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Revision Two: 10/12/2016

Editors' Description:

The introductions in this anthology are meant to be just that: a basic overview of what students need to know before they begin reading, with topics that students can research further. An open access literature textbook cannot be a history book at the same time, but history is the great companion of literature: The more history students know, the easier it is for them to interpret literature.

In an electronic age, with this text available to anyone with computer access around the world, it has never been more necessary to recognize and understand differences among nationalities and cultures. The literature in this anthology is foundational, in the sense that these works influenced the authors who followed them.

A word to the instructor: The texts have been chosen with the idea that they can be compared and contrasted, using common themes. Rather than numerous (and therefore often random) choices of texts from various periods, these selected works are meant to make both teaching and learning easier. While cultural expectations are not universal, many of the themes found in these works are.

Course Title

World Literature I

Course Number

ENGL 2110, ENGL 2111

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



Publication Date

Fall 2015


University System of Georgia, University Press of North Georgia


world literature, ancient literature


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | English Language and Literature


This book is also available through the University of North Georgia Press at this address:

The three parts of this large text are individually downloadable as additional files.

Accessible files with optical character recognition (OCR) and auto-tagging provided by the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation.

Compact Anthology of World Literature