Visual Timeline: Literature

To navigate the timeline, click and drag it with your mouse, or click on the timeline overview on the bottom.

2500 BCE 2400 BCE 2300 BCE 2200 BCE 2100 BCE 2000 BCE 1900 BCE 1800 BCE 1700 BCE 1600 BCE 1500 BCE 1400 BCE 1300 BCE 1200 BCE 1100 BCE 1000 BCE 900 BCE 800 BCE 700 BCE 600 BCE 500 BCE 400 BCE 300 BCE 200 BCE 100 BCE 0 CE 100 CE 200 CE  
 
2500 BCE: Beginning of literature in Sumerian.
 
2285 BCE - 2250 BCE: Life of Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon of Akkad, and world's first author known by name.
 
 
2150 BCE - 1400 BCE: The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh written on clay tablets.
 
1900 BCE - 1600 BCE: The poem "Descent of Inanna" is written.
 
1900 BCE - 1600 BCE: Composition of The Descent of Inanna.
 
 
1640 BCE - 1700 BCE: Written form of the Atrahasis Myth of the Great Flood.
 
 
1345 BCE: The world's first manual on training horses is written by the Mitanni horse trainer Kikkuli (found in Hattusa).
 
 
1120 BCE: Extant copy of the Sumerian Enuma Elish (creation story) is made from much older text.
 
800 BCE - 700 BCE: Homer of Greece writes his Iliad and Odyssey.
 
 
700 BCE: Greek poet Hesiod writes his Theogony and Works and Days.
 
647 BCE - 629 BCE: Extensive collection of clay tablets acquired known as Ashurbanipal's Library at Nineveh.
 
500 BCE: The Indian epic the Ramayana is composed by the sage Valmiki.
 
 
400 BCE - 200 CE: The Bhagavad Gita, part of the Mahabharata, is written at some point between 400 BCE and 200 CE.
 
 
213 BCE: The Burning of the Books and the Burying of Philosophers Period in China.
 
205 BCE - 184 BCE: Plautus writes his Roman comedy plays.
 
200 BCE: Plautus' comedy play Stichus is first performed.
 
191 BCE: Plautus' comedy play Pseudolus is first performed.
 
 
100 BCE: Buddhist sutras began to be written down in Pali.
 
59 BCE - 17 CE: Life of Livy.
 
43 BCE - 17 CE: Life of the Roman writer Ovid, author of Metamorphoses.
 
30 BCE - 19 BCE: Roman poet Virgil writes his Aeneid.
 
 
23 CE - 79 CE: Life of Pliny the Elder.
 
 
69 CE - 130 CE: Life of Roman biographer Suetonius who wrote 'The Twelve Caesars'.
 
 
148 CE: An Shigao is the first Buddhist translator mentioned in Chinese sources who established a translation centre in the Chinese imperial capital, Luoyang.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2500 BCE 2100 BCE 1700 BCE 1300 BCE 900 BCE 500 BCE 100 BCE