List of Seminal Ancient Texts
We made a List of the 36 Most Seminal Ancient Texts still relevant today. These literary works introduce some of the great classical thinkers, whose ideas have had a profound influence on civilization.
We define seminal works, sometimes called pivotal or landmark studies, as the initial pieces that presented an important or influential idea within a particular discipline.
Gilgamesh Flood Tablet – 7th century BCE
The Gilgamesh Flood Tablet tops the list of ancient texts, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature.
The flood story was added to the Gilgamesh Epic utilized surviving Babylonian deluge stories from older Sumerian poems which inspired the flood myth. Gilgamesh’s reign is believed to have been about 2700 BCE, shortly before the earliest known written stories. The earliest Sumerian Gilgamesh poems date from 2100–2000 BCE.
One of these poems mentions Gilgamesh’s journey to meet the flood hero, as well as a short version of the flood story. The flood story was included because, in it, the flood hero is granted immortality by the gods, and that fits the immortality theme of the epic.
Lament for Ur – 1800 BCE
The “Lamentation over the city of Ur” dates back at least 4000 years to ancient Sumer, the world’s first urban civilization. The Cuneiform clay tablet is a Sumerian lament composed around the time of the fall of Ur to the Elamites and the end of the city’s third dynasty in about 2000 BC. The lament is composed of over four hundred lines and describes how the goddess, weeps for her city after pleading with the leader of the Mesopotamian gods to call back the destructive storm.
Interspersed with the goddess’s wailing are other sections, which describe the ghost town that Ur has become. The account recounts the wrath of god’s storm, and invoke the protection of the gods against future calamities. The goddess’s name is Ningal, the wife of the moon god Nanna, who petitions the leaders of the gods, to change their minds and not to destroy Ur.
Law Code of Hammurabi – 1754 BC
The “Law Code of Hammurabi” is a Stele that was erected by the King of Babylon in the 18th century B.C. It is a work of art, it is history, and it is literature. It is a complete law code from Antiquity that pre-dates Biblical laws. A stele is a vertical stone monument or marker inscribed with text or with relief carving. This particular example, which is nearly 4,000 years old, looks like the shape of a huge index finger with a nail and imperfect symmetry.
The Law Code of Hammurabi stele is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length to be discovered. The Law Code of Hammurabi refers to a set of 282 rules or laws enacted by the Babylonian King Hammurabi, who reigned 1792-1750 B.C. The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved law code of ancient Mesopotamia and has been found on many stele and clay tablets from the period.
Complaint Tablet To Ea-nasir – 1750 BCE
This clay tablet from ancient Babylon was written in about 1750 BC and is the world’s oldest recorded customer complaint. The “Complaint Tablet To Ea-Nasir” records in cuneiform a complaint to a merchant named Ea-Nasir from a customer named Nanni. Ea-Nasir traveled to the Persian Gulf to buy copper and then sold it in Mesopotamia. One of his customers was Nanni, who sent his servant with the money to buy the copper and complete the transaction.
The copper was sub-standard and not acceptable to Nanni. Nanni formally documented his complaint on a clay tablet in cuneiform writing and sent it to Ea-Nasir. Inscribed on the tablet is the complaint about a copper delivery of the inferior grade. He also complained that his servant, who handled the transaction, had been treated rudely.
Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty – 1259 BCE
This Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty is the oldest known surviving peace treaty and the only ancient Near Eastern treaty for which both sides’ versions have survived. The peace treaty is the earliest example of any written international agreement of any kind. It followed the Battle of Kadesh fought some sixteen years earlier. The text concludes with a binding oath.
The treaty proclaims that both sides would in future forever remain at peace, binding the children and grandchildren of the parties. This clay tablet version was initially copied from silver tablets given to each side, which have since been lost. The Egyptian version of the peace treaty was engraved in hieroglyphics on the walls of two temples belonging to Pharaoh Ramesses II in Thebes.
Book of the Dead – Papyrus of Ani and Hunefe – 1250 BCE
The “Book of the Dead” is an ancient Egyptian funerary manuscript written on papyrus consisting of magic spells intended to assist a dead person’s journey through the underworld, and into the afterlife.
The original Egyptian name for the text is translated as “Book of Coming Forth into the Light.” It was placed in the coffin or burial chamber of the deceased. The texts and images in the “Book of the Dead” evolved from the writings of many priests over about 1,000 years. They were used from the beginning of the New Kingdom around 1550 BCE to around 50 BCE. The “Book of the Dead” was part of a tradition of funerary texts, which includes the earlier texts, which were painted onto objects, not written on papyrus.
