165εἰρυσάμην: τὸ μὲν αὖθι κατακλίνας ἐπὶ γαίῃ
εἴασ᾽: αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ σπασάμην ῥῶπάς τε λύγους τε,
πεῖσμα δ᾽, ὅσον τ᾽ ὄργυιαν, ἐυστρεφὲς ἀμφοτέρωθεν
πλεξάμενος συνέδησα πόδας δεινοῖο πελώρου,
βῆν δὲ καταλοφάδεια φέρων ἐπὶ νῆα μέλαιναν
170ἔγχει ἐρειδόμενος, ἐπεὶ οὔ πως ἦεν ἐπ᾽ ὤμου
χειρὶ φέρειν ἑτέρῃ: μάλα γὰρ μέγα θηρίον ἦεν.
Odysseus has killed a huge deer. He puts his foot on the animal and draws his spear out. Then he plaits a rope, but I don't fully understand how, especially not the meaning of the word ἀμφοτέρωθεν. According to the Oxford commentary (and Ameis-Hentze-Cauer seems to take it similarly), "πεῖσμα belongs with ἐυστρεφὲς, ἀμφοτέρωθεν ('from both sides', i.e. 'from both end, with both hands') with πλεξάμενος". This seems forced to me. Is it possible to plait both ends at the same time, one end with one hand while the other hand plaits the other end? (I have no experience in plaiting osiers...).
Merry-Riddell seems less strained and makes a bit more sense to me:
I'd be thankful for any ideas.ἀμφοτέρωθεν, as meaning ‘starting from both ends, or sides,’ may be used loosely to express the whole extent of the rope, as sup. 88 “πέτρη τετύχηκε διαμπερὲς ἀμφοτέρωθεν”, or Od.7. 113“περὶ δ᾽ ἕρκος ἐλήλαται ἀμφοτέρωθεν”. It seems better however to join it closely with πλεξάμενος, regarding the rope as consisting of two strands, which passed alternately from one side to the other in the process of plaiting. Translate, ‘across and across;’ ἐυστρεφές will then be taken predicatively with “πλεξάμενος”, ‘till it was well twisted.’