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2455. When the main clause is negative, πρίν sometimes takes the infinitive in Attic, and generally means before, rarely until. When before and after are contrasted, until is out of place, and the πρίν clause often precedes.

a. In reference to present or past time: ““πρὶν ὡς αφοβον ἐλθεῖν μίαν ἡμέρα_ν οὐκ ἐχήρευσενbefore she came to Aphobus she was not a widow a single dayD. 30.33, πρὶν μὲν τοῦτο πρᾶξαι Λεωκράτην ἄδηλον ἦν ὁποῖοί τινες ἐτύγχανον, νῦν δέ κτλ. before Leocrates did this, it was uncertain what sort of men they were; but now, etc. Lyc. 135, ““πρὶν ἀνάγεσθαί με εἰς τὴν Αἶνον . . . οὐδεὶς ᾐτιά_σατό μεbefore I proceeded to set sail for Aenus no one accused meAnt. 5.25.

b. In reference to action unfulfilled: οὓς (λόγους) ““εἴ τις ἐπέδειξεν αὐτοῖς πρὶν ἐμὲ διαλεχθῆναι περὶ αὐτῶν, οὐκ ἔστιν ὅπως οὐκ ἂν . . . δυσκόλως πρὸς σὲ διετέθησανand if any one had shown these words to them before I discussed them, it is inevitable that they would have been discontented with youI. 12.250.

c. In reference to future time: ““οὐχ οἷόν τ᾽ ἐστὶν αἰσθέσθαι πρὶν κακῶς τινας παθεῖν ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶνit is not possible to perceive this before some suffer injury at their handsI. 20.14, ““καί μοι μὴ θορυβήσῃ μηδεὶς πρὶν ἀκοῦσαιand let no one raise a disturbance before he hearsD. 5.15 (cp. ὅπως μὴ θορυβήσει μηδεὶς πρὶν ἂν ἅπαντα εἴπω D. 13, 14).

N.—With verbs of fearing, the positive being the thing dreaded; as δέδοικα μὴ πρὶν πόνοις ὑπερβάλῃ με γῆρας πρὶν σὰ_ν χαρίεσσαν προσιδεῖν ὥρα_ν I fear lest old age overcome me with its troubles before I live to behold thy gracious beauty E. fr. 453.

d. Infinitive instead of the optative after a leading verb in a secondary tense: ““ἱ_κέτευον μηδαμῶς ἀποτρέπεσθαι πρὶν ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων χώρα_νthey entreated them by no means to turn aside until they should invade the territory of the LacedaemoniansX. H. 6.5.23 (here the optative might stand in indirect discourse to represent the subjunctive with ἄν), οὔτ᾽ αὐτός ποτε πρὶν ἱδρῶσαι δεῖπνον ᾑρεῖτο neither was he ever accustomed to take his supper until he got into a sweat by exercise X. C. 8.1.38 (for ἱδρώσειε, see 2451).

e. Infinitive after an optative with ἄν in a principal clause: εἴ τίς τινα μηχανὴν ἔχοι πρὸς τοῦτο . . ., οὐκ ἄν ποτε λέγων ἀπείποι τὸ τοιοῦτον πρὶν ἐπὶ τέλος ἐλθεῖν; if ever any lawgiver should have any plan for this, would he ever be weary of discussing such a scheme until he reached the end? P. L. 769e. Here the subjunctive with ἄν is permitted.

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