The Great Books of the World Timeline

Old Books

The following is a timeline I put together to keep track of the classics I intended to read. The timeline consists of 400+ of the best books of all time, by century, across the genres of philosophy, religion, science, history, and literature.

2100 BCE – CE

Date (BCE) Book Author
2100 Epic of Gilgamesh Unknown
1754 The Code of Hammurabi Hammurabi
1700-1100 Vedas Multiple
800-63 The Old Testament Multiple
800-500 Upanishads Multiple
750 Iliad Homer
750 Odyssey Homer
700 Works and Days Hesiod
700 Theogony Hesiod
550 Tao Te Ching Laozi
550 Torah (Pentateuch) Multiple
550 The Art of War Sunzi
550 Aesop’s Fables Aesop
475 Analects Confucius
458 Oresteia Aeschylus
449 Histories Herodotus
441 Antigone Sophocles
431 History of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides
431 Medea Euripides
429 Oedipus the King Sophocles
411 Lysistrata Aristophanes
406 Oedipus at Colonus Sophocles
396 Apology Plato
368 Republic Plato
399-390 Crito Plato
388-367 Symposium Plato
399-390 Georgias Plato
388-367 Meno Plato
388-367 Phaedrus Plato
388-367 Parmenides Plato
399-390 Protagoras Plato
388-367 Theaetetus Plato
350 Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle
350 Organon Aristotle
350 Metaphysics Aristotle
350 Poetics Aristotle
350 Rhetoric Aristotle
317 Dyskolos Menander
300 Elements Euclid
146 Histories Polybius
100 Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) 72 Jewish Scholars
99-55 On the Nature of Things Lucretius
63 Catilinarian Orations Marcus Tullius Cicero
30 Aeneid Virgil
29 Pali Canon Multiple
23 Odes Horace
8 CE Metamorphoses Ovid

CE – 1500

Date Book Author
57-110 New Testament Various
68-70 Gospel of Mark Various
80-90 Gospel of Luke Various
89-90 Gospel of Matthew Various
90-110 Gospel of John Various
95-100 Acts of the Apostles Various
57-110 Epistles Multiple
68-96 Book of Revelation Multiple
100 Histories and Annals Tacitus
early 2nd century Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans Plutarch
108 Manual of Epictetus Epictetus
150 Almagest Ptolemy
Letters From a Stoic Seneca
170-180 Meditations Marcus Aurelius
197 Apologeticus Turtulian
3rd – 7th Century Zend-Avesta Multiple
240 Hexapla Origen
270 The Six Enneads (of Plotinus) Porphyry
350 Exposition of the Christian Faith Ambrose
400 Confessions Augustine
426 The City of God Augustine
523 The Consolation of Philosophy Boethius
609-632 Quran Multiple
700-1000 Beowulf Anonymous
1001-1008 Tale of Genji Murasaki Shikibu
1078 Proslogion Anselm of Canterbury
1025 The Canon of Medicine Avicenna
1027 The Book of Healing Avicenna
1132 “Sic et Non” (“Yes and No”) Peter Abelard
1150 Four Books of Sentences Peter Lombard
1190 The Guide for the Perplexed Maimonides
1180 The Incoherence of the Incoherence Averroes
1300 The Travels of Marco Polo Rustichello da Pisa
1265–1274 Summa Theologica Thomas Aquinas
1320 Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri
1202 Liber Abaci Fibonnacci
1267 Opus Majus Roger Bacon
1478 The Canterbury Tales Chaucer
1353 The Decameron Giovanni Boccaccio
1327-1368 Il Canzoniere Petrarch
1300 The Ordinatio John Duns Scotus
1285-1349 Opera philosophica et theologica William of Ockham
1455 Gutenberg bible Multiple
1485 King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table Thomas Malory


