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The Really Long List of Great Literature

If the nearly one thousand books of The Greatest Literature of All Time are not enough to keep you reading, how about twice as many? And then some?

So far we have listed here more than 2,400 titles...and counting. If that seems daunting, don't worry. You're not expected to read all the works listed here. No one could.

So why present this really, really long list? To give you more great reading choices. More amazing works you might never have heard of or considered. More diversity in your reading, pushing you to stray from the narrower established canon.

Each title is on this list because at least some subset of readers, writers, critics or scholars thinks it's great.

Like our flagship Greatest Literature list, the Really Long List of Great Literature focuses on major creative works, although it may additionally include a few significant short works or nonfiction works.

Even more than our other lists, this is a work in endless progress. It is continually being updated and upgraded.

Latest update: March 17, 2024

Ancient • Medieval & Renaissance18th & 19th century20th century21st century

Ancient Literature (BCE)
c.2100–2000
The Descent of Inanna
Anonymous
Sumer, Poetry
c.2100–1200
missing graphic
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Babylon, poem
c.2030
A Love Song of Shu-Suen
Anonymous
Sumer, poem
c.1990
missing graphic
"The Shipwrecked Sailor"
Egypt, story
c.1800
Enuma Elish
Anonymous
Babylon, poem
c.1875
missing graphic
"The Tale of Sinuhe"
Egypt, story
 
missing graphic
"The Eloquent Peasant"
Egypt, story
c.1200
Tale of Two Brothers
Anonymous
Egypt, story
c.1100
Story of Wenamun
Anonymous
Egypt, story
c.1200–100
missing graphic
The Hebrew Bible (The Old Testament)
Various authors,
MIddle East, Prose and poetry
c.1000
Dialogue of Pessimism
Anonymous
Assyria, dialogue
c.1000–600
Classic of Poetry
Various authors,
China, Poetry
c.750
missing graphic
Iliad
Greece, poem
 
missing graphic
The Odyssey
Greece, poem
c.700
Theogony
Greece, poem
 
Works and Days
Greece, poem
c.600–200
Ramayana
Valmiki
India, poem
c.610–580
Sappho's Poems
Sappho
Greece, poetry collection
c.600–500
Aesop's Fables
Aesop
Greece, story collection
Includes The Fox and the Grapes, The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and more
c.520–440
Epinician Odes
Pindar
Greece, poetry collection
c.500
The Art of War
Sun Tzu
China, nonfiction
 
Hero and Leander
Musaeus Grammaticus
Greece, poem
475
Olympian
Pindar
Greece, play
472
The Persians
Aeschylus
Greece, play
467
Seven Against Thebes
Aeschylus
Greece, play
c.462
The Suppliant Maidens
Aeschylus
Greece, play
458
The Oresteia
Aeschylus
Greece, play series
Includes Agamemnon, The Eumenides, The Libation Bearers
c.450–425
Prometheus Bound
Aeschylus
Greece, play
 
The Women of Trachis
Sophocles
Greece, play
442–441
Ajax
Sophocles
Greece, play
 
missing graphic
Antigone
Sophocles
Greece, play
438
Alcestis
Euripides
Greece, play
431
Medea
Euripides
Greece, play
431–404
Histories
Herodotus
History, play
c.430
Children of Heracles
Euripides
Greece, play
429
missing graphic
Oedipus Rex
Sophocles
Greece, play
428
Hippolytus
Euripides
Greece, play
 
Andromache
Euripides
Greece, play
c.427
Hecuba
Euripides
Greece, play
425
The Acharnians
Aristophanes
Greece, play
424
The Knights
Aristophanes
Greece, play
423
The Clouds
Aristophanes
Greece, play
 
