παπταίνων, ‘glancing terribly round.’ If with the lexicons we regard this word as a reduplicated form of root “πτα”, seen in “πτήσσω”, etc., it must get its meaning from the idea of the half-timid, half-angry look of a crouching beast that is brought to bay or caught in the toils. In that sense we may perhaps compare it with “δοκεύειν”, in Od.5. 274“ἄρκτος . . Ὠρίωνα δοκεύει”. The use of “παπταίνειν” always suggests anxiety in the look; even here there is caution blended with keen expectation expressed.Join αἰεὶ βαλέοντι, ‘ever as if about to shoot;’ comparing “αἰεὶ γὰρ δίφρου ἐπιβησομένοισιν ἐίκτην” Il.23. 379, “ἀπορρίψοντι ἐοικώς” Hesiod. Scut.215; ‘Quos super atra silex iam iam lapsura cadentique imminet assimilis’ Virg. Aen.6. 602.The juxtaposition of four participles here without any finite verb is very remarkable; nor do the MSS. suggest any var. lect. It is possible to conjecture “πάπταινεν” for “παπταίνων”, or “ἔχεν” for “ἔχων”, or “ἐοικώς” may be supposed (as by Fäsi) equivalent to “ἐοικὼς ἦν”, but such a form of the ‘periphrastic conjugation’ would be very strange, and if the need of it had been felt, nothing would have been simpler than to write “ἐῴκει”. It seems not unlikely that there is a real rhetorical art in the grouping of these abrupt, unconnected, clauses. The very passage has, as it were, the expression or attitude of uneasy expectation.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.