Lot 1
  • 1

Homer, Iliad, in Greek, epic verse in dactylic hexameters, manuscript on papyrus [Egypt, first century BC. to first century AD.]

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Papyrus
six fragments (of a papyrus scroll), the largest three: 95mm. by 105mm., 30mm. by 120mm. and 58mm. by 60mm., with parts of two columns with up to 23 lines, in a small upright Greek literary majuscule, from book 16: 2-15, 32-37, 40-43, 47-61, 75-91 (the song of Patroklos, the companion of Achilles), some rubbing in places and discolouration to edge of one fragment, else good condition, mounted in perspex by Fackelmann (see below), in a quarter morocco fitted case gilt



Dr. Anton Fackelmann (1916-85), acquired in Cairo in 1969 as part of mummy cartonnage (his no.36); acquired from his heirs in 1998: Schøyen MS 2628.

Catalogue Note


A substantial fragment of the single most influential literary text in the Western world, from a copy contemporary with Virgil and Cicero. Homer's account of the siege and fall of Troy is the foundation stone of European culture. The text is usually dated to c.850 BC., and consensus agrees that it was composed some decades before the Odyssey. It was extremely popular in antiquity, and remained so throughout the Greek speaking world in the early Middle Ages. Many hundreds of fragments survive. The present pieces, unlike many Homer fragments from antiquity, are in a fine uncial bookhand, and are most probably the work of a professional scribe for a patron rather than a writing exercise.


Papyrologica Florentina: Papyri Graecae Schøyen, 35 (2005), pp.9-14