The more familiar uses of the infinitive as nominative and as accusative (in Homer always without the article), and in indirect discourse, being common to both Attic and Homeric Greek, need no special comment.
The infinitive is commonly explanatory and often expresses purpose. This meaning as well as that mentioned in § 212
is a survival of an original dative
force—the “to” or “for” relation of a verbal noun in the dative case to other words in the sentence. Such infinitives are found in Homer after verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. E. g. A 338,
“καί σφωιν δὸς ἄγειν
”, ‘and give her to these two to lead [i. e. ‘for leading’] away.’ 18.83
, etc., “θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι
”, ‘a marvel to behold.’ A 107,
“φίλα ... μαντεύεσθαι
”, ‘dear to prophesy.’
“τηλόθι δ᾽ υ?λη ἀξέμεν
, ‘and the wood is far to bring.’ Cf. notes on A 589
and Z 460.