πεδίον τὸ Ἀλήϊον οἶος ἀλᾶτο

From Glaucon’s retelling of his grandfather Bellerophon’s life in Iliad 6.150-210:

ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ καὶ κεῖνος ἀπήχθετο πᾶσι θεοῖσιν,
ἤτοι ὃ κὰπ πεδίον τὸ Ἀλήϊον οἶος ἀλᾶτο
ὃν θυμὸν κατέδων, πάτον ἀνθρώπων ἀλεείνων


But when even that one became hateful to all the gods,
Then he wandered over the Aleian plane alone
devouring his own spirit, shunning the path of men.

 

This is the locus classicus for histories of depression and melancholy in the western heritage, but I’ve never before noticed the wordplay between Ἀλήϊον and ἀλάομαι – and likely also  ἀλεείνω in the following line (which Diomedes echoes in his response as well).  A small but curious Homeric flourish that could maybe be tied to a conception of wandering – being away from home and social support networks – as an activity only voluntarily undertaken by someone unstable.  Which then bleeds to the question of whether the Iliadic and Odyssean traditions are directly or indirectly in dialogue here – the Iliad expressing a traditional view the Odyssey later works to overwrite.  On that point I’m most curious about the diction of the final line, especially the opening ὃν θυμὸν κατέδων which has for me the feel of an Odyssean refrain, especially the thematic metaphor of κατέδων.

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