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269. Imperative use of the future.

The future is sometimes used where an imperative might be expected. It is not a milder or gentler imperative.1 A prediction may imply resistless power or cold indifference, compulsion or concession.

αὐτὸς γνώσει”, PLATO, Gorg. 505C; That is a matter for you to determine. . . . ἄγγελος . . . ἐλθὼν ἐκεῖσε ὧδε λέξει”, XEN. Cyr. 3.2.29; The messenger will go thither and hold the following discourse.

ISAE. 2.37: “ἀναγνώσεται”. (The speaker before court uses of the clerk “ἀνάγνωθι, ἀναγίγνωσκε, ἀναγνώσεται”, rarely “ἀναγνώτω”.2) 4.30: “τοῦτον . . . ἄλλος, ἐάν τις βούληται, τιμωρήσεται”, Him another shall punish if he will.

PLATO, Gorg. 505C:αὐτὸς γνώσει” (Schol.: “ἀντὶ τοῦ εἴ τι θέλεις, ποίει: ἐμοὶ γὰρ οὐ μέλει”). Phileb. 12 A:σὺ δέ, Πρώταρχε, αὐτὸς γνώσει”. Rpb. 432 C:καὶ ἐμοὶ φράσεις” (so the best MS), And you will report to me. Theaet. 143 B: παῖς ἀναγνώσεται” (of a servant), but Phaedr. 262 D:ἀνάγνωθι” (to a friend).

XEN. An. 1.3.5: “καὶ οὔποτε ἐρεῖ οὐδείς”, And no one shall ever say. Cyr. 3.2.29 (see above). 3.3.3: “ὑμεῖς ἐμὲ οὐ ποιήσετε μισθοῦ περιιόντα εὐεργετει̂ͅν, ἀλλὰ σύ, γύναι, ἔχουσα ταῦτα τὰ χρήματα φέρεις ἄπιθι, κτἑ.”, You are not to make of me a paid travelling philanthropist, etc.

AR. Nub. 1352:πάντως δὲ τοῦτο δράσεις” .

EUR. Med. 1320:λέγ᾽ εἴ τι βούλει, χειρὶ δ᾽ οὐ ψαύσεις ποτέ” .

ION, Eleg. 2.7-10 (Bgk.4):πίνωμεν, παίζωμεν: ἴτω . . . ὀρχείσθω . . . ἄρχε . . . κεῖνος . . . πίεται” (Meineke “πιέτω”).

SOPH. Ph. 843:τάδε μεν θεὸς ὄψεται”.

HOM. Od. 1.123-4: “αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα” | “δείπνου πασσάμενος μυθήσεαι, ὅττεό σε χρή”.

This “jussive” use of the future is denied for Homer by Paech.3 In many of the passages once cited, the so-called future has been shown to be an aorist imperative and others have been explained away.

1 So Aken: “Die ruhige Behauptung kann weit stärker sein.” See Hopkins, A. J. P. xiii (1892), 37. The N. T. “σὺ δὲ ὄψει”, “See thou to that,” seems to be an idiomatic colloquial expression rather than a Hebraism. The Latin use of the future as a familiar imperative, A. J. P. xviii (1897), 121, in the same class of words, lends strength to the imperative conception, which is denied by some scholars.

2 C. W. E. Miller, A. J. P. xiii (1892), 408.

3 Joh. Paech, Ueber den Gebrauch des Indicativus Futuri als Modus iussivus bei Homer, Breslau, 1865.

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