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

  1. nikki1 profile image61
    nikki1posted 8 years ago

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

  2. Arthur Windermere profile image82
    Arthur Windermereposted 8 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 image59
    JTTposted 8 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 8 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 image55
    Peninaposted 8 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 image61
    Mike the salesmanposted 8 years ago

    I believe it was Beowolf  author unknown

  7. profile image0
    BookFlameposted 8 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 image61
    Kid Eternityposted 8 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 image61
    Christopher Floydposted 7 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 image88
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

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

  11. blake4d profile image60
    blake4dposted 7 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 image52
    Viper_boyzposted 7 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 image56
    Trohnjemposted 7 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 image73
    jonihnjposted 7 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 image60
    vonwerklaƤgposted 6 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?