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The potential optative with “κε” or “ἄν” is sometimes found referring to present or past time in situations where the Athenians would have used the imperfect or aorist indicative with “ἄν”—for example, in the conclusion of contrary to fact conditions. The exact translation of such optatives must be determined by the context. Compare the similar use of the optative in present impossible wishes, § 202. E. g. A 232, γὰρ ἄν, Ἀτρεΐδη, νῦν ὕστατα λωβήσαιο”, ‘else, Agamemnon, you would surely have been insolent now for the last time.’ See notes on B 81,ψεῦδός κεν φαῖμεν κτλ.3.220,φαίης κεν”.

καί νύ κεν ἔνθ᾽ ἀπόλοιτο ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Αἰνεία_ς,
εἰ μὴ ἄρ᾽ ὀξὺ νόησε ... Ἀφροδι?τη.

1. In a few instances present contrary to fact conditions, as it would seem, are expressed with the optative in both protasis and apodosis. They are therefore identical in form with the less vivid future. E. g. 9.515-517, and probably 16.71-73, 22.20. See notes.

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