The Suppliants
Euripides
Greece, play
422
The Wasps
Aristophanes
Greece, play
c.420–410
Electra
Sophocles
Greece, play
418
Electra
Euripides
Greece, play
c.416
Herakles
Euripides
Greece, play
415
The Trojan Women
Euripides
Greece, play
414
The Birds
Aristophanes
Greece, play
414–412
Ion
Euripides
Greece, play
411
Women at the Thesmophoria
Aristophanes
Greece, play
412
Helen
Euripides
Greece, play
c.412
Iphigenia Tauris
Euripides
Greece, play
411
Lysistrata
Aristophanes
Greece, play
409
Philoctetes
Sophocles
Greece, play
406
The Bacchae
Euripides
Greece, play
c.405
Cyclops
Euripides
Greece, play
405
The Frogs
Aristophanes
Greece, play
401
Oedipus at Colonus
Sophocles
Greece, play
c.400
Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu
China, nonfiction
c.400–400CE
Mahābhārata
Anonymous
India, poem
c.385–370
The Symposium
Plato
Greece, nonfiction
c.380
missing graphic
Republic
Plato
Greece, dialogue
 
History of the Peloponnesian War
Thucydides
Greece, nonfiction
c.380
Meno
Plato
Greece, nonfiction
c.370
Phaedrus
Plato
Greece, nonfiction
 
Anabasis
Xenophon
Greece, nonfiction
 
Cryopedia
Xenophon
Greece, biography
317–316
Dyskolos
Menander
Greece, play
c.300
Zhuangzi
Zhuang Zhou
China, story collection
c.270
Epigrams
Asclepiades of Samos
Greece, poetry collection
 
Idylls
Theocritus
Greece, poetry collection
c.270–240
Aetia
Callimachus
Greece, poem
c.250
Voyage of the Argonauts
Appollonius of Rhodes
Greece, poem
c.200–300
Panchatantra (Five Treatises)
Anonymous
India, story collection
c.200
The Analects
Confucious
China, Sayings
 
The Twin Brothers
Plautus
Rome, play
 
Miles Gloriosus
Plautus
Rome, play
191
Pseudolus
Plautus
Rome, play
166
The Girl from Andros
Terence
Rome, play
163
The Self-Tormenter
Terence
Rome, play
161
Eunuchus
Terence
Rome, play
c.50
On the Nature of Things
Lucretius
Rome, Poetry
c.46
Commentaries on the Civil War
Julius Caesar
Rome, History
c.41–37
Eclogues
Virgil
Rome, poetry collection
c.35–30
Satires
Horace
Rome, poetry collection
30–26
Marathus cycle
Tibullus
Rome, Poetry
29
Georgics
Virgil
Rome, poem
c.29–16
Elegies
Sextus Propertius
Rome, poetry collection
c.29–19
Aeneid
Virgil
Rome, poem
23–13
Odes
Horace
Rome, poem
c.19
The Art of Poetry
Horace
Rome, poem
c.16
Amores
Rome, poem
c.10
The Art of Love
Rome, poem
Ancient Literature (1 to 400 CE)
c.8
missing graphic
Metamorphoses
Rome, poem
 
The Book of Days
Rome, poem
c.48–110
missing graphic
The New Testament
Various authors,
Middle East, Prose and poetry
c.50
Callirhoe
Chariton
Greece, novel
 
Medea
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Rome, play
 
Hercules Furens
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Rome, play
c.54
Phaedra
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Rome, play
c.55
Thyestes
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Rome, play
c.60-70
Satyricon
Gaius Petronius Arbiter
Rome, novel
61–65
Pharsalia
Lucan
Rome, Poetry
c.79
Argonautica
Valerius Flaccus
Rome, poem
c.86–103
Epigrams
Martial
Rome, poetry collection
c.92
Thebaid
Statius
Rome, poem
c.93–96
Silvae
Statius
Rome, poetry collection
c.100
Parallel Lives
Plutarch
Greece, Biographies
c.100–127
Satires
Juvenal
Rome, poetry collection
121
The Twelve Caesars
Suetonis
Rome, biography
c.150
Daphnis and Chloe
Longus
Greece, novel
 
The Golden Ass
Lucius Apuleius
Numidia, novel
c.290
Records of Diverse Matters
Zhang Hua
China, story collection
c.300
The Vision of Vasavadatta
Bhāsa
India, play
397–400
Confessions
Augustine of Hippo
Numidia, memoir
c.400
The Recognition of Sakuntala
Kalidasa
India, play

 

Ancient • Medieval & Renaissance18th & 19th century20th century21st century