[*] 88. It is sometimes difficult here, as in the corresponding case of the imperfect and the aorist indicative (56; 57), to see any decisive reason for preferring one tense to the other; and it can hardly be doubted that the Greeks occasionally failed to make use of this, as well as of other fine distinctions, when either form would express the required sense equally well, although they always had the distinction ready for use when it was needed. Compare the present and the aorist subjunctive and optative in the following examples:—
- “Ἐὰν γάρ τί σε φανῶ κακὸν πεποιηκὼς, ὁμολογῶ ἀδικεῖν: ἐὰν μέντοι μηδὲν φαίνωμαι κακὸν πεποιηκὼς μηδὲ βουληθεὶς, οὐ καὶ σὺ ὁμολογήσεις μηδὲν ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἀδικεῖσθαι;” “if I shall appear (aorist) to have done you any wrong, and if I shall appear (present) to have done you no wrong.” XEN. Cyr. v. 5, 13.
- “Εἰ μὲν γὰρ προσδέξαιτο Φωκέας συμμάχους . . . εἰ δὲ μὴ προσδέχοιτο, κ.τ.λ.” DEM. xix. 318.
- “Εἴ τινες πολλῶν θανάτων ἦσαν αἴτιοι, （ ἵνα ） πάντων τούτων δεκαπλασίας ἀλγηδόνας ὑπὲρ ἑκάστου κομίσαιντο, καὶ αὖ εἴ τινες εὐεργεσίας εὐεργετηκότες εἶεν, （ ἵνα ） κατὰ ταὐτὰ τὴν ἀξίαν κομίζοιντο,” “if any had caused many deaths, that they might receive (aorist) suffering for all these, tenfold for each; and again, if they had done kind services to any, that they might in like manner receive (present) their due reward.” PLAT. Rep. 615B.