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Longman Anthology of World Literature, Volume I (A,B,C), The: The Ancient World, The Medieval Era, and The Early Modern Period, 2nd edition

  • David Damrosch
  • Bruce Robbins
  • Haruo Shirane
  • Jane Tylus
  • Pauline Yu
  • David L. Pike
  • April Alliston
  • Marshall Brown
  • Sabry Hafez
  • Djelal Kadir
  • Sheldon Pollock

Published by Pearson (July 1st 2008) - Copyright © 2009

2nd edition

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Longman Anthology of World Literature, Volume A, The: The Ancient World

ISBN-13: 9780205625956

Includes: Paperback
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$63.99 $79.99

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  • Paperback

    You'll get a bound printed text.


The world is growing smaller every day.  In today’s increasingly global culture, we all need to become familiar with other traditions, and literature provides an exciting and enjoyable mode of entry into the variety of the world’s cultures. Exciting, but also challenging: works from distant times and places expose us to unfamiliar names, customs, beliefs, and literary forms. The Longman Anthology is designed to open up the horizons of world literature, placing major works within their cultural contexts and fostering connections and conversations between eras as well as regions. Engaging introductions, regional maps, pronunciation guides, and a wealth of illustrations inform and enrich the experience of reading the compelling works included here, opening out a fresh and diverse range of the world’s great literature.


In the second edition of The Longman Anthology:


Major works are included from around the world: Many are given in their entirety, from The Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer’s Odyssey to Dante’s Inferno, Molière’s Tartuffe, Chikamatsu’s Love Suicides at Amijima, and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. We also include extensive selections from such great works as The Aeneid, The Tale of Genji, The Thousand and One Nights, and Don Quixote.


Perspectives sections group together works around major literary and cultural issues. These sections are now followed by Crosscurrents, which highlight additional connections for you to explore.  Often presented as thought questions, these prompts could provide you with the essay topic for your next paper.


New Translation units willhelp you to understand the key role of translation in the life of world literature. Passages in the original language are accompanied by two or three translations that show how differently translators can choose to convey the original in expressive new ways. You will enjoy finding new meaning in the original work as you trace the ways literature evolves for generations of readers. 


An enhanced Companion Website gives you the opportunity to take practice quizzes, explore an interactive timeline, review literary terms, listen to an audio glossary that provides pronunciations of unfamiliar names, and listen to audio recordings of the passages given in our Translationsections.


Through all these means, The Longman Anthology will support and enrich your experience as you explore the many worlds of world literature.

Table of contents




The Babylonian Theogony (c. 2nd millennium B.C.E), (trans. W. G. Lambert) 

A Memphite Theology (c. 2500 B.C.E.), (trans. Miriam Lichtheim)

Genesis: Chapters 1-11 (1st millennium B.C.E.),  (trans. Robert Alter)

Translations: Genesis


POETRY OF LOVE AND DEVOTION (c. 3rd to 2nd millennium B.C.E.)

            Last night, as I, the queen, was shining bright (trans. S. N. Kramer)

            Egyptian Love Songs (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        Distracting is the foliage of my pasture (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        I sail downstream in the ferry by the pull of the current (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        The voice of the turtledove speaks out (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        I embrace her, and her arms open wide (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        One, the lady love without a duplicate (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        How well the lady knows to cast the noose (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        Why need you hold converse with your heart? (trans. W. K. Simpson)

                        I passed by her house in the dark (trans. W. K. Simpson)


THE SONG OF SONGS (1st millennium B.C.E.), (trans. Jerusalem Bible translation)


THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH (c. 1200 B.C.E.), (trans. Maureen Gallery Kovacs)


Perspectives: Death and Immortality

The Descent of Ishtar to the Underworld (late 2nd millennium B.C.E), (trans. Stephanie Dalley)

from The Book of the Dead (2nd millennium B.C.E.), (trans. Miriam Lichtheim)

Letters to the Dead (2nd to 1st millennium B.C.E.), (trans. Gardiner and Sethe)

Kabti-Ilani-Marduk: Erra and Ishum  (8th century B.C.E.), (trans. David Damrosch)




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