mwh wrote:He is studiously avoiding the pathetic fallacy.
Merriam-Webster wrote:pathetic fallacy: the ascription of human traits or feelings to inanimate nature (as in cruel sea).
[First attested 1856.]
LSJ, ὥσπερ wrote:II. to limit or modify an assertion or apologize for a metaphor, as it were, so to speak
Why would there have been a need to apologise for a metaphor in this case?[/quote]
Rational or emotional? Is "apologize" used here in the sense of "give explanation", or "express shame / say sorry"?
I could accept that it could be a polite modifier, (perhaps an avoidance of hubris) in a statement like, Ἐμὲ αἲξ ἀνέθρεψεν ὥσπερ τὸν Δία (Longus 1.16.3), but it could also simply be the marker of a metaphor - that he is not actually claiming to be Jupiter. The same function of alerting a reader to the fact that he is not literally claiming that something is what he is about to say is true, seems to be found in καθάπερ, eg. καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὅτι μεγάλοι καθάπερ βοός (Longus 1.17.3).
The same sort of warning that what follows should be taken non-literally, is found in the opposite of the pathetic fallacy
in Εἷς δὴ κύων τῶν προβατευτικῶν ἀμέλειαν φυλάξας,  κρέας ἁρπάσας ἔφυγε διὰ θυρῶν. Ἀλγήσας ὁ Δρύας (καὶ γὰρ ἦν ἐκείνου μοῖρα) ξύλον ἀράμενος ἐδίωκε κατ̓ ἴχνος ὥσπερ κύων. (Longus 3.7.1-2) "went after it, hot on its heels, as if he himself were a dog."