Related: A brief history of literature
Rāmāyaṇa – 8-4 BCE
The Rāmāyaṇa is a Sanskrit epic from ancient India, one of the two important epics of Hinduism, known as the Itihasas, the other being the Mahābhārata. The epic, traditionally ascribed to the Maharishi Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, a legendary prince of Ayodhya in the kingdom of Kosala.
The scholars’ estimates for the earliest stage of the text ranging from the 8th to 4th centuries BCE, and later stages extending up to the 3rd century CE, although original date of composition is unknown. It is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature and consists of nearly 24,000 verses (mostly set in the Shloka/Anustubh meter), divided into seven Khanda (parts) the first and the seventh being later additions. It belongs to the genre of Itihasa, narratives of past events (purāvṛtta), interspersed with teachings on the goals of human life.
Cyrus Cylinder – 539–538 BCE
The Cyrus Cylinder is an ancient clay cylinder, from the 6th century BC, on which is written a declaration in cuneiform script in the name of Persia’s King Cyrus the Great.
It describes the king’s capture of Babylon in 539 BC and how he restored temples in major cities and returned deported people to their homes. The text on the Cylinder praises Cyrus for his peaceful and just rule, and due to these precepts, this historical object has been claimed to be an early version of ‘charter of human right.’
The text on the Cylinder praises Cyrus by setting out his genealogy and portrays him as a King from a line of Kings. Cyrus is described as having been chosen by the Babylonian god Marduk to restore peace and order to the Babylonians.
Prometheus Bound 479 BCE
Aeschylus (525–456 BC) brought a new grandeur and epic sweep to the drama of classical Athens, raising it to the status of high art. In Prometheus Bound the defiant Titan Prometheus is brutally punished by Zeus for daring to improve the state of wretchedness and servitude in which mankind is kept. The Suppliants tells the story of the fifty daughters of Danaus who must flee to escape enforced marriages, while Seven Against Thebes shows the inexorable downfall of the last members of the cursed family of Oedipus. And The Persians, the only Greek tragedy to deal with events from recent Athenian history, depicts the aftermath of the defeat of Persia in the battle of Salamis, with a sympathetic portrayal of its disgraced King Xerxes.
Related: List of greco-roman classics
The Republic by Plato – 375 BCE
The Republic is a Socratic dialogue, authored by Plato around 375 BCE, concerning justice, the order and character of the just city-state, and the just man. It is Plato’s best-known work, and one of the world’s most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically.
Related: Idioms from Greek Mythology
The Rosetta Stone – 196 BCE
The Rosetta Stone is inscribed with three languages for the same decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC by King Ptolemy V. The top text is in Ancient Egyptian using the hieroglyphic script, the middle passage is Ancient Egyptian Demotic script, and the bottom is in Ancient Greek.
As the decree is the same in all three versions, the Rosetta Stone provided the key to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. The reason for the Ancient Greek language is that the Rosetta Stone was carved during the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy was a Macedonian Greek who was one of Alexander the Great’s generals and was appointed the leader of Egypt after Alexander’s death in 323 BC.
Related: The myth of Sysyphus
Constitution of the Athenians by Aristotle – 100 BCE
This “Constitution of the Athenians” is a copy of the original writings of Aristotle or one of his students. It was preserved on two leaves of a papyrus codex discovered at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, in 1879. The codex describes the political system of Classical Athens, commonly called the Areopagite Constitution, written between 328 BC and 322 BC. The work deals with the different forms of the constitution and the city’s institutions, including the terms of access to citizenship, magistrates, and the courts. In other ancient documents, several ancient authors state that Aristotle assigned his pupils to prepare a monograph of 158 constitutions of Greek cities, including a constitution of Athens.
Vindolanda Tablets – 1st-century
The Vindolanda Tablets were, at the time of their discovery, the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. The tablets date to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD during the Roman occupation of Britain. The tablets are thin, postcard-sized wooden leaf-tablets with carbon-based ink. They were discovered in 1973, at the site of Vindolanda, a Roman fort in northern England. The Vindolanda Tablets were the first known surviving examples of the use of ink letters in the Roman period.
The tablets are made from birch, alder, and oak that grew locally. They are 0.25–3 mm thick with a typical size of a modern postcard. They were scored down the middle and folded to form diptychs with ink writing on the inner faces, the ink being carbon, gum Arabic, and water. The written documents are a rich source of information about life on the northern frontier of Roman Britain. The documents record military matters as well as personal messages to and from the garrison staff of Vindolanda.
