Preclassical literature: what it is, main features, origin and countries


What is the epoch of Preclassical Literature?

This period spans from the 19th century B.C. to the 8th century B.C. This period is often referred to as the mythical period, since this first part focuses on the concern of human beings to try to explain the origin of themselves, the world and the universe.

In this sense, pre-classical literature plays a fundamental role, since it contains evidence of these expressions, recording aspects such as: the relationship between man and God, the explanation of natural phenomena, the origin of the population, the first customs, etc.

During the pre-classical literature period, different types of sub-genres were born, such as legends, myths, and apologues, but it was also the beginning of another series of texts that would be consolidated later on, such as epic poems or epics, and epics.

What is the epoch of Preclassical Literature

In addition to this, it is considered to be the birthplace of lyric poetry that would be represented by Pindar and Sappho, giving rise to the lyric genre at this time.

History and origin of the pre-classical period

It is considered that this era takes place mainly in countries located in the East, so that it reaches countries like India and China, besides touching other areas of the Middle East among which we find Judea and Egypt.

Characteristics of Preclassical Literature

Let’s see the most important characteristics of this literary epoch:

Literary content: as we mentioned, this stage is characterized by a frequent search for answers about the origin of everything, therefore the literary content of the pre-classical period is focused on answers to it that, in addition, generate expressions that give account about the relationships of the human being with God and with the other members of the communities.

Form of expression: it is important to bear in mind that at this moment in history writing had not yet been invented, which is why the form of expression corresponds to records based on Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions. Experts affirm that these are the first literary indications and manifestations.

Transmission: although these early texts were recorded on surfaces close to them, they were also transmitted through oral narration, so that they were carried from generation to generation in the memory of the wise and elders who spread the information and the first texts compiled through the word to the young people of the time, so that they, in turn, would later teach them.

Records: unfortunately there are many records that have been lost from this era, either by accidents, extinction of the culture that developed them or other factors that generated their loss.

The most important works of the pre-classical period

According to the first literary manifestations that take place in the Preclassical Literature era, it is considered to be the birth also for works such as the epic poems written by authors like Hesiod and Homer.

To learn more about the following literary epochs, don’t forget to visit our Literature section, where you can find a lot of information not only related to the historical development, but also a wide classification of their expressions, authors and more.