The Greek epic

Key dates

From 2100 BCE Versions of the first known written literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, appear in the Sumerian language.

9th century BCE The epic Mahabharata emerges in India.


c.8th century BCE Attributed to Homer, the epic Odyssey continues the story of a leading figure in the Iliad, Odysseus.

c.700 BCE At roughly the same time as the final versions of the Homeric epics take shape, Hesiod writes the Theogony (“Birth of the Gods”), a poem that describes the creation of the world and the mythology of the ancient Greek gods.

1st century BCE The Greek epic poems provide a model for Roman poets such as Horace, Virgil, ...

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