Codex Vaticanus – 300–325
The Codex Vaticanus is one of the oldest surviving copies of the Bible and only one of the four surviving codices that containing the entire text of the Greek Old and New Testament Bible. The Codex is named after the Vatican Library, where it has been kept since at least the 15th century. It is written on 759 leaves of vellum in uncial letters and has been dated to 325–350.
Scholars consider the Codex Vaticanus to be one of the most important witnesses to the Greek text of the New Testament. The most widely sold editions of the Greek New Testament are primarily based on the text of the Codex Vaticanus. The manuscript is in a quarto volume, composed initially of 830 parchment leaves, but it appears that 71 sheets have been lost.
Confessions by Saint Augustine – 397
The Confessions of Saint Augustine has captivated readers for more than fifteen hundred years. Retelling the story of his long struggle with faith and ultimate conversion is heartfelt, incisive, and timeless. The first such spiritual memoir ever recorded — Saint Augustine traces a story of sin, regret, and redemption that is both deeply personal and, at the same time, universal.
Starting with his early life, education, and youthful indiscretions, and following his ascent to influence as a teacher of rhetoric in Hippo, Rome, and Milan, Augustine is brutally honest about his proud and ambitious youth. In time, his early loves grow cold and the luster of worldly success fades, leaving him filled with a sense of inner absence, until a movement toward Christian faith takes hold, eventually leading to conversion and the flourishing of a new life. Philosophically and theologically brilliant, sincere in its feeling, and both grounded in history and strikingly contemporary in its resonance, The Confessions of Saint Augustine is a timeless classic that will persist as long as humanity continues to long for meaning in life and peace of soul.
Vienna Dioscurides – Juliana Anicia Codex – 515
The Vienna Dioscurides is a Byzantine Greek illuminated manuscript copy of “Medical Material” by Dioscorides, which was created in 515 AD. It is a rare surviving example of an illustrated ancient scientific and medical text. The original “De Materia Medica” or “On Medical Material” was first written between 50 and 70 CE by Pedanius Dioscorides. It is a pharmacopeia of medicinal plants and was widely read and used for more than 1,500 years.
This specific manuscript copy was created in the Byzantine Empire’s capital, Constantinople, for the byzantine imperial princess, Anicia Juliana. She was the daughter of Anicius Olybrius, who had been one of the last Western Roman Emperors. The manuscript was presented to the princess in gratitude for her funding the construction of a church in Constantinople. The dedication miniature portrait of Anicia Juliana is the oldest surviving dedication portraits in a book. The portrait has Anicia seated in a ceremonial pose distributing alms. Personifications of “Magnanimity” and “Prudence” flank her. At her feet, another representation, labeled “Gratitude of the Arts,” kneels.
Lindisfarne Gospels – 715-720
The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated manuscript produced about 715 – 720 in the monastery at Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland. It is an illustrated Latin copy of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The manuscript is in the unique style of Hiberno-Saxon combining Mediterranean, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic elements.
The Lindisfarne Gospels are presumed to be the work of a monk named Eadfrith, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698. Some parts of the manuscript were left unfinished, indicating that Eadfrith was still working on it at his time of death. The Lindisfarne Gospels manuscript took approximately ten years to create. Its pages are vellum, made from roughly 150 calf skins. The text is written from dark ink, which contains particles of carbon from soot. The pens used for the manuscript were cut from either quills or reeds, and there is also evidence of trace marks made by an early type of pencil. The illustrators manufactured 90 colors with local minerals and vegetable extracts may have been imported some colors from the Mediterranean. Gold is used in only a few small details.
Beowulf – Nowell Codex – 975–1025
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that survives in a single copy in the manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. It has no title in the original manuscript but has become known by the name of the story’s hero. The poem is known only from a single manuscript, which is estimated to date from around 975–1025, in which it appears with other works.
The manuscript dates either to the reign of Æthelred the Unready or to the beginning of the reign of Cnut the Great from 1016. The Beowulf manuscript is known as the Nowell Codex, gaining its name from the 16th-century owner and scholar Laurence Nowell. The earliest surviving reference to the Nowell Codex was made about 1650 and the prior ownership of the codex before Nowell remains a mystery. The Beowulf manuscript itself is identified by name for the first time in an exchange of letters in 1700.
Blue Qur’an – 9th – 10th century
This leaf is from the 600 paged Blue Qur’an, which is a one-thousand-year-old Fatimid Caliphate Qur’an manuscript in Kufic calligraphy. Created in North Africa for the Great Mosque of Kairouan, also known as the Mosque of Uqba in Tunisia, it is written in gold and decorated in silver on vellum colored with indigo. It is among the most famous works of Islamic calligraphy.
