ὄρνις δ᾽ ὣς ἀνοπαῖα. Some of the interpretations of this much disputed passage are noted in Apollon. Lex. “ἀνόπαια. ἔνιοι μὲν ὄνομα ὀρνέου: καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἄλλοις ‘φήνῃ εἰδομένη.’ ἔνιοι δὲ ἀνοπαίως ὅ ἐστιν ἀοράτως. τινὲς δὲ, ἀνὰ τὴν ὀπὴν, τὴν θυρίδα”.As to the first interpretation, sc. “ὄνομα ὀρνέου”, according to which the Anopaea is taken to be a sort of ‘seaeagle,’ it is insisted that “ὄρνις” without the species subjoined is found in Homer only once and that in a simile, “ὡς δ᾽ ὄρνις ἀπτῆσι νεοσσοῖσι προφέρῃσι” “μάστακ᾽ ἐπεί κε λάβῃσι κ.τ.λ.” Il.9. 323; and further that the present passage is no simile, but a description of an eidolon of Pallas. Colour is given to this last assertion by the fact that on two other occasions Pallas disappears in the form of a bird, Od.3. 371“ὣς ἄρα φωνήσασ᾽ ἀπέβη γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη”
“φήνῃ εἰδομένη: θάμβος δ᾽ ἔχε πάντας ἰδόντας”, and 22. 240 “αὐτὴ δ᾽ αἰθαλόεντος ἀνὰ μεγάροιο μέλαθρον”
“ἕζετ᾽ ἀναΐξασα, χελιδόνι εἰκέλη ἄντην”. But “ὄρνις ὥς” cannot describe an eidolon; it is merely a simile such as Odysseus uses of himself, Od.12. 433“τῷ προσφὺς ἐχόμην ὡς νυκτερίς”. It is possible, if the clause before us had been less concise, that “ὄρνις ὥς” might have been expanded into the description of an “εἴδωλον”, as in the other two cases; but, as it is, it is a concentrated simile. It is worth while adding that concentration in similes seems to dispense with specification. Compare the elaborate simile Il.15. 80“ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἂν ἀίξῃ νόος ἀνέρος κ.τ.λ. . . Ὣς κραιπνῶς μεμαυῖα διέπτατο πότνια Ἥρη” with the curt reminiscence of it Od.7. 36“τῶν νέες ὠκεῖαι ὡς εἰ πτέρον ἠὲ νόημα”, which is so abstract as to sound quite modern. La Roche (Hom. Stud. § 38) notices also that in the passages where a species is subjoined to “ὄρνις”, as “ὄρνις αἰετός” Il.12. 200, 218; 13. 821; Od.15. 160; 20. 242; or “αἰετὸς ὄρνις” Od.15. 548; or “ὄρνις κίρκος” Od.15. 525, there is a reason for such an addition, as the reference is to augury.
Some support is given to the interpretation “ἀοράτως”, by comparing the present passage with Od.3. 371.Here, Telemachus merely ponders on the sudden disappearance of the goddess, “ὁ δὲ φρεσὶν ᾑσι νοήσας θάμβησεν κατὰ θυμόν”, but in the other passage where she is described as flying off “φήνῃ εἰδομένη”, the wonderful sight is the circumstance brought prominently forward, (3. 371) “θάμβος δ᾽ ἔχε πάντας ἰδόντας. θαύμαζεν δ̓ ὁ γέρων ὅπως ἴδεν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν”. This according to Schol. on Il.18. 318; 21. 417 was the view of Herodian. For the interpretation which renders the word ‘through the smoke vent,’ cp. Cramer, Anec. Oxon. 1. 83 “ὀπὴ, ὀπαία καὶ ἀνόπαια ἡ καπνοδόχη: οὕτως Ἀριστοφάνης: τοὺς γὰρ ἀρχαίους οἴκους ἐν τῇ ὀροφῇ τὰς ἀναπνοὰς ἔχειν, ἢ ἡ τετρημένη κεραμίς. Κάσσιος δὲ Λογγῖνος ‘ὄρνις ὣς ἀνόπαια,’ ἵν᾽ ᾖ χελιδὼν ἀπὸ τῆς ὀπῆς κ.τ.λ.” For a modification of this view see Gerlach (Philolog. xxx. p. 503 foll.), who regards “ὀπαῖα” as the intermediate spaces between the ends of the beams that support the roof. The beam-ends were, at any rate in later times, carved with triglyphs, and in the space between (intertignium), panels with carving (“μετόπαι”) might be inserted; but sometimes an opening was left for light, ventilation, etc., cp. Eur. I. T.113“ὅρα δέ γ᾽ εἴσω τριγλύφων ὅπου κενὸν δέμας καθεῖναι”. This is far better than supposing the bird to have gone straight up to a hole in the roof. But the simplest and best rendering appears to be that suggested by Eustath. from the use of the word by Empedocles (l. 302 Karsten), “καρπαλίμως ἀνόπαιον”. Eustath. says “τὸ ἀνόπαια . . δοκεῖ τισὶ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀνωφερὴς εἶναι, ὡρμημένοις ἐκ τῶν Ἐμπεδοκλέους εἰπόντος ἐπὶ πυρὸς τὸ καρπαλίμως ἀνόπαιον”. This rendering, ‘upwards,’ is further confirmed by the use of “Ἀνόπαια” as the name of the ‘steep path’ by which the defenders of Thermopylae were betrayed ( Hdt.7. 216). Mr. Margoliouth suggests that the name given to the path had some relation to the name “Πύλαι” (cp. the form “Προπύλαια”); as though the meaning was something like ‘the trapdoor,’ and was applied by the popular wit to a way of getting into Greece without going through ‘The Doors.’ The name “Ἀνόπαια”, from “ἄνω”, may be compared with “Ὑπερείη”, the ‘highland’ home of the Phaeacians. See Hom. Od.6. 4. τῷ, ‘for him,’ sc. “Τηλεμάχῳ”.