εἰ with a subordinate clause: cause

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ταῦτα θαυμάζω, κἄτι πρὸς τούτοις, εἰ μηδεὶς ὑμῶν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, δύναται λογίσασθαι πόσον πολεμεῖτε χρόνον Φιλίππῳ

Daarover verbaas ik me, heren Atheners: dat niemand van u kan begrijpen hoe lang u al tegen Philippos strijdt.


A subordinate clause, introduced by εἰ as well as by καίπερ or εἴπερ, sometimes has causative force as a satellite. However, this is mainly an issue of interpretation and translation. The meaning of these constructions has evolved from ‘if/although’ through ‘if/although it is true that…’ to ‘because’.

Lexical usage

The main verb is usually a verb expressing an emotion (or verbum affectuum).

Syntactic behaviour

The use of tenses and moods corresponds to that of the conditional clause.
In contrast to the customary causative clauses a subordinate clause with εἰ formulates the cause in a more delicate way, as though it were merely an assumption; as a result, the negation in these cases is sometimes μή.

Example Sentences: 


ὥστε δικαίως ἂν ὑφ᾽ ὑμῶν καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων ἐλεηθείην, οὐ μόνον εἴ τι πάθοιμι ὧν Σίμων βούλεται, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅτι ἠναγκάσθην ἐκ τοιούτων πραγμάτων εἰς τοιούτους ἀγῶνας καταστῆναι

So I would justly receive your pity, not only if [or: because] I must undergo something of such a fate as Simon wishes, but also because I am compelled by such circumstances to stand trial in such a way.