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Pl. Ap. 21d7

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Pl. Ap. 21d7

Postby NateD26 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:30 am

ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι,
ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι.

I'm going back a bit before continuing, and I wanted to ask why the negation in the relative clause is μή.
If it were a definite participle, i would know that it represents a general condition in place of subjunctive + ἄν,
that is, "that which i do not know (if in general i do not know something), i am (always) not even thinking that i do".

But here it is indicative, and not after an indefinite relative pronoun (ἅτινα), so we can't say that this is what
dictated the negation choice.

My commentary says that it is by attraction to the infinitive, but -- and please correct me if I'm wrong --
doesn't an infinitive in indirect speech retain the original negation of οὐ (assuming it was a 'regular' indicative of course)?
If I say:
ἔφη· "οὐκ οἶδα τί λέγω" » he/she said: "I do not know what I should say."
it'll become in indirect speech:
οὐκ ἔφη εἰδέναι τί/ὅτι λέγῃ/λέγοι » he/she said that he/she did not know what he/she should say.

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Re: Pl. Ap. 21d7

Postby modus.irrealis » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:56 pm

My first impression is that ἃ μὴ οἶδα here is equivalent to εἴ τι μὴ οἶδα and that would explain the μή. I mean that it does have a general meaning but it's just not the more common form. Smyth has some similar examples in 2562 and I would group this example with those.

And yes, as far as I know the usual thing is to keep the οὐ in indirect speech. Smyth talks about exceptions starting in 2722 but I don't think those apply here.
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