The Japanese epic The Tale of Genji, written 1,000 years ago, is often regarded as the world's first novel. It describes the love affairs of a prince named Genji with several women, including one of his own daughters.
Around the year 750 AD The first accounts were written about 750 AD, but others were narrated hundreds of years later. Aladdin, Sindbad the Sailor, and Ali Baba are all well-known tales. The Thousand and One Nights narrates the narrative of Shahryar, the king, and his wife, Shahrazad, who reads him a portion of a story each night before dawn. When she reaches 1000 stories, she is granted one more day to go on with her story.
The earliest complete copy that we know of is from Egypt around A.D. 1500. It is 14th century English translations of some Arabic stories called "Panchatantra". These stories were already more than 1,000 years old when they were translated into English!
In Europe, the first printed version of the book appeared in France in 1613. It included 35 stories from The Thousand and One Nights.
In America, some of the first readers of The Thousand and One Nights were American slaves who learned it from Arab merchants living in Charleston, South Carolina. It wasn't published in an American language until 1839 when Henry Richard Carothers published an English translation of the Arabian Nights.
Today, The Thousand and One Nights is read by millions of children across the world. Its impact on storytelling has been enormous - everything from Pinocchio to Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter is based on stories found in The Thousand and One Nights.
Prehistory The history of mankind begins with the invention of writing. Prehistory is the time preceding the invention of writing. Writing was established in India during the Harappan period, although the script has yet to be deciphered. As a result, the time is known as the proto-historic period. Egypt also had writing, but it is not clear when they started using it because the language has yet to be identified.
Ancient History From about 500 BC to about AD 300, all written records are lost overboard or burned. During this period, we have to make do with what historians call "primary sources", which are original documents or objects that were involved in important events. For example, letters, speeches, and reports by significant figures; artifacts such as buildings, tools, and weapons used by them; and anything else that might help us understand what happened.
Modern History From about AD 300 to now, all written records are preserved. This is called the historical period. During this time, historians rely on "secondary sources", which are descriptions of events based on evidence found in primary sources. For example, books, articles, and films written by historians who take notes at meetings and conferences; collections of letters, speeches, and other documents kept by individuals or organizations; and photographs taken by eyewitnesses to events.
Cultural History From about 5000 BC to now, all written records are preserved. This is called the archeological period.
The more sophisticated writing system that evolved aided civilization's advancement by aiding the management of complex commercial, religious, governmental, and military institutions. The Sumerians created the first known writing around 5,500 years ago. It was based on marks carved onto clay tablets which were then wrapped around a stick called a "shaft". The ends of the shaft were sealed with resin to keep the contents intact.
People started using wood instead of clay for their tablets around 3000 B.C. This made it easier to write on a larger scale because more tablets could be rolled out of one tree. At this point, writing only existed in certain areas of the world and didn't spread further until about 500 A.D., when the Roman alphabet began to take hold. Writing is used today in many forms including letters, memos, journals, and even computer code.
Writing allows for accurate record-keeping which can help people manage complex business deals, resources, and relationships. For example, when oil companies work with foreign governments they need some way to record what services they provide and how much money they are owed. Without writing there would be no way to accurately track these transactions since there is no way to repeat an event or compare notes between parties.
Writing also helps society by providing evidence needed for lawsuits, contracts, and other legal matters.
The Gilgamesh Epic is one of the earliest known written texts, dating from about 1500 BC. It is a long poem that describes a mythological hero named Gilgamesh and his adventures.
Composed in what is now Iraq, the epic is divided into five books. It includes many stories that have similarities to myths and legends around the world. For example, it tells of a king who tries to take over his neighbor's land by using their own weapon against them. In another story, a man tries to win a woman's love by killing a wild animal; but when he fails at this task, he instead kills his wife. The epic also has many other stories with obvious parallels to events today. For example, one section of the poem tells of how Gilgamesh fights a monster called the Bull of Heaven, which is similar to the tale of Zeus and Typhon. Another story describes how Gilgamesh loses a fight with a wild animal and is forced to kill its friend too.
In addition to these historical references, scholars believe the poet may have been inspired by actual people or events.