World Canon - Detailed List 1-6

1. Rig Veda           Religious / Foundational Classics           Indian 
  Author:           Anonymous  

          Hymns composition before 900B.C. according to

          most scholars 

  Significance:           Oldest of the four Vedas, considered sacred (as shruti
2. Iliad            Religious / Foundational Classics           Greco-Roman 
  Author:           Homer (by convention)  

          Before 6th century B.C. according to most scholars, by

          perhaps 1-2 centuries 


          Iliad considered the the first Western classic texts; learnt

          by all educated ancient Greeks and many later peoples 

3. Samyutta Nikaya           Religious / Foundational Classics           Buddhist 

          Buddha's sayings, gradually compiled in the 1-2

          centuries after his death 


          Buddha's active in 5th century B.C. (I follow

          Yinshun's opinion of 511-431B.C., thus slightly

          before Herodotus)


          Samyutta Nikaya (in Pali, in southern transmission) and

          its corresponding Samyukta Agama (in Sanskrit, in

          northern transmission) are generally considered

          oldest among the 5 Nakayas (and 4 Agamas) 

4. Histories            History           Greco-Roman 
  Author:           Herodotus (484-425/414B.C.)  
  Date:           Mid to late 5th century B.C.

          "Father of History", attempt at a cultural history of all known

          world, include detailed descriptions of the

          first civilizational-scale empire, the Persian Empire   

5. Republic            Philosophy           Greco-Roman 
  Author:           Plato (429-347B.C.)  
  Date:           1st half of 4th century B.C. 

          Most widely read and taught among the dialogues of Plato,

          teacher of Aristotle, and master for later Platonists / neo-


6. Metaphysics            Philosophy           Greco-Roman 
  Author:           Aristotle (384-322B.C.)  
  Date:           Most likely between 335-322B.C. 

          "Master of all who know" (Dante's words); polymath;

          writes in his own voice; coined the term Metaphysics, later

          a core discipline within philsophy