ἂψ δ' ἐς κουλεὸν ὦσε μέγα ξίφος, οὐδ' ἀπίθησε
μύθῳ Ἀθηναίης: ἣ δ' Οὔλυμπόνδε βεβήκει
"He thrust the great sword back into the scabbard, and didn't fail to obey the command of Athene; but she was [already] on her way to Olympus."
or: "...but she was [already] gone to Olympus."
Which one is correct?
'on her way' has excellent authority:
W. Leaf's commentary on Homer's Iliad 1:
βεβήκει: ‘the pf. βέβηκα expresses the attitude of walking, the step or stride; hence βεβήκει, “was in act to go,” comes to mean “started to go” (not “had gone”).’ — Monro.
Kirk's Commentary on Iliad 1-4: "βεβήκει 'was in the act of going'."
But how is this interpretation to be reconciliated with e.g. Odyssey 3.410:
ἀλλ' ὁ μὲν ἤδη κηρὶ δαμεὶς Ἄϊδόσδε βεβήκει
The reference is to Nestor's father Neleus, who has died decades earlier. "But he'd been subdued by fate and had gone to Hades" is how I translate. "...and was on his way to Hades" would be totally absurd.
Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique has a discussion of the pluperfect. "Le plus-que-parfait, qui n'exprime pas proprement l'antériorité, sert parfois à indiquer de façon expressive que le procès verbal est déjà réalise." (My translation: "The pluperfect, which strictly speaking doesn't express anteriority, sometimes serves to indicate in an expressive way that the verbal process has already been realized." Not sure how to translate procès verbal). Chantraine doesn't discuss Il. 1.221, but he considers Od. 3.410 (which he doesn't translate) analogous to Il 11.296 ἐν πρώτοισι μέγα φρονέων ἐβεβήκει, which he translates "il avait déjà pris place au premier rang" ("he'd already taken his place in the front row"). So my guess would be that for Iliad 1.221 he would translate "had gone".
This seems to be a difficult question even for the greatest scholars. I'm leaning towards "she had gone to Olympus". Any ideas? Suggestions for further reading?