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Headword: *balei=n
Adler number: beta,77
Translated headword: to hit, to throw
Vetting Status: high
The [verb that means] to send from afar. But ou)ta/sai ["to hurt"] and nu/cai ["to pierce"] and tu/yai ["to strike"] [mean] to wound from the hand.[1]
*ba/llein ["to hit"] in Homer is also [used] for "to happen upon" [tugxa/nein]: "[to] hit all wild things."[2]
Greek Original:
*balei=n: to\ po/rrwqen pe/myai. ou)ta/sai de\ kai\ nu/cai kai\ tu/yai, to\ e)k xeiro\s trw=sai. *ba/llein par' *(omh/rw| kai\ e)pi\ tou= tugxa/nein. ba/len a)/gria pa/nta.
[1] The headword is the aorist active infinitive (presumably quoted from somewhere) of ba/llw. For the many meanings of this verb cf. beta 70, beta 71, beta 72, beta 73, beta 74, beta 75, beta 76, beta 78, beta 79, beta 80; and see generally LSJ s.v. (web address 1). The particular distinction here, from verbs of close-range hitting, is repeated at nu 614, omicron 968, and tau 1240.
[2] Homer, Iliad 5.52, which reads ba/llein ["to hit"] for the lexicon's unmetrical ba/len: web address 2 below. The uses in Homer are well analyzed in Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos II (fasc. 10, 1982) 23-37. The verb tugxa/nw is commonly used in Homer as a synonym of ba/llw "hit", e.g. Iliad 5.582 *)Anti/loxos de\ *Mu/dona ba/l'… xermadi/w| a)gkw=na tuxw\n me/son "Antilochus struck Mydon, hitting the middle of his elbow with a rock", cf. 23.857. See Cunliffe, Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect, and Dyer 660-61 (Bibliography below, citing A.W. Gomme on Thucydides' use of the word, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides III 488-89). It probably originally meant "hit the mark, succeed," an antonym for a(marta/nw "miss the mark, fail" (as at Iliad 5.287).
Dyer, R.R. "Hamartia in the Poetics and Aristotle's model of failure," Arion 4 (1965) 658-64; cf. Classical Review 15 (1965) 251, note 3
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: definition; epic; military affairs
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 13 April 2002@23:03:21.
Vetted by:
Robert Dyer (Added clarification to Headword, added web address and commentary of verb as synonym of "happen upon".) on 4 May 2002@04:07:46.
Robert Dyer (Clarified definition of tugkhano in Homer, added my own treatment of the subject) on 4 May 2002@13:20:26.
Catharine Roth (added a word to the notes; simplified link) on 4 May 2002@17:08:37.
Robert Dyer (Added x-ref.) on 17 April 2003@17:49:54.
David Whitehead (modified translation and note; added x-refs; cosmetics) on 18 April 2003@03:22:00.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Corrected typo, cosmetics) on 21 January 2006@17:24:13.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, betacode, keyword, status) on 14 October 2009@01:20:20.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 21 May 2012@03:58:29.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 5 June 2012@02:00:43.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 24 January 2015@00:25:31.
David Whitehead on 24 January 2015@03:28:55.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 1 February 2016@00:30:16.


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