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On Negativing Greek Participles, Where the Leading Verbs are of a Type to Require μή

  • A. C. Moorhouse (a1)

It is one of the attractions of Greek syntax that it provides an abundance of usages which require careful discrimination, if we are to appreciate their value; and which at the same time present problems of interpretation which have not been completely solved. This is particularly the case with the use of the negatives, and it is one of these constructions with which we are concerned here.

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page 35 note 1 Kūhner–Gerth, ii. 200, says that μ⋯ is frequently found with such participles, where οὐ would otherwise be the negative required: ‘wegen der Konstruktion des Satzes μή gebraucht wird, wo an sich οὐ stehen müsste’. Thompson , Syntax of Attic Greek, 412, takes the use of μή as normal, though allowing two classes of case in which οὐ iś used, where ‘the Participial clause may assert its independence’. Humbert , Syntaxe Grecque, 366–7, says that μή is general, but not obligatory: one also finds the οὐ which would logically be expected.

page 35 note 2 That is, those in authors down to 400 B.C. I have relied almost entirely on the valuable collection of such passages contained in the article by Howes G. E., ‘The Use of μή with the Participle, where the negative is influenced by the construction upon which the participle depends’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, xii, 1901, 277–85. References to Howes hereafter will be to this article. Howes's standpoint, which I do not share, may be seen in his title, being that now generally accepted. It is unfortunately a defect of the article that: he arranges the passages only according to the nature of the construction on which the participle depends, and not according to their authors and periods. It is therefore not historical in its treatment.

page 36 note 1 (b), 1. Hes . Op. 591 κα⋯ βοòς ὑλοϕ⋯γοιο κρ⋯ας μή πω τετοκνíης.

page 38 note 1 I have not included here two passages with ὡς introducing the participial clause: O.C. 1154–5 δíδαοκ⋯ με | ὡς μ⋯ εἰδóτ' αὐτ⋯Ʋ μηδ⋯ν ὡν σὺ πυνθ⋯νῃ; and Ph. 415 ὡς μηκ⋯τ' ⋯ντα κεῖνον ⋯ν ϕ⋯ει νόει. This is because I believe that ὡς has a disturbing influence on the following negative, due to the frequently generic character of the clauses that it introduces, and therefore it happens that in about half of the cases μή is found instead of οὐ. We should expect οὐ, since clauses of this kind are all non-predicative. Thus the predicative distinction, on which I lay emphasis, is overruled. How easily the generic suggestion arises can be seen in the two passages from Sophocles just quoted: ‘teach me, as I do not know’ passing into ‘teach me, as I am one of those who do not know’; and ‘think of him as no longer living’ into ‘think of him as of one of the dead’. I shall indicate in foot-notes the existence of passages with ὡς. There are, in all, nine cases of μή after ὡς, and eight of οὐ.

page 38 note 2 οὐ in negative combination O.C. 935 (οὐχ⋯κών).

page 38 note 3 ὡς with μή Alc. 1094; Heracl. 693: with οὐ Med. 1311; Rhes. 145. οὐ in negative combination And. 894 (οὐκ εὗ); Phoen. 1319 (οὐκ⋯τ' ὂντα); Fr. 450 (οὐκέτ' οὗσιν).

page 39 note 1 ὡς with μή Ran. 128.

page 39 note 2 ὡς with οὐ 9. 122: οὐ in negative combination I. II (οὐ νομιζóμενα)

page 39 note 3 ὡς with μ⋯ 1. 120. 2 fin.; 7. 15. 1 bis; 7. 77. 7: ὡς with οὐ 3. 4. 4; 3. 37. 4; 7. 31. 4; 8. 63. 4. οὐ in negative combination 4. 22. 3 (οὐ τυχóντες); 6. 9. 1 (οὐ προσ⋯κοντα); 8. 104. 4 (οὐχ ⋯κ⋯ς).

page 40 note 1 Some examples may be seen in Gildersleeve , ‘Encroachments of μή on οὐ in Later Greek’, A.J.P. i. 4557. It is interesting that Gildersleeve remarks (p. 54) that ‘of classic authors Sophocles is especially free in using μή with the relative’: to which we might add that he is also unusually free in the use of μή in place of οὐ in the nonpredicative phrases here examined. Cf. too the remark of Humbert , Syntaxe Grecque, 363, on the freedom of use of the negative particles by Sophocles.

page 40 note 2 His gross total is more than mine, because he includes Antiphon and Andocides (9 examples), and chiefly because he reckons a number which I do not accept as proper examples of the construction.

page 40 note 3 The ‘irregular’ cases of οὐ, according to the prevailing view, are taken as examples of especially emphatic and clear statement. Thus Howes , and Thompson , Syntax of Attic Greek, 412, on Eur . Hec. 517 εἰπ⋯, καíπερ οὐ λ⋯ξων ϕíλα; and Kühner–Gerth, ii. 200, on Thuc. 4. 111. 2 … τι⋯ς περιαγαγóντες ⋯σεκóμισαν, ὃπως τοὺς ⋯ν τῇ πóλει οὐδ⋯ν εἰδóτας ⋯ξαπíνμς ϕοβ⋯σειαν. But I cannot find much cogency in this argument, which has the appearance of invention fatue de mieux.

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The Classical Quarterly
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