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415. Difference between present and aorist in prohibitions.

μή” with the present imperative has to do with a course of action and means sometimes “keep from” (RESIST!), sometimes “cease to” (DESIST!). In the one case a negative course of actióon is prescribed, in the other the negative of a course of action. Compare with this construction the negative with the imperfect (resistance to pressure).

μή” with the aorist imperative or subjunctive gives a total prohibition.

μὴ λάλει”, AR. Vesp. 1135, may mean, according to circumstances, “stop talking” (compare “παῦσαι καὶ μὴ πατέριζε”, AR. Vesp. 652; Stop and cease “fathering” me) or “keep mum.”ἀντιβολήσει καὶ ἱκετεύσει ὑμᾶς: μὴ ἐλεεῖτε,LYS. [6] 55 ; He will beg and beseech you. Don't pity him. Steel your hearts against him.μὴ θαυμάσῃς”, ISOC. [1] 44: Don't be astonished (one of three aorists in a host of presents). “θαυμάζω, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, καὶ αὐτός. ἀλλὰ μὴ θαύμαζ̓, ἔφη”, PLATO, Conv. 205B; I am astonished . . . Well, suppress your astonishment. . . .

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