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ἐφ᾽ ᾧ(τε) with infinitive: condition (or goal, result) as satellite


καί μοι δοκεῖ κἂν ἐκλιπεῖν τὸν βίον ἐφ’ ᾧ μὴ δοῦναι τὰ τρία τάλαντα.

‘And I think he preferred to take leave of life than to pay the three talents.’ (Plb. 21.26.14)

The infinitive, introduced by ἐφ᾽ ᾧ or ἐφ᾽ ᾧτε, signals a restrictive condition, and sometimes also a restrictive goal or result, as a satellite.

Lexical usage

As a result of the psilosis in the Ionic dialect Herodotus writes ἐπ᾽ ᾧ and ἐπ᾽ ᾧτε.


In the main clause these conditional clauses are sometimes anticipated by ἐπὶ τούτῳ (in Herodotus and Thucydides ἐπὶ τοῖσδε).

Example Sentences: 

ἀφί̄εμέν σε, ἐπὶ τούτῳ μέντοι, ἐφ᾽ ᾧτε μηκέτι ... φιλοσοφεῖν

We'll let you go, provided you stop philosophizing. [provisional translation]

οὗτοι δεῦρο ἀφικόμενοι τὸν δῆμον ᾔτησαν δωρεάν, καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ὁ δῆμος τιμὰς μεγάλας, ὡς τότ’ ἐδόκει, τρεῖς λιθίνους Ἑρμᾶς στῆσαι ἐν τῇ στοᾷ τῇ τῶν Ἑρμῶν, ἐφ’ ᾧτε μὴ ἐπιγράφειν τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἑαυτῶν, ἵνα μὴ τῶν στρατηγῶν, ἀλλὰ τοῦ δήμου δοκῇ εἶναι τὸ ἐπίγραμμα

When they came back home, they asked the people for a reward, and the people gave them great rewards, as they were regarded then: three stone Hermes were erected in the Stoa of the Hermes, and in such a way that they would not put their names on them, so that the inscription would not seem to have been placed in honour of the generals, but in honour of the people.

χίλια τάλαντα καὶ διακόσια προσέθηκαν τοῖς Ῥωμαίοις ἐφ’ ᾧ μὴ κατὰ τὸ παρὸν ἀναδέξασθαι τὸν πόλεμον.

They paid the Romans 1200 talents on the condition that they would fight no war for the time being.

ποιησάμενοι δὲ συνθήκας ἐφ’ ᾧ τὰ μὲν αἰχμάλωτα χωρὶς λύτρων ἀποδοῦναι τὸν βασιλέα Ῥωμαίοις, ἀργυρίου δὲ προσθεῖναι τάλαντα τούτοις ἑκατόν, λοιπὸν ἤδη Ῥωμαῖοι μὲν ὡς φίλοις καὶ συμμάχοις ἐχρῶντο τοῖς Συρακοσίοις.

They made a treaty by which the king agreed to deliver his prisoners to the Romans without ransom and to pay them an additional one hundred talents. The Romans would then treat the Syracusans as friends and allies in future.