Kolouthou Arpagē Helenēo = Coluthi Raptus Helenae

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by Colluthus of Lycopolis

Kolouthou Arpagē Helenēo = Coluthi Raptus Helenae

Title page from Kolouthou Arpagē Helenēo = Coluthi Raptus Helenae, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Colluthus of Lycopolis
Editor Johannes Daniel van Lennep
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Leovardiae: Ex officina Gulielmi Coulon
Date 1747
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Greek and Latin on opposite pages
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages xxv, [1], 127, 215, [1]
Desc. 8vo (21 cm.)
Location Shelf H-2
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Little is known about the classic poet Colluthus besides his birthplace of Lycopolis and his single extant work, the narrative poem The Rape of Helen, a mythical story about Helen, the daughter of the god Zeus (or mortal father Tyndareus) and the mortal Leda.[1] The story revolves around Helen's abduction by Paris, when he took her from Sparta to Troy.

Headpiece, first page of text.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Included in a shipment sent by Thomas Jefferson to Wythe on September 16, 1787. The last two pages of the enclosed letter list the "Contents of the box marked G.W." "Coluthi raptus Helenae" is among the titles in the section "for Mr. Wythe." The precise edition is unknown. This title may also be listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Quintus Coluthus. Gr. Lat. 8vo.", which Jefferson gave to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Brown Bibliography[2] puts the two references together and suggests the 1747 Greek and Latin edition of Kolouthou Arpagē Helenēo edited by Johannes Daniel van Lennep. Dean's Memo[3] includes the same title and edition based on the Jefferson to Wythe letter. George Wythe's Library[4] instead inteprets the Jefferson inventory entry as Koïntu Kalabru paraleipomenon Homeru, biblia tessareskaideka by Smyrnaeus Quintus while also including Kolouthou Arpagē Helenēo ("precise edition unknown") based on Jefferson's shipment to Wythe. The Wolf Law Library followed the recommendations of Brown and Dean and purchased the 1747 edition of Kolouthou Arpagē Helenēo.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary calf with gilt panels and decorative gilt double rule compartments on spine. Gilt label on black morocco leather.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. E. Harrison, reviewer. "Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus by A. W. Mair; Athenaeus, the Deipnosophists by C. B. Gulick; Plutarch’s Moralia by F. C. Babbitt," The Classical Review 44, no. 2 (May 1930): 83.
  2. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.
  3. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 3 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  4. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe", accessed February 27, 2014.