classical literature

Encyclopedia

classical literature

the literature of ancient Greece and Rome (see Greek literature; Latin literature). The term is also used for the literature of any language in a period notable for the excellence and enduring quality of its writers' works. In ancient Greece such a period extended from about 500 to 320 BC; the Golden Age of Rome ran from about 70 BC to AD 18. French literature of the second half of the 17th century is considered classical, as is English literature of 1660-1714; the works produced and the critical standards that prevailed in both eras emulated those of the classical periods in Greek and Latin, although this criterion is not an essential characteristic of a classical literature.

Learn more about classical literature with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: classical latin
Next Definition: classical logic
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for classical literature
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing classical literature
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature