Category: The Middle Era

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Shah Nameh

Firdawsi, Persia, 1000 Shah Nameh, or “The Book of Kings” or “The Epic of Kings” is lengthy poetic work written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi around 1000 AD and is considered the national epic of the Persian speaking world. The Shah Nameh relates the the mythical and historical past of Persia and Iran from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century. Hakim Abul-Qasim Firdawsi Tusi or more commonly Ferdowsi, (935–1020) was born in the Iranian province of Khorasan, near Baj, in 935. His father was a wealthy land owner, who raised...

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The Mabinogion

Unknown , Wales, c 1100 The Mabinogion is a collection of prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts. While the two main manuscripts from which the modern version of the Mabinogion derive, the White Book of Rhydderch (Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch) and the Red Book of Hergest (Llyfr Coch Hergest) were written in the late 1300s, most scholars agree that the tales are older. Scholars have noted that the language of the stories best fits the period between 1000 and 1100. Dating the stories of the Mabinogion is important because if it can be shown to have been written before Geoffrey of...

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1001 Nights

Unknown, Baghdad, c. 950 While the book is now a consistent collection of fables, the original of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights was compiled over hundreds of years and drew on stories from as far afield as Syria, Persia, Yemen and modern day Iraq. The collections began to take on their modern form around 800. What remained common throughout the early editions was the set-up story concerning the ruler Shahryar and his wife Scheherazade. Some editions contain all one thousand and one tales while most popular versions on contain a hundred or so stories. The book was...

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The Great Books List – The Middle Era

The Middle Era  6 AD – 1485 Petronius Arbiter, Rome, 61. The Satyricon. Seneca, Rome 49. On the Shortness of Life. Mark, Luke, Paul. Israel, ca. 60-80. The Gospel, The Acts, Epistles, Romans. Plutarch, Greece, 100. Life of Alexander, Life of Cato. Suetonius, Rome, 119. The Twelve Caesars. Marcus Aurelius, Rome, 180. Meditations. Apuleius, Numidia, 160. The Golden Ass. Augustine of Hippo, Rome, 410. The City of God. Kalidasa, India, ca. 410. The Cloud Messenger. Unknown, Japan, 630. The Kojiki Muhammad of Medina, Arabia, 632. The Koran. Hui-Neng, China, ca 700. The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch Sei Shonagon,Japan,...