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Il(s) frappai(en)t à la ronde : Remarques sur la signification de l'adverbe ἐπιστροφάδην dans les épopées homériques

David-Artur Daix 1
1 Sciences des textes anciens : Littérature grecque archaïque et classique
AOROC - Archéologies d'Orient et d'Occident et Sciences des textes
Abstract : The adverb ἐπιστροφάδην, « turning this way and that way, all around », is rarely found in Homeric poetry. There are only two examples in the Iliad : Diomedes in the Doloneia was killing Rhesos and his Thracians left and right (τύπτε δ’ ἐπιστροφάδην : XXI.20) ; Achilles during his aristeia was hitting the Trojans left and right (τύπτε δ’ ἐπιστροφάδην : XXI.20). Two others in the Odyssey describe with the same formulas (τύπτον δ’ ἐπιστροφάδην : ΧΧΙΙ.308 and κτεῖνον δ’ ἐπιστροφάδην : XXIV.184) the slaughter of the suitors by Ulysses and his three companions. In his book Odysseus Polytropos, Pietro Pucci connects those instances and shows how, thanks to the formulaic composition, Ulysses, at the end of his adventure, imitates the iliadic heroes : while he avenges himself, the man of a thousand tricks becomes a champion of strength. However, there is a fifth instance of that word for us to explain : in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes (210), it describes the flight « in all direction, whirling » and full of trickery of the young god who has just stolen Apollo’s cattle. Here ἐπιστροφάδην does not belong to the realm of martial strength : βίη, but to that of its rival, craft : μῆτις. How, then, can we reconcile those seemingly contradictory uses of the same adverb ?
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David-Artur Daix. Il(s) frappai(en)t à la ronde : Remarques sur la signification de l'adverbe ἐπιστροφάδην dans les épopées homériques. Revue des Etudes Grecques, [Paris]: [Association pour l'encouragement des études grecques en France], 2009, 121, pp.421-442. ⟨10.3406/reg.2008.7980⟩. ⟨hal-00697843⟩

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