Western Literature Timeline

Ages of Western Literature
800 BC-0 0-1000 1000-present
1 2
3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
ancient literature
ca. 800 BC-500 AD
medieval literature
ca. 500-1500
Renaissance/Reformation literature
ca. 1300-1650
Enlightenment literature
ca. 1650-1800
modern literature
ca. 1800-
Summary of Western Literature
Archaic (ca. 800-500 BC)
• poetry: narrative (Homer), lyric (Pindar)
Classical (ca. 500-330 BC)
• drama: tragedy (Sophocles), comedy (Aristophanes)
golden age Latin (ca. 80 BC-20 AD)
• poetry: narrative (Virgil)
Bible
• Old Testament (ca. 1000 BC-0)
• New Testament (ca. 0-100)
Medieval (ca. 500-1500)
• pre-Christian legend: Beowulf (English), Song of the Nibelungs (German), Edda (Norse)
• Christian legend: Song of Roland (French), Song of the Cid (Spanish), Song of Igor's Campaign (Slavic)
Renaissance/Reformation (ca. 1300-1650)
• poetry: narrative (Dante), lyric (Petrarch)
• drama (Shakespeare)
• prose: short (Boccaccio), novel (Cervantes)
Enlightenment (ca. 1650-1800)
• Milton (poetry)
• Molière (drama)
• Goethe (poetry, drama, prose)
Modern (ca. 1800-present)
• poetry (Goethe, Hugo, Pushkin, Wordsworth, Whitman)
• novel (Goethe, Hugo, Tolstoy, Dickens, Twain)
• drama: Romantic (Hugo, Goethe), modern (Ibsen)