They came (hrconto). Imperfect middle of repeated action, "they kept coming and saying" (elegon) in derision and mock reverence with Ave (caire, Hail!) as if to Caesar. Note o basileu (the king) in address. They struck him with their hands (edidosan autwi rapismata). Imperfect of didwmi, repetition, "they kept on giving him slaps with their hands." See on Matthew 18:22 for this use of rapisma.