Ancient literature  

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Apollo and Daphne by Antonio Pollaiuolo, one tale of transformation in the Metamorphoses—he lusts after her and she escapes him by turning into a bay laurel.
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Apollo and Daphne by Antonio Pollaiuolo, one tale of transformation in the Metamorphoses—he lusts after her and she escapes him by turning into a bay laurel.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Milesian tale

The History of literature begins with the history of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, although the oldest literary texts that have come down to us date to a full millennium after the invention of writing, to the late 3rd millennium BC. The earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep and Enheduanna, dating to ca. the 24th and 23rd centuries BC, respectively.

Texts handed down by oral tradition may predate their fixation in written form by several centuries, or, in extreme cases, even millennia. Classical Antiquity is usually considered to begin with Homer, in the 8th century BC. Many older literary texts are known, but often difficult to date. This includes the texts in the Hebrew Bible, the Pentateuch being traditionally dated to the 15th century BC, while modern scholars put it to the 10th century BC at the very earliest. An early example is the so called Egyptian Book of the Dead which was eventually written down in the Papyrus of Ani around 250 BC but probably dates from about the 18th century BC.

Contents

List of ancient texts

Bronze Age

Iron Age

Iron Age texts predating Classical Antiquity (12th to 8th centuries BC):

Classical Antiquity

See also Classical Antiquity, Ancient Greek literature, Latin literature, Indian literature, Chinese literature

Late Antiquity

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ancient literature" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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