ἀελπτέοντες represents an imperf. because they were in despair of his safety, not daring to believe that he was yet alive. “ἀελπής” occurs in Od. 5.408, “ἄελπτος” not before Hymn. Ap. 91, Cer. 219, so perhaps we should prefer the variant “ἀελπέοντες”. The synizesis is suspicious. Herod. imitates the phrase (vii. 168) “ἀελπτέοντες τοὺς Ἕλληνας ὑπερβαλέεσθαι”.
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