The original manuscript of approximately 600 pages was dispersed during the Ottoman period. Today most of it is located in the National Institute of Art and Archaeology Bardo National Museum in Tunis, with detached folios in various museums worldwide. This leaf from the Blue Qur’an shows the Sura 30: 28–32. Each sura’s verses are inked in gold on rich indigo. The Blue Qur’an was a display of the Fatimid dynasty’s wealth, power.
Miroslav Gospel – 1186
Miroslav’s Gospel is a 362-page illuminated manuscript on parchment with lavish decorations such as illustrated initials and rich pictorial illustrations. It is one of the oldest surviving documents written in Church Slavonic and of significant historical significance.
The book was traditionally kept at the Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos, before it was presented to King Alexander I of Serbia, on the occasion of his visit to the monastery in 1896. The book was initially transcribed in Kotor, a coastal town in modern-day Montenegro, between 1186 and 1190 from an earlier text. Most pages are by an unknown scribe from Zeta, a medieval region and province of the Serbian Grand Principality, with the last few pages written by the scribe Grigorije of Raška, also known as Grigorije the Pupil.
Magna Carta – 1215
The Magna Carta or “Great Charter” is a charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede in 1215. This document is considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom. It also influenced the formation of the United States Constitution.
Magna Carta continues to have a dominant iconic status in several countries, often being cited by politicians and lawyers in support of constitutional and political positions. Although rarely invoked in court in the modern era, the use of the Magna Carta’s perceived guarantee of trial by jury and other civil liberties continues to be used to defend various political and public positions and actions. The Charter was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons.
Hadith Bayad wa Riyad – 13th-century
The Story of Bayad and Riyad is a 13th-century Arabic love story. The Hadith Bayad wa Riyad manuscript is one of three surviving illustrated manuscripts from medieval al-Andalus in modern Spain and Portugal.
This illustrated medieval Arabic manuscript of Andalusi is an extremely rare Arabic manuscript preserved in the Vatican collection. The manuscript is believed to be the only illustrated manuscript known to have survived from more than eight centuries of Muslim and Arab presence in Spain.
The tale is about Bayad, a merchant’s son and a foreigner from Damascus, and Riyad, a well-educated slave girl in the court of a senior minister in northern Mesopotamia. The hero, Bayad, falls in love with a handmaiden of a “Noble Lady,” who is the daughter of the minister. There are several sub-plots in the story because the minster is also interested in Riyad.
The Belles Heures of Jean of France, Duke of Berry – 1405
The “Belles Heures” or “The Beautiful Hours” is a beautifully illuminated manuscript book containing prayers to be said by the faithful at each canonical hour of the day. The French Duke of Berry (French: Jean, Duc de Berry) commissioned this book in 1409 for his private use. Belle Heures was designed for his wishes and is famous because of its many lavish decorations. The “Belles Heures” consists of a series of story-like cycles that reads like picture books. One hundred seventy-two illuminations in miniature are painted in the “Belles Heures,” mainly within rectangular borders.
However, the illuminators sometimes experimented by breaking across the boundaries to accommodate images that extending beyond the frame. The picture cycles are devoted to Christian figures or events that held particular significance for the Duke. An unusual aspect of this specific book of hours is that unlike others, each of the cycles consists of a series of miniatures that are uninterrupted by text.
Gutenberg Bible – 1450
The Gutenberg Bible was among the earliest books and the first Bible printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. This book, published in the 1450s, is valued for its aesthetic and artistic qualities, as well as its historical significance. Forty-nine copies have survived and are among the world’s most valuable books. Less than 185 copies were printed with about three-quarters on paper and the others on vellum.
The Gutenberg Bible contains the Latin version of the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. Most were sold to monasteries, universities, and wealthy individuals. The Bible seems to have sold out immediately, with a price of at least three years’ wages for a clerk. Although this made them significantly cheaper than manuscript Bibles, most people of ordinary income wouldn’t have been able to afford them. The Gutenberg Bible had a profound effect on the history of the printed book and influenced future editions of the Bible. Of the 49 Gutenberg Bibles known to exist today, only 21 are complete. Others have pages or whole volumes missing. Twelve copies on vellum survive, although only four of these are complete.
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli – 1532
The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise written by Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli as an instruction guide for new princes and royals. The general theme of The Prince is of accepting that the aims of princes – such as glory and survival – can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.
Machiavelli is famous, or infamous, for shifting the sense of “virtue” from moral worth to effectiveness. The virtuous figures of The Prince are those who do whatever it takes to seize and maintain foreign territory, even if it entails the grossest violations. This is a morality, if that’s the right word, of ends.
