πτερύγων ἐρετμοῖσιν ἐρεσσόμενοι
What I don't understand is in what way this is a passive construction. That is what LSJ say:
ἐρέσσω , Plu.2.1128c, Pomp.73, Cic.47, rarely ἐρεό-ττω , Luc.Cont.I, al. (earlier ἐλαύνω): Ep. impf.
A. “ἔρεσσον” Od.11.78 : aor. “ἤρεσα” A.R. 1.1110, (δι-) Od.12.444, ἤρεσσα (δι-) 14.351 : (ἐρέτης):—row, “ἄνδρας ἐρεσσέμεναι μεμαῶτας” Il.9.361 ; “οἱ δὲ προπεσόντες ἔρεσσον” Od.9.490, 12.194 ; “ἐρετμόν, τῷ καὶ ζωὸς ἔρεσσον” 11.78 ; “πομπίμοις κώπαις ἐ.” S. Tr.561 ; “ἤρεσαν ἐς λιμένα” A.R.1.1110 ; of birds flying, “πτεροῖς ἐ.” E.IT289 : abs., Id.Ion161 (lyr.); [ναυτίλος] “οὖλος ἐρέσσων ποσσίν” Call.Epigr.6.5.
II. trans., speed by rowing : metaph., γόων..ἐρέσσετ᾽.. πόμπιμον χεροῖν πίτυλον ply with your hands the measured stroke of lamentation, A.Th.855 (cf. “ἔρεσσ᾽ ἔρεσσε καὶ στέναζ᾽” Id.Pers.1046):—Pass., ναῦς ἠρέσσετο ib.422, cf. Supp.723, A.R.1.633 ; of birds, “πτερύγων ἐρετμοῖσιν ἐρεσσόμενοι” A.Ag.52.
2. generally, put in quick motion, ply, “τὸν πόδα” E.IA138(anap.), AP10.22（Bianor); γεωτόμον ὅπλον ib.101 (Id.) : metaph., “τοίας ἐρέσσουσιν ἀπειλὰς.. καθ᾽ ἡμῶν” S.Aj.251 (lyr.); “ἐ. μῆτιν” Id.Ant.158 (anap.):—Pass., of a bow, to be plied, handled, Id.Ph.1135 (lyr.); of Io, “οἴστρῳ ἐρεσσομένα” driven onward, A.Supp.541 (lyr.).
III. row through, traverse, in Pass., “νήεσσιν ἐρέσσεται..ὕδωρ” AP4.3b.30 (Agath.).
(For better fonts: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... =s#lexicon
I think Smyth's translation is fine: rowing with the oars of their wings
Except that translation would seem to require an active verb form. Of the transitive, LSJ say: ply
with your hands the measured
stroke of lamentation. (The italics are in LSJ but don't always appear when I cut and paste into textkit.) The usage of the verb seems to be: People row a stroke with oars. But if we change this around, to the passive, we would have: A stroke is rowed by someone with oars. If I am understanding the verb correctly. But the Aeschylus line that we began with doesn't seem to have the stroke as the subject!! So what is going on here? How the heck are we supposed to understand the punctuation LSJ use when the start talking about the Pass. sense? What does that semicolon mean here?
Thanks in advance.