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Headword: *die/kploi
Adler number: delta,910
Translated headword: breaks-through, sailings-through
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] attacking and cutting through the enemy line [sc. of ships] and turning back and attacking again. But "turnings-back" [a)nastrofai\][1] are retreats backwards.[2]
Greek Original:
*die/kploi: to\ e)mba/llein kai\ diasxi/zein th\n tw=n e)nanti/wn ta/cin kai\ pa/lin u(postre/fein kai\ au)=qis e)mba/llein. a)nastrofai\ de/ ei)sin ai( ei)s tou)pi/sw u(poxwrh/seis.
From the scholia to Thucydides 1.49.3 (web address 1) and 2.89.8 (web address 2), where the headword appears. It refers to a naval maneuver in which the attacking ship sails into and through the enemy line and then turns to ram amidships. Beyond that, however, modern experts disagree as to whether the maneuver was undertaken by a whole fleet deploying in line ahead against an enemy defensively deployed by line abreast, or whether it could be carried out by individual vessels. For the former (traditional) view see e.g. J.S. Morrison and R.T. Williams, Greek Oared Ships (Cambridge 1968) 137-139; for the latter, J.F. Lazenby, 'The diekplous', Greece & Rome 34 (1987) 169ff.
[1] Also mentioned in Thucydides 2.89.8 (above); and cf. alpha 2086.
[2] See E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides, Book 2 ad loc.: "a)nastrofai/--turning back after any manœuvre to regain the original position of the ship." (accessible via web address 2).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; history; military affairs
Translated by: James Vradelis on 29 June 2004@23:58:39.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 30 June 2004@03:54:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked links) on 25 July 2011@19:57:53.
David Whitehead on 8 July 2012@06:54:44.
David Whitehead on 2 November 2015@03:32:28.


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