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400. There is a tendency in Homer to restrict the subjunctive with simple εἰ (without κέ or ἄν) to general conditions (468), and a similar but less decided tendency to restrict the subjunctive with conditional relatives without κέ or ἄν to the generic relative construction (538). But the general condition with εἰ appears in Homer in a primitive stage, compared with the corresponding relative construction, which is fully developed. Both subjunctive and optative are freely used in general relative conditions in Homer, as in Attic Greek; while in general conditions with εἰ the subjunctive occurs only nineteen times and the optative only once (468). On the supposition that the clause with εἰ is derived from the relative clause, this would appear as the ordinary process of development.

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