Date (BCE) Book Author
1452-1519 The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Leonardo Da Vinci
early 16th century Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism) Guru Nanak
1511 Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus
1516 Utopia Thomas More
1517 Ninety-five Theses Martin Luther
1532 The Prince Niccolò Machiavelli
1532 – 1564 Gargantua and Pantagruel François Rabelais
1536 Institutes of the Christian Religion John Calvin
1537 Partial translation of Bible into English William Tyndale
1543 On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres Copernicus
1557 Les Propheties Nostradamus
1580 Essays Montaigne
1589 – 1614 Works Shakespeare
1592 Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlow
1596 The Faerie Queene Edmund Spenser
1600 On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, and on That Great Magnet the Earth William Gilbert


Date (BCE) Book Author
1605 Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
1609 Astronomia nova Johannes Kepler
1611 King James Bible Multiple
1612 The White Devil John Webster
1612 The Alchemist Ben Johnson
1620 Novum Organum Francis Bacon
1628 On the Motion of the Heart and Blood William Harvey
1632 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems Galileo Galilei
1637 Discourse on Method Rene Descartes
1641 Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes
1651 Leviathan Thomas Hobbes
1661 The Sceptical Chymist Robert Boyle
1665 Micrographia Robert Hooke
1666 The Blazing World Margaret Cavendish
1667 Paradise Lost John Milton
1669 Pensées Blaise Pascal
1672 The Conquest of Granada John Dryden
1677 Ethics Baruch Spinoza
1678 The Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan
1683 Don Juan Moliere
1686 The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy Isaac Newton
1686 Discourse on Metaphysics Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1689 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke
1689 Second Treatise of Government John Locke
1689 A Letter Concerning Toleration: Humbly Submitted John Locke
1697 Perrault’s Fairy Tales Charles Perrault
The Flea (Selected Poetry) John Donne


Date (BCE) Book Author
1713 Ars Conjectandi Jacob Bernoulli
1713 Principles of Human Knowledge & Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous George Berkeley
1714 Monadology Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1719 Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
1725 New Science Giambattista Vico
1726 Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
1748 An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding David Hume
1748 The Spirit of the Laws Montesquieu
1749 The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Henry Fielding
1751 An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals David Hume
1751 Encyclopédie (to 1766) Edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert
1755 A Dictionary of the English Language: an Anthology Samuel Johnson
1759 Candide Voltaire
1759 The Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith
1762 The Social Contract Jean-Jacques Rousseau
1762 Emile Jean-Jacques Rousseau
1763 Treatise on Tolerance Voltaire
1776 United States Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson et al.
1776 Common Sense Thomas Paine
1776 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Edward Gibbon
1776 The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith
1776 Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion David Hume
1781 Critique of Pure Reason Immanuel Kant
1782 Confessions Jean-Jacques Rousseau
1787 US Consitution US Founding Fathers
1787 The Federalist Papers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison
1787 Notes on the State of Virginia Thomas Jefferson
1788 Critique of Practical Reason Immanuel Kant
1789 Songs of Innocence and of Experience William Blake
1790 Critique of Judgment Immanuel Kant
1790 Reflections on the Revolution in France Edmund Burke
1791 Rights of Man Thomas Paine
1791 The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin
1791 The Life of Samuel Johnson James Boswell
1792 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Mary Wollstonecraft
1794 The Age of Reason Thomas Paine
1797 The Metaphysics of Morals Immanuel Kant
1798 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1798 Lyrical Ballads William Wordsworth
1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population Thomas Malthus


