Timeline – Classical Literature

3rd Millennium BCEHymns, codes, instructions and laments (Sumerian)
3rd Millennium BCEPyramid and coffin texts (Egyptian)
20th Century BCEOriginal version of “The Epic of Gilgamesh” (Sumerian)
20th Century BCE“The Story of Sinuhe” (Egyptian)
18th Century BCE“Enuma Elis”“Atra-Hasis” and “Eridu Genesis” (Babylonian/Akkadian)
16th Century BCE“Egyptian Book of the Dead” (Egypt)
16th – 11th Century BCE“Rigveda” (Indian/Sanskrit)
11th Century BCE“The Tale of Two Brothers” and “The Story of Wenamun” (Egypt)
11th – 9th Century BCE“Yajurveda”“Samaveda” and “Atharvaveda” (Sanskrit/Indian)
11th – 6th Century BCE“Avesta” of Zoroastrianism (Avestan/Persian)
9th Century BCE“I Ching” manual of divination (China)
9th – 7th Century BCE“Brahmanas” and the early “Upanishads” (Sanskrit/Indian)
9th – 6th Century BCEOlder parts of the “Old Testament” of the “Bible”, including the “Torah”(Hebrew)
8th Century BCEEpic poems “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” of Homer and other Trojan War epic poems (Greek)
8th Century BCEDidactic poetry of Hesiod, including “Theogony” (Greek)
8th Century BCE“Mahabharata” of Vyasa (Sanskrit/Indian)
7th – 6th Century BCELyric poems of Sappho (Greek)
6th Century BCE“Fables” of Aesop (Greek)
6th – 5th Century BCE“Four Books” of Confucius (Chinese)
5th Century BCELyric poems and odes of Pindar (Greek)
5th Century BCETragic plays of Aeschylus, including “The Oresteia” and “The Persians”(Greek)
5th Century BCETragic plays of Sophocles, including “Antigone” and “Oedipus the King”(Greek)
5th Century BCETragic plays of Euripides, including “Medea”“The Trojan Women” and “The Bacchae” (Greek)
5th – 4th Century BCEComic plays of Aristophanes including “The Wasps”“Lysistrata” and “The Frogs” (Greek)
4th Century BCE“Ramayana” of Valmiki (Sanskrit/Indian)
4th – 3rd Century BCEComic plays of Menander (Greek)
3rd Century BCEEpic poetry of Apollonius of Rhodes including The Argonautica (Greek)
2nd Century BCEComic plays of Plautus and Terence(Latin/Roman)
1st Century BCELyric and elegiac poetry of Catullus (Latin/Roman)
1st Century BCEEpic and didactic poetry of Vergil, including “The Aeneid” (Latin/Roman)
1st Century BCELyric poetry and satires of Horace (Latin/Roman)
1st Century BCE – 1st Century CEDidactic, elegiac and epic poetry of Ovid, including “Metamorphoses”(Latin/Roman)
1st Century CETragic plays and satires of Seneca the Younger (Latin/Roman)
1st Century CEEpic poetry of Lucan (Latin/Roman)
1st – 2nd Century CESatires of Juvenal (Latin/Roman)
1st – 2nd Century CELetters of Pliny the Younger (Latin/Roman)
1st – 2nd Century CENew Testament of the Christian “Bible” (Greek)
7th Century CE“Caedmon’s Hymn” (Old English/Anglo-Saxon)
7th Century CETraditional date for Islamic “Qur’an” (Arabic)
8th Century CEEpic poem “Beowulf” (Anglo-Saxon)
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