Early Texts

Core early texts for the ancient period starting with the earliest known written materials to about 300 CE (Common Era, aka outside academe AD, anno domini)

Author (or attribution)
(circa, unless specific date is known)
GilgameshAnonymous18th – 10th cent BCE*
Code of HammurabiHammurabi18th cent BCE
IliadHomer9th cent BCE
OdysseyHomer9th cent BCE
TheogonyHesiod8th cent BCE
Works and DaysHesiod8th cent BCE
Job/IyovAnonymous7th cent BCE
Genesis/BereishitMoses6th cent BCE
Ecclesiastes/QoholetQoholet3rd cent BCE
Song of Songs/Shir HaShirimAnonymous3rd cent BCE
The PersiansAeschylus472 BCE
OresteiaAeschylus458 BCE
Prometheus BoundAeschylus460 – 430 BCE
AntigoneSophoclesca 441 BCE
Oedipus the KingSophoclesca 429 BCE
MedeaEuripides431 BCE
Trojan WomenEuripides415 BCE
BacchaeEuripides405 BCE
Tao Te ChingLaozi (Lao Tzu)6th – 4th cent BCE
Analects/Selected SayingsConfucius5th – 3rd cent BCE
Art of WarSun Tzu (Sun Wu)5th – 3rd cent BCE

* Modern translations of the epic in printed or electronic forms can give the false impression that this work originated as a single, sustained poem or story. It did not. Do your research and take knowledge of the text’s history and form into consideration when analyzing and evaluating it as representative of a specific group of language-speakers and culture.

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