What is the first literature book written and who wrote it? And, when was it wri

Jump to Last Post 1-15 of 15 discussions (15 posts)
  1. nikki1 profile image61
    nikki1posted 9 years ago

    What is the first literature book written and who wrote it? And, when was it written?

  2. Arthur Windermere profile image80
    Arthur Windermereposted 9 years ago

    The first work of literature with a known author is Hymns to Innana, by the High Priestess En-hedu-ana. They were written over four thousand years ago (2285-2250 BCE) and you can still find them on Amazon today!
    If you mean the first novel, there are some Ancient Greek novels, the earliest of which involves a voyage to the moon. It's called A True Story (2nd century CE), by Lucian. That pretty much counts as the first, to my knowledge.

  3. JTT profile image60
    JTTposted 9 years ago

    I think Arthur is right. But really, how do you gage when the first was written? How do we know something wasn't lost to history?

  4. RNMSN profile image90
    RNMSNposted 9 years ago

    I would have to say I think the cave drawings are the first literature/book ever written...prehistoric humans were recording their lives and events on rock and paint long before papyrus or goathide came along   smile

  5. Penina profile image60
    Peninaposted 9 years ago

    This is such a broad question that it is hard to answer. When literature comes to mind diverse languages and cultures and countries come to mind. Older cultures like the Asian cultures, the African cultures have had their own literature. American literature is a different genre as is English literature. So I guess when it comes to English literature it has to be "Beowulf".

  6. Mike the salesman profile image62
    Mike the salesmanposted 9 years ago

    I believe it was Beowolf  author unknown

  7. profile image0
    BookFlameposted 9 years ago

    I think the first real "book" of literature is the
    Epic of Gilgamesh. It's still available in a modern translation.  A very moving story about the loss of a dear friend, grief, and coming to terms with the reality of death.

    It comes from the fertile crescent, the area between the rivers Nile and Euphrates, where civilization originated. 

    My copy, a translation by Stephen Mitchell, says in the introduction that it "is the oldest story in the world, a thousand years older than the Bible or the Iliad (by Homer). Its hero was a historical king who reigned in the Mesopotamian city of Uruk in about 2750 B.C.E."   That's pretty darn old!

  8. Kid Eternity profile image60
    Kid Eternityposted 9 years ago

    Most scholars consider "The Tale of Genji" to be the first 'real' novel ever written. It was authored by a woman named Murasaki Shikibu in the Japanese court of the 11th century, and is taught in many/most World Literature classes as the first actual novel.


  9. Christopher Floyd profile image60
    Christopher Floydposted 8 years ago

    I was taught it was the story of Gilgamesh. A few semesters ago a professor said it was some Chinese tale called Monkey. Academia seems to change it every few years. 
    It seems to me the problem isn't what was the first book, but what was the first story. Oral tradition and all that. So would we have to ask ourselves which was the first creation story or myth? Now there's a can of worms for you.

  10. rebekahELLE profile image87
    rebekahELLEposted 8 years ago

    isn't it Epic of Gilgamesh?  it should be read, many students have never heard of it.  inscribed on clay tablets.

  11. profile image0
    blake4dposted 8 years ago

    Well I believe that it might actually have been the Tale of Brian Boru from the ancient Norse Tradition..I don't think there is positive dating on when either that or Gilgamesh form the Babylonian culture was first.

    But that was not technically a book either.
    Although we think of them as that, both were originally oral tradition stories.
    Close running competitiors also might be the Odyssey of Homer, but the tale of the Twins (the original native american creation myth) and also the Indo Aryan tale of the great flood have very old origins.

    It is very hard to say absolutely for sure. Great question...

  12. Viper_boyz profile image59
    Viper_boyzposted 8 years ago

    I think that the oldest book is unknown because in olden times books were written in a different language. But after that the oldest book recorded is the story of Gligamesh and Enkidu. The story of Gligamesh and Enkidu is uplifting and surprisingly optimistic, even though it has sad parts and contains some suffering. By the way great Question. I slightly agree with Blake4d

  13. Trohnjem profile image60
    Trohnjemposted 8 years ago

    My answer was going to be quite alike to Arthur's. Only thing is, the first ever written is probably lost, if you mean the oldest surviving literature combination, that Arthur is correct. We will really never know what the first written literature combination was. If not only because the only writing object they had farther back is papyrus, but I'm not sure if what was written on them was literature at all or just a matter-of-fact analogy of day to day laws and such. Though some are widely known as historical facts.

  14. jonihnj profile image70
    jonihnjposted 8 years ago

    I'm not sure what you mean by "literature book." I majored in English, and was taught that the first true novel was an unintentionally funny one entitled "Pamela (Virtue Rewarded)." It was written in 1740 by Samuel Richardson.

    I was just writing something to post here about the "Book of Kells," written and illustrated by Celtic monks at least as far back as 800 a.d. It's about the four Gospels of the BIble and has illustratons that are gorgeous beyond belief. Historians know there are books even older than this one, but this book has really held up to the elements and is a major attraction at Trinity College in Dublin.

    But, again, you raise a point. What is a "literature book?"

  15. vonwerklaäg profile image59
    vonwerklaƤgposted 7 years ago

    Although answers such as THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH and the various other works noted are correct, when one asks about "literature" the implication seems to relate to a more modern interpretation.  In this regard, DON QUIXOTE by Miguel de Cervantes is generally considered to be the first novel (as we understand the convention today).

    Of course we are all taught different things.  This is what I learned back in Iceland when I studied World Lit with Dr. Zamanov.  I hope this helps - better late than never, nei?


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)