663, 2). Since purpose can be expressed by a relative pronoun, which in Homer regularly takes the subjunctive (568), as “ἡγεμόν᾽ ἐσθλὸν ὄπασσον, ὅς κέ με κεῖσ᾽ ἀγάγῃ,” “send me a good guide, ,to lead me thither” (Od. xv. 310) , so can it be by the relative adverb of manner, as κρῖν᾽ ἄνδρας κατὰ φῦλα, κατὰ φρήτρας, ὡς φρήτρη φρήτρηφιν ἀρήγῃ, φῦλα δὲ φύλοις, divide the men in that way by which clan may help clan, etc., i.e. (so) divide them that clan may help clan, etc. ( Il. ii. 362). Here the original force of ὡς can be seen; but in Od. xvii. 75,ὄτρυνον ἐμὸν ποτὶ δῶμα γυναῖκας, ὥς τοι δῶρ᾽ ἀποπέμψω” , in order that I may send you the gifts, the final force is as strong as if we had ἵνα ἀποπέμψω.

2. Ὡς, however, always retained so much of its original relative nature that it could take κέ or ἄν in a final sentence with the subjunctive, like other final relatives, which in Homer hardly ever omit κέ before a subjunctive (568). Compare ὅς κέ με κεῖς᾿ ἀγάγῃ (above) with the equivalent ὥς κέ με κεῖσ᾽ ἀγάγῃ. The final clause thus receives a conditional form, with which it must have received originally more or less conditional force.1 Thus an expression like πείθεο ὡς ἂν κῦδος ἄρηαι probably meant originally obey in whatever way you may gain glory, or obey in some way in which you may gain glory, ὡς ἂν ἄρηαι being chiefly a conditional relative clause (529); but before the Homeric usage was established, the final element had so far obliterated the relative, that the conditional force of ὡς ἄν must have been greatly weakened. The expression in Homer ( Il. xvi. 84) may have meant obey that (if so be) you may gain me glory. (See examples under 326.) The same is true of the less common use of κέ or ἄν with ὄφρα and ὅπως in Homer (327; 328). How far the original conditional force survived in the Attic ὡς ἄν and ὅπως ἄν with the subjunctive, especially in ὅπως ἄν of Attic prose, is a question which at this distant day we have hardly the power to answer, and each scholar will be guided by his own feeling as he reads the expressions. (See 326; 328; 348.) It certainly can be seen in some of Xenophon's uses of ὡς ἄν with the subjunctive; see Cyr. ii. 4 and Eques. i. 16, quoted in Appendix IV.

3. Ὡς and ὥς κε with the subjunctive are used in Homer also in object clauses after verbs of planning, considering, etc. (341), where ὅπως with the future indicative is the regular Attic form. Ὡς (with ὡς ἄν) is by far the most common final particle in tragedy; it seldom occurs in Aristophanes and Herodotus; while in Attic prose it almost entirely disappears,2 except in Xenophon, with whom it is again common, though less so than ὅπως or ἵνα. (See Weber's tables in Appendix III.)

1 See Gildersleeve in Jour. Phil. iv. p. 422.

2 Weber (p. 174) quotes two passages of Demosthenes as examples of final ὡς with the future indicative, a construction otherwise unknown in Attic prose: ὡς δὲ σαφῶς γνώσεσθε ὅτι ἀληθῆ λέγω, ἐγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ, xxiv. 146; and ὡς δὲ καταφανὲς ἔσται ὅτι πρότερον ἀναισχυντοῦντες περιεγένοντο, ἀναγίγνωσκε τὰς μαρτυρίας, xliii. 42. But compare the common formula of the orators ὡς (or ὅτι) ἀληθῆ λέγω, λαβὲ τὴν μαρτυρίαν (or κάλει τοὺς μάρτυρας), e.g. in DEM. xxvii. 28, with the occasional full form, ἵνα εἰδῆτε ταῦτα ὅτι ἀληθῆ λέγω, λαβὲ τὴν μαρτυρίαν, DEM. xlv. 19; so xviii. 305. See also ὡς εἰκότα ποιοῦμεν, καὶ τάδ᾽ ἐννοήσατε (sc. ἵνα εἰδῆτε), XEN. Hell. ii. 3, 33. This common ellipsis shows that in DEM. xliii. 42 we can easily supply a final clause like ἵνα εἰδῆτε before ὡς καταφανὲς ἔσται, that you may know how it is to be established, etc. In xxiv. 146 there is no need even of an ellipsis, as we can translate how you are to know that I speak the truth, I will explain to you.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: