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A "Wild" or "Eccentric" Papyrus of the Iliad (Circa 275 BCE)

Fragments of the Iliad, Books XXI-XXIII, preserved at the Bodleian Library, were recovered from cartonnage, the material made of waste papyrus for mummy cases, which has proven to be a rich source of literary texts.

"Literary papyri of this early date are by no means common, and this one has the added interest of being one of the best examples of what are sometimes called 'wild' or 'eccentric' papyri of Homer. The text deviates substantially, e.g. by the omission or addition of whole lines, from the standard version later established by the Alexandrian scholars" (Hunt, R.W., The Survival of Ancient Literature, Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1975, no. 1.)