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438.Optative in present unreal Conditions.) In Homer a present unfulfilled condition is regularly expressed by the present optative with εἰ, and its apodosis (if present) by the present optative with κέ or ἄν.

The only instance of this form in both protasis and apodosis is Il. xxiii. 274, εἰ μὲν νῦν ἐπὶ ἄλλῳ ἀεθλεύοιμεν Ἀχαιοὶ, τ᾽ ἂν ἐγὼ τὰ πρῶτα λαβὼν κλισίηνδε φεροίμην, if we were now contending in honour of any other (than Patroclus), I should take the first prize and bear it to my tent. Twice we have the optative with ἄν in apodosis with the regular imperfect or aorist indicative (past) in the protasis: Il. ii. 80, εἰ μέν τις τὸν ὄνειρον ἄλλος ἔνισπεν, ψεῦδός κεν φαῖμεν καὶ νοσφιζοίμεθα μᾶλλον, if any other had told the dream, we should call it a lie and rather turn away from it; and the same apodosis after εἴ τίς μ᾽ ἄλλος ἐκέλευεν, in Il. xxiv. 222.In Od. ii. 184, οὐκ ἂν τόσσα θεοπροπέων ἀγόρευες, οὐδέ κε Τηλέμαχον κεχολωμένον ὧδ᾽ ἀνιείης, we have first the imperfect with ἄν as a past apodosis, (in that case) you would not have made this speech with all its divination; and then the present optative with κέ as present, nor would you be urging Telemachus on, as you now are; both referring to an unfulfilled past condition, if you had perished, suggested by καταφθίσθαι ὤφελες in vs. 183.

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