Homer in Print – and Image

In May 2007, the University of Chicago Library received a remarkable gift. The Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana is a collection of 187 separate items formed by Michael C. Lang of New York as a comprehensive history of the printed transmission of the texts of the Iliad and Odyssey.


[Homer. Omērou Ilias = Homeri Ilias. Venice : Aldus, 1504. Call number PA4018.A2 1504]

The Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana focuses on editions in Greek, translations into English, and classic translations into languages other than English. It also includes works of scholarship. Mr. Lang’s collection provides a microcosm of the history of printing, classical scholarship, translation theory, and the literary use of the English language since the 16th century.

The collection is a perfect fit with the vibrant classics program and interests in translation at the University of Chicago, and strengths of the Special Collections Research Center, in particular the collections of printed editions of the Greek New Testament and the Grant English Bible Collection.


[Homer. The Iliad of Homer / translated by Mr. Pope. London: Printed by W. Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott, 1715-1720. PA4025.A2P73 1715]

Work has begun on a scholarly catalog of the collection and an exhibition. All titles have been cataloged and are available by searching “Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana” in the Library catalog.

A recent acquisition links the Library’s commitment to develop the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana with one of the most influential titles published by University of Chicago Press.  Richard Lattimore’s now-classic translation, The Iliad of Homer, was first published by the Press in 1951. A decade later, the Press invited the artist, sculptor and printmaker Leonard Baskin to produce drawings for a lavish, illustrated edition, which came out in 1962. That same year a deluxe portfolio edition of 150 copies was published by Delphic Arts in New York. The Library has acquired one of the copies that include three original etchings by Baskin. The University of Chicago Press Archive contains correspondence and other materials relating to the production of the Lattimore translation and the illustrated edition.


[Apollo the Sun God. Baskin, Leonard, 1922-. Drawings for the Iliad. New York: Delphic Arts, 1962. PA4033.B37 1962]

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