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μή with a mood other than the subjunctive: object with verbs of fearing


δέδια, μὴ λελήθασιν ἡμᾶς οἱ πολέμιοι περιστάντες

‘I am afraid that our enemies are surrounding us unawares.’ (J. AJ 18.320)

A subordinate clause in the indicative (usually the perfect indicative) without ἄν, introduced by μή, signals a causative object with verbs of fearing when the object of fear is in the past and thus can no longer be changed.In general, a large variety of verbal forms may be used after historical tenses, all of which can be explained in terms of their own (aspectual and temporal) meaning. => realis, potential (with ἄν), counterfactual

Translation tips

The usual translation is a subordinate clause, introduced by 'that'. However, it is sometimes preferable to use an indirect question in translation: ὁρῶμεν μὴ Νῑκίᾱς οἴεταί τι λέγειν 'Let us see if Nicias thinks he is talking sense.'

Syntactic usage

Sometimes ὅπως μή is used instead of μή.


[based on perseus under philologic: very rare]