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    The Epic of Gilgamesh, 1st Great Work of Literature  
Gilgamesh is one of the oldest recorded stories in the world. It tells the story of an ancient King of Uruk, Gilgamesh, who may have actually existed, and whose name is on the Sumerian King List. The story of Gilgamesh, in various Sumeria...
 
    Homer, Greek Poet  
In the Western classical tradition, Homer is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influenc...
 
    Ramayana, Sanskrit Epic  
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts th...
 
    Mahabharata, Sanskrit Epic  
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa. Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the Mahabh...
 
    Theocritus, Poet of Idylls  
Theocritus, the creator of ancient Greek bucolic poetry, flourished in the 3rd century BC. Little is known of Theocritus beyond what can be inferred from his writings. We must, however, handle these with some caution, since some of the poem...
 
    Lucretius, Roman Poet & Philosopher  
Titus Lucretius Carus was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is the epic philosophical poem on Epicureanism De rerum natura, translated into English as On the Nature of Things or "On the Nature of the Universe". According to...
 
    The Advenures of Beowulf  
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative lines. It may be the oldest surviving long poem in Old English and is commonly cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature. A date of composition is...
 
    Ferdowsi, Persian Poet of Shahnameh  
Abu 'l-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi, or Ferdowsi was a Persian poet and the author of Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), which is the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Greater Iran. Ferdowsi is celebrated as t...
 
    Murasaki Shikibu, Author of The Tale of Genji  
Murasaki Shikibu (Lady Murasaki) (c.978c.1014 or 1025) was a Japanese novelist, poet and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about...
 
    Parzival, Medieval German Epic Poem  
Parzival is a major medieval German epic poem attributed to the poet Wolfram von Eschenbach, written in the Middle High German language. The poem is commonly dated circa the first quarter of the 13th century. The poem is, in part, an adapta...
 
    The Divine Comedy, Dante  
The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened "Divina" by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, and is seen as one of t...
 
    Milman Parry, Revolutionized the Homeric Studies  
Milman Parry was a scholar of epic poetry and the founder of the discipline of oral tradition. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley (B.A. and M.A.) and at the Sorbonne (Ph.D.). A student of the linguist Antoine Meillet at...
 
       
 
         
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