The Oldest Books in the World You Should Know About

The earlist written literature dates from 2600 BCE. The earliest author we know is Enheduanna, a poet from Sumeria. However, there were writings and they didn`t count as books, in today article we want to tell you about the first books which still exist.

The Golden Orphism Book. It is considered to be the oldest book in the world which was created in 500-600 BC. The book is made out of 23.82-karat gold, it has 6 sheets bound together and also it has illustrations of a horse-rider, mermaid, soldiers. The book was found in the late 1950s in a tomb in Bulgaria. In 2003 the book was donated o the Bulgaria’s National History Museum.

photo: BBC News

Pyrgi Gold Tablets were found in 1964 in Pyrgi (Tyrrhenian cost of Italy). These are 3 golden leaves which were made at about 500 BC. Two tablets are inscribed in the Etruscan language and three other ones – in Phoenician language.

Nag Hammadi Library is one of the oldest book in the world and it is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts. The term “library” is conditional, since it has not been proved that all the codes originally constituted a single book collection or belonged to the same owner. The library includes 52 texts (including repetitions – 45). These papyrus codices were found buries in a jar by a local farmer in Egyptian city Nag Hammadi.

St Cuthbert Gospel is European oldest pocket gospel book written in Latin published in the 8th century. The book was buried on the island of Lindisfarne off Northumberland, in about 698 AD. The east coast of Great Britain and its inhabitants in the X-XI centuries suffered greatly from the invasion of the Vikings. By this time missionaries had already visited the region and Christianity was firmly entrenched here. After the next robbery of the Scandinavians, the inhabitants took the property and retreated deep into the territory in search of new fertile lands among the rocky fjords. Together with them they even took the tomb of St. Cuthbert from a burial on the island of Lindisfarne, located in the north-east of Britain. At that time a small gospel was found, the size of which was slightly larger than the palm of an adult. The book, later called the Cuthbert Gospel, was preserved until the 20th century.

Book of Kells is illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin which is kept currently in Trinity College in Dublin. It is thought to be created by Celtic monks around 800 AD.
This is one of the most generously decorated with exquisite miniatures and ornaments of medieval manuscripts among all that have come down to us. Thanks to the beauty of the patterns, many researchers consider it as the most significant work of medieval Irish art.

Siddur is a Jewish Prayer Book contaiting a set order of prayers (the word ‘siddur’ means ‘order’). It is still in original binding and dated to the Babylonian & Talmudic leaders` times.

Diamond Sūtra is the sutra of the Prajnaparamita cycle, the fundamental text of Mahayana Buddhism, created around the 3rd century AD., but no later than the middle of the IV century. It was found in a cave in China with other printed materials.

Gutenberg Bible (also know as 42-line Bible) is among the earliest major books printed using mass-produced type in Europe. It is the edition of Vulgate (Latin translation of the Bible) published by German inventor and printer Johann Gutenberg. According to modern estimates, the total circulation of the Bible was about 180 copies. Most of the books were printed on first-class Italian paper. About 45 copies were published on parchment. These copies were more expensive. As of 2009, 47 first-printing Bibles were stored in various collections of the world, of which only 21 were complete.