καιρουσσέων, contracted for “καιροεσσέων” (see crit. note), ‘close-woven.’ “καιρόεις” is from “καῖρος” (Lat. licium, Engl. leash), the loop which holds each vertical thread in the loom. “καῖρος δὲ ὁ μίτος, δἰ οὗ τοὺς στήμονας ἐναλλάττουσι χάριν τοῦ τὴν κρόκην πλέκεσθαι” Schol. H. M. P. T. A B. web in which the “καῖροι” stand close together is therefore necessarily of close texture.ἀπολείβεται ὑγρὸν ἔλαιον. Nitzsch understands this as referring to the close texture of the linen, which is too thick to let oil soak through its interstices. He quotes from Plutarch, de Oracl. Pyth.4. t. 9. p. 253 ed. Hutt, “καὶ Ὅμηρος εἶπε: καιροσέων . . ἐνδεικνύμενος τὴν ἀκρίβειαν καὶ λεπτότητα τοῦ ὕφους τῷ μὴ προσμένειν τὸ ἔλαιον ἀλλ̓ ἀπορρεῖν καὶ ἀπολισθαίνειν τῆς πυκνότητος μὴ διείσης”. A modification of this view is suggested by a passage in Athenaeus 13. 582, from which it appears that oil was actually used freely in the fulling and dressing of clothes. Glycerium sends her maid to the fuller to bring home her dress, but the man says the garment is not ready, and that the girl cannot have it unless she can bring him a supply of oil, his stock being exhausted: “ὁ γναφεὺς δ᾽ εἶπεν: Ἄν γ᾽ ἐλαδίου” “ταρτημόριά μοι, φησὶ, προσενέγκῃς τρία”,
“κόμισαι. τὸ κωλῦον γάρ ἐστι τοῦτό με”.
“Ἡ δ᾽ ὡς ἀπήγγειλεν, τάλαιν̓, εἶπεν, κακῶν”
“ἡ Γλυκέριον: μέλλει γὰρ ὥσπερ μαινίδας ἀποτηγανίζειν” (to fry) “φησί μου τὸ λῄδιον”. The passage must of course be considered with two others: Il.18. 596“χιτῶνας”
“εἵατ᾽ ἐυννήτους, ἦκα στίλβοντας ἐλαίῳ”, and Od.3. 408“λίθοι ξεστοὶ ἀποστίλβοντες ἀλείφατος”, (where see note). The majority of commentators concur in understanding the ‘oil’ in all three passages to mean, the appearance of oil, i.e. glossiness. In the pas sage quoted from the Iliad this is conceivably the case. In the first quotation from the Odyssey we saw that “ἄλειφαρ” was probably a kind of varnish, and in the words before us the use of so strong a phrase as ἀπολείβεται ἔλαιον goes far to support the interpretations which refer to real oil. Cp. h. Hom. 24. 3 “πλοκάμων ἀπολείβετ᾽ ἔλαιον”.