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non erat hoc nimium, ‘this were (would be) no heavy task.’ It is unnecessary to suppose a change of standpoint from the time of dat and fugit to the time of speaking. In this construction with the imperfect indicative, for which English uses a present indicative or hypothetical expression, there is reference to some past belief or expectation, which has now been confirmed or disappointed, generally the latter. Cf. 503 n., X. 633, “vivere dignus eras” (where the thought in Atalanta's mind is ‘but your resolve to race with me condemns you to die’), Ex Pont. IV. xiii. 37, “‘scribas haec cum de Caesare’ dixit, ‘Caesaris imperio restituendus eras’” Sometimes it takes an interrogative form, as in Virg. Aen.II. 664.It is excellently illustrated by Wickham on Hor. C. I. xxxvii. 4. Cf. Madv § 348e, Roby, § 1535c. For the corresponding Greek usage see Goodwin, Moods and Tenses, § 11, note 6, Jelf, § 398, 5, Madv. Greek Syntax, § 113, Rem.3 and App. § 257, C. ad fin., and cf. Eur. Ion, 185, “οὐκ ἐν ταῖς ζαθέαις Ἀθάναις εὐκίονες ἦσαν αὐλαὶ θεῶν μόνον, οὐδ᾽ ἀγυιάτιδες θεραπεῖαι”, Androm. 418. magna loquenti, to one who as we say ‘talked big.’ Cf. IX. 31, “puduit modo magna locutum cedere”.
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