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Indicative in main clause without ἄν: neutral modality


ἀλλ' ἔσθ' ὁ θάνατος λοῖσθος ἰατρὸς νόσων

‘Death is the ultimate physician for diseases.’ ( #)

The indicative without ἄν signals a finding, i.e. that the speaker represents the action as real or generally valid. Whether or not the event actually took place is of no importance.

Syntactic usage

In a main clause (or apodosis) accompanied by a conditional clause (or protasis) the force of the indicative is neutral: it does not explicitly state that the state of affairs actually takes place.

Example Sentences: 

ἱερὸν ἀληθῶς ἐστιν ἡ συμβουλία

Competent advice is certainly a sacred thing. ֍

εἰ θεοί τι δρῶσιν αἰσχρόν, οὐκ εἰσὶν θεοί

If the gods do something disgraceful, they are not gods. [provisional translation] ֍

οἱ γὰρ ἀρχαῖοι πρὸ τοῦ τὸν σῖτον εὑρεῖν βαλάνους ἤσθιον καὶ ὀπώρας

Before grain was discovered past generations ate acorns and the fruit of the season. ֍