Date (BCE) Book Author
1807 The Phenomenology of Spirit Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
1811 Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
1812 The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
1813 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
1818 Frankenstein Mary Shelley
1819 Don Juan George Gordon Byron
1819 Rip Van Winkle Washington Irving
1820 The Complete Poems of John Keats John Keats
1820 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving
1830 The Book of Mormon Joseph Smith Jr.
1832 Faust Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1835 Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville
1836 Nature Ralph Waldo Emerson
1837 The American Scholar Ralph Waldo Emerson
1838 Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
1839 The Voyage of the Beagle Charles Darwin
1842 Introduction to Positive Philosophy (1830-1842) August Comte
1843 A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
1843 The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings Edgar Allan Poe
1843 Either/Or: A Fragment of Life Søren Kierkegaard
1843 Fear and Trembling Søren Kierkegaard
1845 The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
1845 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass
1847 Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
1847 Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
1848 The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels
1849 Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau
1850 The Prelude William Wordsworth
1850 David Copperfield Charles Dickens
1850 The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
1851 Moby Dick Herman Melville
1851 The House of Seven Gables Nathaniel Hawthorne
1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
1853 Bleak House Charles Dickens
1854 Walden Henry David Thoreau
1855 Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman
1856 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
1859 A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
1859 The Origin of Species Charles Darwin
1859 On Liberty John Stuart Mill
1859 The World as Will and Representation Arthur Schopenhauer
1859 The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1861 Great Expectations Charles Dickens
1862 Les Misérables Victor Hugo
1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
1865 Experiments in Plant Hybridisation Gregor Mendel
1866 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
1867 Capital, Volume I (Das Kapital) Karl Marx
1869 War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
1871 Through the Looking-Glass Lewis Carroll
1871 Middlemarch George Eliot
1871 The Descent of Man Charles Darwin
1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
1877 Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
1880 The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky
1883 Thus Spoke Zarathustra Friedrich Nietzsche
1884 Man Versus the State Herbert Spencer
1885 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
1886 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson
1886 Beyond Good and Evil Friedrich Nietzsche
1887 Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
1887 On the Genealogy of Morality Friedrich Nietzsche
1888 The Antichrist Friedrich Nietzsche
1890 The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
1890 The Golden Bough James George Frazer
1893 The Division of Labour in Society Émile Durkheim
1894 Arms and the Man George Bernard Shaw
1895 The Time Machine H.G. Wells
1897 Dracula Bram Stoker
1898 The Turn of the Screw Henry James
1899 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad


