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Why an optative? (Eur. IT. 85-86)

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Why an optative? (Eur. IT. 85-86)

Postby GJCaesar » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:37 pm

Euripides' IT, 85-86:

''σὺ δ᾽ εἶπας ἐλθεῖν Ταυρικῆς μ᾽ ὅρους χθονός,
ἔνθ᾽ Ἄρτεμίς σοι σύγγονος βωμοὺς ἔχοι'' (Orestes speaking just after he and Pylades reached the temple)

So, this might be an odd question, but for some reason, I can't understand the optative here. And why is it present tense?

GJC
vincatur oportet aut vincat
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Re: Why an optative? (Eur. IT. 85-86)

Postby Qimmik » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:08 pm

This is the optative in a subordinate clause in indirect discourse after a verb in a historical tense.

Smyth 2619: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Apart%3D4%3Achapter%3D55%3Asection%3D151

On the tense, see Smyth 1862:

Optative (in indirect discourse).—When the optative in indirect discourse represents the indicative after a past tense of a verb of saying or thinking, each tense does denote time (as well as stage of action) relatively to that of the leading verb.

a. The present optative represents the imperfect as well as the present indicative.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Apart%3D4%3Achapter%3D44%3Asection%3D111%3Asubsection%3D123
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Re: Why an optative? (Eur. IT. 85-86)

Postby GJCaesar » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:18 pm

Ah yes, of course. I just didn't see it, but you perfectly clear explanation solves the problem!

GJC
vincatur oportet aut vincat
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