12 Literary piece that have Influenced the World 1. The Bible or the Sacred writings: This has become the basis of Christianity originating from Palestine and Greece 2. Koran: The Muslim bible originating from Arabia 3. The Iliad and the Odyssey: These have been the source of Myths and Legends of Greece. They were written by Homer. 4. The Mahabharata: The Longest epic of the world. It contains the history of religion in India. 5. Canterburry: it depicts the religion and customs of English in early days. This originated from England and written by Chaucer. 6.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin: written by Harriet Beecher Stowe of US. This depicted the sad fate of slaves. This became the basis of democracy. 7. The Divine Comedy: (A Dante of Italy). This shows the religion and customs of early Italians. 8. El’ Cid Comedy: This shows the cultural characteristics of Spaniards and their national theory. 9. The Song of Roland: This includes the Doce Pares and Ronces Valles of France. It tells about the Golden Age of Christianity in France. 10. The Book of the Dead: This includes the cult of Osiris and the Mythology and theology of Egypt. 1. The Book of the Days: This was written by Confucius of China. This became the basis of Christian Religion. 12. One thousand and One Night of the Arabian Nights: from Arabia and Persia(Iran). It shows the ways of government of industries and of society of Arabia’s and Persians TOP 20 epics of the world 1. The Iliad by Homer (Greek) – Iliad is one of the most celebrated and well known epics of the world. It is believed to be written by in 9th century BC by Homer. This poem is based on the legend of Trojan war. Iliad means the tale of ilios or the tale of troy.
It narrates the story of the Greek struggle to rescue Helen, from Trojans, the wrath of Achilles and subsequent destruction of Troy. 2. Mahabharata by Vyasa (Sanskrit) – Mahabharata is one of the great Indian epic compiled around 8th century BC. This epic poem has about one lakh couplets in Sanskrit and it can be considered as the longest epic poem of the world. This ancient epic deals with the rivalry between cousins – Kauravas and Pandavas – of a great ruling family of India . The armies of the two groups meet at the battleground at Kurushetra in which the Pandavas can destroy the Kauravas.
The epic consists of thousands of mythical and historical stories 3. The Odyssey by Homer (Greek) – Odyssey is believed to be written in 9th century B. C by Homer the great Greek poet. It describes the exploits of the Odysseus during his homecoming after the fall of Troy. This great epic follows the Aristotelian conventions of epic poem. The poem describes the obstacles faced by Odysseus, varied tests of gods that he had undergone, his affair with nymph Calypso on the homecoming voyage, and his return to his kingdom. 4. Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto (Italian epic) Orlando Furioso is a famous epic with full of supernatural, allegorical and romantic adventures. The main theme of the epic is the war between Christians and pagans. Even though Ariosto, the writer, has depended much on the Graeco -Roman literary tradition of earlier writers for characters and incidents, it is a great epic poem due to his smooth versification and technical facility which make the poem vigorous and brilliant, with ironic and humorous contrasts. 5. Ramayana by Valmiki (Sanskrit) – Ramayana is a great Indian epic poem written in 5th century BC.
It is the oldest and most popular epic of Indian sub continent, believed to be written by Valmiki. It is written in Sanskrit, one of the earliest Indo – European languages, and has around 2400 couplets in seven sections. Ramayana means “the journey of Rama”. It depicts the conflict between Rama, the incarnation of God Vishnu, and Ravana who can be taken as the representative of evil forces and the final victory of the God incarnated Rama in safeguarding the Dharma (Universal moral order). 6. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Italian epic) Divine Comedy is a celebrated epic poem written by Dante in 14th century. The narrator is lost in a forest. The poet narrator meets Virgil who guides him through the world after death. Virgil takes him through Hell. They go through the base of the purgatory and he can see the terraces of it where the sins of those who are ultimately to be saved are cleansed away. Then Beatrice guides him to the ultimate heaven. The poem ends with his moment of illumination and the vision of trinity. 7. Beowulf Anonymous (Old English) – Beowulf, one of the earliest epic of the world, is based on a Scandinavian legend.
