This volume consists of a Greek and Latin edition of the Iliad, followed by two additional poems that narrate the events leading to the Trojan War and the destruction of Troy itself. They are “The Rape of Helen,” a short epic poem in 392 verses, by the sixth-century, Greek poet Colluthus, and “The Capture of Ilium,” consisting of 691 verses, composed by Triphiodorus, a Greek epic poet from the second half of the third century C.E. But the uniqueness of this particular copy of the Iliad lies in the fact that an extraordinary document was inserted between the last page and back cover. It is an original letter that a U-M alumnus, Capt. William Wirt Wheeler of the 6th Michigan Volunteers, wrote to his former professor of Greek, James Robinson Boise, on 29 September 1862. While in a camp near New Orleans, Wheeler wrote that he “was able to save from the flames of a gentleman’s library a copy of the Odyssea and another of the Iliad” and that he was sending these two volumes to Professor Boise as a “very small tribute of respectful remembrance from a former pupil who had need of all your indulgence blundering through his Greek at college.” Professor Boise eventually presented these two copies to the U-M Library.
The Christian Homer