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[*] 460. Εἴ κε with the optative is sometimes found in Homer, and εἴ περ ἄν occurs once.1 This is a mark of the unsettled usage of the earlier language, in which κέ or ἄν was not yet required with the subjunctive in protasis, and was still allowed with the optative or indicative (401). It is difficult to see any essential difference between these protases with εἴ κε and those with the simple εἰ and the optative. E.g. “Εἰ δέ κεν Ἄργος ἱκοίμεθ᾽ Ἀχαιικόν, οὖθαρ ἀρούρης, γαμβρός κέν μοι ἔοι,” “and if we should ever come to Achaean Argos, then he would (shall) be my son-in-law.” Il. ix. 141 ; cf. ix. 283, and Od. xii. 345, Od. xix. 589. Πῶς ἂν ἐγώ σε δέοιμι μετ᾽ ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσιν, εἴ κεν Ἄρης οἴχοιτο χρέος καὶ δεσμὸν ἀλύξας. Od. viii. 352. Τῶν κέν τοι χαρίσαιτο πατὴρ ἀπερείσἰ ἄποινα, εἴ κεν ἐμὲ ζωὸν πεπύθοιτ᾽ ἐπὶ νηυσὶν Ἀχαιῶν. Il. vi. 49.The distinction between these cases and those of 458 is obvious. In Il. i. 60, εἴ κεν with the optative forms a subordinate protasis, with a remoter and less emphatic supposition than the main protasis εἰ δαμᾷ (future); νῦν ἄμμε πάλιν πλαγχθέντας ὀίω ἂψ ἀπονοστήσειν, εἴ κεν θάνατόν γε φύγοιμεν, εἰ δὴ ὁμοῦ πόλεμός τε δαμᾷ καὶ λοιμὸς Ἀχαιούς, now I think we shall be driven back and shall return home again—that is, supposing us to escape death—if both war and pestilence are at the same time to destroy the Achaeans. In Il. ii. 597 we have εἴ περ ἂν αὐταὶ Μοῦσαι ἀείδοιεν. These constructions are never negative.
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