It was written around 750 AD by an anonymous writer and it has about 3000 lines. Beowulf, the great warrior hero, saves Horthgar, the king of Danes, from the attack of Grendel, a terrible monster, by killing it. Grendel’s mother attacks him to avenge the death of his son. In the fight, Beowulf kills the mother – monster also, but he gets a mortal wound in the fight and succumbs to it. This epic, the most celebrated survival from Old English literature, is also the earliest extant poem in a modern European language. 8. Paradise Lost by John Milton (English) Paradise Lost is one of the greatest English literary epic based on the theme of fall of man given in the old Testament and it was written in 17th century by John Milton. The great poet wrote it ” to justify the ways of god to man”. The epic poem begins with the the Satan’s devilish plans to to take revenge against god for his expulsion from heaven. Some critics has opined that Milton’s Satan is the hero of the epic poem due to the excellent depiction and exposition of that character. This epic is celebrated for Milton’s grand style, his interpretation of Biblical myth and Christian doctrine. . Shahname by Firdousi (Persian) – Shah Name is great Persian epic based on the historical and mythical accounts of around fifty Persian kings. Shah Name means “book of kings”. The epic begins the mythical creation of Persia and ends in the narration of the stories of historical kings. The most famous story of Shah Name is about the legendary king of Rostam and Sohrab, his son. 10. Aeneid by Virgil (Latin) – Aeneid is a great epic which is based on the legend of Aeneas. It is Roman nationalistic and patriotic poem which narrates the evolution of great Roman mpire. This poem shows great dramatic skill of high order and power of description. Aeneas decides to establish a secure kingdom for his people in Italy. During the long and perilous voyage for it their ships are wreaked on the coast of Africa. The Dido of Carthage invites them which prolongs their voyage. In the next voyage, they reach Latinum, ruled by Latinus. Aeneas marries his daughter Lavinia after killing Turanus, another suitor of her. He establishes a city of lavinium which becomes a base for great Roman empire later. 11. Theogony (Greek mythology) Theogony is a Greek epic poem which describe the mythical cosmogony. It can be used as a sorce book of Greek myhology which tells about the origin of cosmos and it evolution. 12. The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser – The Faerie Queene is considered as the first epic poem in modern English literature. This allegoric poem is arranged as a story for a twelve day feast, held by the queen of the fairyland. It is a national epic of England aimed at glorifying Queen Elizabeth. 13. The Epic of Gilgamesh – The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest epic poem of the world.
It tells the story of Gilgamesh, the ruler of Uruk and his companion Enkidu whose exploits are the described. The epic is equally fascinating for the window it opened to the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian cultures. 14. Buddhacarita by Asvaghosha (Indian epic poetry ) – Buddhacharita is considered as an authoritative work on Buddha’s life. It describes the birth, early life , renunciation, and teaching of Buddha. It is written in Sanskrit and has originally 28 cantos in which only 13 have been properly preserved. 15. Pharsalia by Lucan (Roman history) The Pharsalia is a celebrated Roman epic poem based on the Battle of Pharsalus which was occurred in 48 B. C. It depicts the civil war between forces led by Julius Caesar and the forces of Pompey the Great. This historical poem is considered as one of the greatest epic poem in the Latin literature. 16. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – The theme of this great work is man’s desire to transcend his physical limitations and his search for answers for eternal questions of mankind. 17. Raghuvamsa – Raghuvamsa describes the lives of the kings of the solar dynasty.
It consists of 19 cantos. The epic chronicles the life of Rama and his ancestors. It is considered that Sanskrit epics have attained perfection in Raghuvamsa. 18. The Paradise Regained – The Paradise Regained is an epic poem from the master writer John Milton. It is not a sequel to Paradise Lost. The theme is the story of three temptations as revealed in the gospel of St. Luke. This epic is composed at the suggestion of Thomas Edward. 19. Don Juan – Don Juan is a the most effective and vigorous satire in the English literature.
This poem reviews the social , political and economic condition of the Europe. It is a a kind of picturesque novel written in verse. The hero, don Juan ,wanders from one place to another and records his six adventures. Don Juan has visited Greece, Turkey, Russia, and England. 20. The Tale of Heiku – This is one of the most renounced Japanese epic poem based on the Buddhist law of impermanence. It tells the feud between two Japanese clans with elements of traditional folk narrative. Taira and Minemoto are the two clans mentioned in this great classic of medieval Japanese literature.