Period 1: Classical Antiquity

Before 50A.D.

22 texts in 5 languages

Starts with Rg Veda (1000B.C.) and ends with Livy's History of Rome (14A.D.)

Latin  Greek  Sanskrit Pali   Chinese
Cicero Iliad  Rg Veda Samyutta Nikaya Xunzi
Virgil Sapphos  Early Upanisads   Hanfeizi
Ovid Sophocles Arthasastra   Mozi
Livy Herodotus Mahabharata   Dong Zhongshu

Thucydides   Ramayana    Sima Qian
4 7 5 1 5

This is the period of the Axial Age (per Spengler). While this list suggests the dominance of the Western tradition (texts in Greek and Latin), in reality, the East Asian (Chinese) tradition was as strong - just that many of the key texts happen to be included in the form of later commentaries in my List of 150, thus their titles do not show up here. Specifically:

- Yi Jing ("Classics of Change") and Laozi are included in Wang Bi, who wrote classical commentaries on both of them

- Zhuangzi is included in its commentarial form as Zhuangzi Zhu. These two texts (Wang Bi and Zhuangzi Zhu) are included in Period 2.

- Shi Jing ("Classics of Odes") is included in the canonical commentary Maoshi Zhengyi in Period 3.

- Lunyu ("Analects"), Menzi ("Mencius") and Liji ("Records of Rites") are included in Zhu Xi's Commentaries on the Four Books in Period 5. 


From a canonical text persectives, it is fair to say it was the period of the formation of regional traditions, with the most important texts left behind from both ends of the civilized world. Part of the reason, of course, was that the Persian empires did not leave us with any texts of note for some reasons, while in South Asia, the transition from oral to textual traditions were just beginning towards the end of the period.