I will assume you're talking about ancient Greek and specifically Attic
Greek; I'm not sure that I'm responding to precisely the question you're
asking, but here goes--and what I am noting here is just what you'll find
in Smyth or any standard textbook covering Attic grammar, mostly under the
heading of sequence of moods and tenses:
It seems to me that it is the Optative, which has all but disappeared in
the Koine of the NT, is quite important in both conditional and indirect
question sequences, but also in purpose, jussive, and fear clauses,
although in most of these the determining factor is whether the tense of
the verb in the main clause is primary or secondary. So, for example, in
the following sentences, a shift from present to aorist in the main
verbbrings a shift from subjunctive to optative in the subodinate clause:
PURPOSE: ERXETAI hO PAULOS EIS TAS AQHNAS hINA TOUS AQHNAIOUS
HLQEN hO PAULOS EIS TAS AQHNAS hINA TOUS AQHNAIOUS EUAGGELISAITO.
JUSSIVE: TOUTO hUMIN PARAINW, MH TOUS NHSIWTAS hAPANTAS APOKTEINHTE, but
TOUTO hUMIN PARHiNESA, MH TOUS NHSIWTAS hAPANTAS APOKTEINAITE.
FEAR: FOBOUMEQA MH hOI RWMAIOI ELQONTES THN GHN hOLWS APOLESWSIN, but
EFOBOUMEQA MH hOI RWMAIOI ELQONTES THN GHN hOLWS APOLESAIEN.
The sequence rule seems to fall into play even when an indirect question
goes into secondary sequence, although here the indicative is used with
primary main verb:
OUK ISMEN hOSTIS ESTIN EKEINOS hO XENOS, but
OUK HiDEMEN hOSTIS EIH EKEINOS hO XENOS.
Generalizing conditions in Attic call for a subjunctive in the subordinate
clause in primary sequence, but for an optative in the subordinate clause
and an imperfect indicative in the results clause.
hOTAN PARHi hO KURIOS MEQ' hHMWN, XAIROMEN, but
hOTE PAREIH hO KURIOS MEQ' hHMWN, EXAIROMEN.
The one common type of condition wherein BOTH clauses call for a
non-indicative is the potential:
XAIROIMEN AN, EI TIS AGGELOS PARA TOU QEOU PAR' hHMIN PARAGENOITO.
This is all pretty standard stuff, and may not be at all what you have in
mind. I don't really think that the mood of any main verb is affected or
altered by that a subordinate verb, but rather that the moods are governed
pretty strictly, at least in classical Attic, by the logic of
reality/contingency. But I think that subjunctive usage is in process of
rather radical transition in the Koine of the NT era.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
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