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Temporal clause in the optative without ἄν: repeated event


ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ ὁπότε εὐτυχοίη, οὐκ ἀνθρώπων ὑπερεφρόνει, ἀλλὰ θεοῖς χάριν ᾔδει

‘But whenever he prospered he did not look down on people, but thanked the gods.’ (Xen. Ages. 11.2)

A subordinate clause in the optative, introduced by a temporal conjunction, signals a repeated event. The main clause usually contains an imperfect.

Lexical usage

This construction is usually introduced by ὁπότε; in the works of Herodotus also by ὅκως (= Att. ὅπως).

Syntactic usage

The iterative dimension of the main verb (in the imperfect or aorist indicative) can be strengthened by an iterative ἄν or (in Ionic) by the suffix -σκ-.

Example Sentences: 

ἀλλ’ ὅτε δὴ πολύμητις ἀναΐξειεν Ὀδυσσεὺς

στάσκεν, ὑπαὶ δὲ ἴδεσκε κατὰ χθονὸς ὄμματα πήξας

But every time the inventive Ulysses arose, he stood and looked down, eyes downcast. [provisional translation]

ὁ δὲ ἐν τῷ δρόμῳ τὸν μνηστῆρα, ὁπότε ἐγγὺς γένοιτο, κατηκόντιζεν

On the way [Oenomaus] shot down the lover, whenever he came close. ֍

εἰκὸς δήπου ἦν, ὁπότε περ ἐπιδημοίη, μηδὲ μεθ’ ἑνὸς ἄλλου ἰέναι τὸν Ἀστύφιλον ἢ μετὰ Κλέωνος

It was certainly plausible that Astyphilus, whenever he was in the city, accompanied nobody else than Cleon.

ὁπότε δεήσειεν αὐτῷ χρημάτων, τὸ ἴσον διάφορον ὁ πενέστατος τῷ πλουσιωτάτῳ κατέφερε

Whenever he [= Tarquinius Superbus] needed money, the poorest [citizen] contributed as much as the richest. ֍