Date Book Author
1890 The Principles of Psychology William James
1900 The Interpretation of Dreams Sigmund Freud
1901 Up from Slavery Booker T. Washington
1902 The Varieties of Religious Experience William James
1903 The Call of the Wild Jack London
1903 Principia Ethica G. E. Moore
1906 The Jungle Upton Sinclair
1907 Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking William James
1907 Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
1909 The Montessori Method Maria Montessori
1910 Principia Mathematica Alfred North Whitehead & Bertrand Russell
1912 The Elementary Forms of Religious Life Émile Durkheim
1912 The Problems of Philosophy Bertrand Russell
1915 The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka
1915 Relativity Albert Einstein
1916 The Mind and Society Vilfredo Pareto
1918 The Education of Henry Adams Henry Adams
1921 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein
1922 Ulysses James Joyce
1922 Economy and Society Max Weber
1923 Scepticism and Animal Faith George Santayana
1924 A Passage to India E. M. Forster
1924 The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann
1924 The Conquest of Happiness Bertrand Russell
1925 The Great Gadsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
1925 The Trial Franz Kafka
1926 The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
1927 In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927) Marcel Proust
1927 To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
1927 Aspects of the Novel E. M. Forster
1927 Being and Time Martin Heidegger
1927 Why I Am Not a Christian Bertrand Russell
1929 A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway
1929 The Sound and the Fury William Falkner
1929 Process and Reality Alfred North Whitehead
1930 Civilization and Its Discontents Sigmund Freud
1932 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
1934 A Study of History (1934-1961) Arnold J. Toynbee
1934 Art as Experience John Dewey
1935 The Story of Civilization (1935-1975) Will & Ariel Durant
1936 Gone With the Wind Margaret Mitchell
1936 The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money John Maynard Keynes
1936 The Great Chain of Being Arthur Oncken Lovejoy
1936 How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie
1937 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
1938 Homage to Catalonia George Orwell
1938 Experience and Education John Dewey
1939 The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
1940 A Mathematician’s Apology G. H. Hardy
1942 The Stranger Albert Camus
1942 Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy Joseph Schumpeter
1942 The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus
1943 The Abolition of Man C. S. Lewis
1943 Being and Nothingness Jean-Paul Sartre
1944 What Is Life? Erwin Schrödinger
1944 Theory of Games and Economic Behavior John von Neumann
1945 Animal Farm George Orwell
1945 The Open Society and Its Enemies Karl Popper
1946 All the King’s Men Robert Penn Warren
1946 Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl
1947 The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank
1947 A History of Western Philosophy Bertrand Russell
1947 One Two Three… Infinity George Gamow
1948 The Second World War (1948-1953) Winston Churchill
1948 Walden Two B. F. Skinner
1949 1984 George Orwell
1949 The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir
1949 The Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell
1950 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis
1950 The Liberal Imagination Lionel Trilling
1950 The Story of Art E. H. Gombrich
1951 The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
1951 The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt
1952 East of Eden John Steinbeck
1952 The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
1952 Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
1953 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
1953 Philosophical Investigations Ludwig Wittgenstein
1953 The Conservative Mind Russell Kirk
1954 The Doors of Perception Aldous Huxley
1954 Lord of the Flies William Golding
1954 Ideas and Opinions Albert Einstein
1954 Motivation and Personality Abraham Maslow
1955 The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
1955 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
1955 Tristes Tropiques Claude Lévi-Strauss
1955 Notes of a Native Son James Baldwin
1957 Syntactic Structures Noam Chomsky
1957 The Undiscovered Self Carl Jung
1958 The Civil War Shelby Foote
1958 The Affluent Society John Kenneth Galbraith
1958 Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science Werner Heisenberg
1959 The Elements of Style E.B. White, William Strunk Jr.
1959 The Logic of Scientific Discovery Karl Popper
1959 The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell: 1903-1959 Bertrand Russell
1960 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
1960 Rabbit, Run John Updike
1960 The Constitution of Liberty Friedrich A. Hayek
1960 The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich William L. Shirer
1961 Catch-22 Joseph Heller
1962 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey
1962 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
1962 Silent Spring Rachel Carson
1962 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas S. Kuhn
1962 Capitalism and Freedom Milton Friedman
1962 The Guns of August Barbara Tuchman
1963 Anti-intellectualism in American Life Richard Hofstadter
1963 The Rise of the West William H. McNeill
1964 The Feynman Lectures on Physics (6 easy peices) Richard Feynman
1964 Why We Can’t Wait Martin Luther King Jr.
1965 The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X & Alex Haley
1966 Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace
1966 In Cold Blood Truman Capote
1966 The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences Michel Foucault
1967 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
1968 The Double Helix James D. Watson
1969 Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
1969 The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems Robert Frost
1969 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou
1971 The Complete Stories Flannery O’Connor
1971 A Theory of Justice John Rawls
1973 The Gulag Archipelago Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
1973 Small Is Beautiful E. F. Schumacher
1974 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Robert M. Pirsig
1975 Sociobiology: The New Synthesis E. O. Wilson
1976 The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins
1977 The First Three Minutes Steven Weinberg
1978 A Distant Mirror Barbara Tuchman
1979 Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth James Lovelock
1979 The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
1979 The Gnostic Gospels Elaine Pagels
1979 Gödel, Escher, Bach Douglas Hofstadter
1980 A People’s History of the United States Howard Zinn
1980 Cosmos Carl Sagan
1981 Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
1982 The Mismeasure of Man Stephen Jay Gould
1983 Gorillas in the Mist Dian Fossey
1983 Modern Times: A History of the World from the 1920s to the 1980s Paul Johnson
1984 In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality John Gribbin
1984 On Food and Cooking Harold McGee
1985 Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy
1985 The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Oliver Sacks
1985 Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Richard Feynman
1986 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
1987 Beloved Toni Morrison
1987 The Making of the Atomic Bomb Richard Rhodes
1987 The Closing of the American Mind Allan Bloom
1987 A Conflict of Visions Thomas Sowell
1988 Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media Noam Chomsky
1988 A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
1990 Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
1991 The Passion of the Western Mind Richard Tarnas
1992 The End of History and the Last Man Francis Fukuyama
1993 The Giver Lois Lowry
1994 Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Carl Sagan
1994 The Language Instinct Steven Pinker
1995 Lies My Teacher Told Me James W. Loewen
1995 The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark Carl Sagan
1996 The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
1996 Clash of Civilizations Samuel P. Huntington
1997 Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling
1997 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
1997 American Pastoral Philip Roth
1997 Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond
1997 Into Thin Air Jon Krakauer