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386. Homeric subjunctive.

The Homeric subjunctive is not so clearly defined in its use as the Attic subjunctive, and is often indistinguishable from a future. In fact, it serves as a missing aorist future where prose would employ the optative with “ἄν”.

οὐ γάρ πω τοίους ἴδον ἀνέρας οὐδὲ ἴδωμαι”, HOM. Il. 1.262; Never as yet have I seen such men, and never shall see them.

HYMN. HOM. 1.1: “μνήσομαι οὐδὲ λάθωμαι Ἀπόλλωνος ἑκάτοιο”.

HOM. Od. 6.201: “οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ οὗτος ἀνὴρ διερὸς βροτός, οὐδὲ γένηται”. 16.437: “οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ οὗτος ἀνὴρ οὐδ᾽ ἔσσεται οὐδὲ γένηται”.

Il. 1.262 (see above). 6.459:καί ποτέ τις εἴπῃσιν ἰδὼν κατὰ δάκρυ χέουσαν” . 7.87: “καί ποτέ τις εἴπῃσι καὶ ὀψιγόνων ἀνθρώπων”. 197: “οὐ γάρ τίς με βίῃ γε ἑκὼν ἀέκοντα δίηται”.

On “ἄν” (“κεν”) with the subjunctive in simple sentences, see 451-6.

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