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Headword: *pneu/sas
Adler number: pi,1828
Translated headword: breathing, blowing
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning he having become] extremely angered.[1]
"But he, being young and contentious, was breathing heavily at [this]."[2]
"But still as they were driven[3] by inspiration[4] and fighting by choice[5] with their swords (that is, angrily), beside the [...][6] from behind he slew [them][7] below the armpit."[8]
Greek Original:
*pneu/sas: sfodrw=s o)rgisqei/s. o( de\ ne/os w)\n kai\ filo/neikos polu\s e)pe/pnei. e)/ti de\ tw=| prospneu/mati sunhlame/nwn kai\ maxome/nwn e)k diaire/sews tai=s maxai/rais [toute/stin o)rgi/lws], para\ ta\s e)k tw=n o)/pisqen u(po\ th\n ma/lhn pare/sface.
[1] Same or similar glossing in other lexica; references at Photius pi973 Theodoridis. The headword -- aorist active participle, masculine nominative singular, of pne/w -- must be quoted from somewhere. For this sense of it, see generally LSJ s.v., V.
[2] Polybius fr. 201 Büttner-Wobst (formerly identified as Damascius Life of Isidore fr. 109 Asmus, but attributed to Polybius by Büttner-Wobst (540)). Gesturing at an instance of the later adverb a)filoni/kws (in a manner not favoring strife) at 21.20.1 (web address 1), Büttner-Wobst prefers (ibid.) to spell the adjective herein filo/nikos. Linking it with the fragment's e)pe/pnei (he/she/it was breathing heavily), Büttner-Wobst also notes (ibid.) an instance of the aorist participle pneu/santes (they having breathed heavily) at 21.31.13 (web address 2).
[3] Bernhardy emended this participle to sunelhlame/nwn "having been driven together."
[4] Bernhardy thought this word was a conflation of two words; Hermann suggested tw=| pro\s a)llh/lous pneu/mati (other emendations: Dindorf tw=| pneu/mati, Hultsch tou/twn w(/sper pneu/mati).
[5] Toup emended this to dia/rsews, meaning that they were fighting with broadswords (see LSJ s.v. di/arsis).
[6] Hemsterhuis suggested correcting this incomplete expression to parasta\s "standing beside"; Toup preferred parasta/s tis "someone standing beside."
[7] Dindorf suggested a)pe/sface; Büttner-Wobst follows (541) Hemsterhuis in correcting to pata/cas a)pe/sface "striking he slew."
[8] "Below the armpit" might refer to carrying a concealed weapon under the arm: see LSJ s.v. ma/lh. This whole corrupt sentence is Polybius fr. 202 Büttner-Wobst. Büttner-Wobst accepts (ibid.) Toup's attribution of this fragment to Polybius, but also notes that Schweighäuser doubted that the problematic passage was genuinely Polybian. Walbank concedes (755) that the context of the fragment is "obscure", yet nonetheless associates it with Polybius 18.30.7 (web address 3), a general discussion of the spatial constraints plausibly affecting typical Roman soldiers' sword fighting techniques when they deploy against the Greek phalanx. Walbank thus suggests that the phrase maxome/nwn e)k diaire/sews tai=s maxai/rais should be understood as fighting by means of sword-thrusts, describing the situation of soldiers that have been surrounded, trapped, and through lack of space cannot effect cutting blows with their swords (ibid.).
T. Büttner-Wobst, ed., Polybii Historiae, vol. IV, (Leipzig 1904)
F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, vol. III, (Oxford 1979)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; military affairs
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 3 August 2013@00:09:26.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented n.1; more keywords; tweaking) on 4 August 2013@04:05:54.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 4 August 2013@22:25:10.
David Whitehead on 7 October 2013@06:41:01.
David Whitehead (typo) on 23 May 2016@09:13:28.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.2, added bibliography, added links) on 19 July 2019@19:52:24.
Ronald Allen (n.7 bibliographic reference) on 21 July 2019@21:35:03.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.8) on 21 July 2019@21:48:51.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.8, added bibliographic entry, added link) on 21 July 2019@22:17:05.
Ronald Allen (expanded n.8) on 22 July 2019@19:17:37.


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