Discourse on Method by René Descartes – 1637
Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences is a philosophical and autobiographical treatise published by René Descartes in 1637. It is best known as the source of the famous quotation “Je pense, donc je suis” “I think, therefore I am”, which occurs in Part IV of the work.
The main objective of Discourse on Method is to propose a new method of thought, which combines the objective truth of mathematics with the intuitive truths of the senses. Descartes doubts everything that his physical senses suggest about the world, claiming to trust only his mental reality (his capacity for thought).
Code Noir – 1687
The Code Noir (French: Black Code) was a decree passed by France’s King Louis XIV in 1685, that defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire. The code detailed the “acceptable” conditions for enslavement. It legitimized slave ownership and, at the same time, allowed slaves certain rights. The Code Noir also restricted the activities of free Negroes, forbade the exercise of any religion other than Roman Catholicism, and ordered all Jews out of France’s colonies.
“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine – 1766
“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine was written in 1775–76 as a pamphlet advocating for the independence of the Thirteen Colonies. Paine used persuasive moral and political arguments to encourage the ordinary people in the Colonies to fight for an equal government.
It was published anonymously at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate bestseller.
Paine connected independence with common Protestant beliefs to present a distinctly American political identity, structuring Common Sense as if it were a sermon. “Common Sense” was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time, it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.
“Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral” by Phillis Wheatley – 1766
“Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral” by Phillis Wheatley is a collection of 39 poems written by the first African-American ever to be published. Published in 1773, she was an African-American servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England. Phillis Wheatley broke barriers as the first African American Women poet to be published, opening the door for future African American authors.
She is also the first in order of time of all the women poets of America. And she is among the first female American poets to issue a book of Poems. Phillis Wheatley, with the aid of her mistress, Mrs. Wheatley, was unable to find a publisher in the American colonies, as it was common among the white colonial élite in America to perceive a racial superiority of whites over African Americans.
“The History of England” by Jane Austen – 1791
“The History of England” by Jane Austen was written when the author was fifteen years old in 1791. The work is a humorous work that pokes fun at widely used school history books of the time. The manuscript of thirty-four pages in Jane Austen’s hand is accompanied by thirteen watercolor miniatures by her elder sister, Cassandra. The notebook is today preserved in the British Library collection.
In “The History of England,” Austen mockingly imitates the style of textbook histories of English monarchs, while ridiculing school history books’ pretensions to objectivity. Jane Austen’s version of “The History of England” rebalanced the insufficiency of attention to female figures in school history books.
Some years later, Austen compiled this work and 28 other writings of her early compositions by copying them into three notebooks, which she called “Volume the First,” “Volume the Second,” and “Volume the Third.” These notebooks still exist, one in the Bodleian Library and the other two in the British Library. These three volumes are considered Austen’s Juvenilia.
The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin – 1859
Few other books have created such a lasting storm of controversy as The Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory that species derive from other species by a gradual evolutionary process and that the average level of each species is heightened by the “survival of the fittest” stirred up popular debate to fever pitch. Its acceptance revolutionized the course of science.
In fact, it is so simple that it can be broken down into five basic steps, abbreviated here as VISTA: Variation, Inheritance, Selection, Time and Adaptation.
Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War – 1863
This photograph by Timothy O’Sullivan shows a view of Union Army soldiers lined up in their morning guard mount in front of the camp. Behind the formation, soldiers are scattered among the tents and huts across the slope of the hill.
This photograph is titled Guard Mount, Head-Quarters Army of the Potomac, and was one of the pictures in Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War, Vol. II, American, 1865–1866.
Timothy H. O’Sullivan (1840 – 1882) was a photographer known for his work related to the American Civil War and the Western United States. He joined Alexander Gardner’s studio, where he had forty-four photographs published in the first Civil War photographs collection, Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War.
Lincoln’s Handwritten Gettysburg Address – 1863
The Gettysburg Address was a speech that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863. Lincoln gave the speech a few months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is one of the best-known speeches in American history.
Lincoln’s address came to be seen as one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. Despite the prominent place in the history of the United States, its exact wording is disputed. There are five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln’s hand, which differ in several details. The written documents also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.
The five manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address are named for the person who received it from Lincoln. Lincoln gave copies to his private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. The other three copies of the address, the Everett, Bancroft, and Bliss copies, were written by Lincoln for charitable purposes well after Gettysburg Address. The Bliss copy had a title and was signed and dated, so it became accepted as the standard text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Original Manuscript of Alice in Wonderland – 1864
The original manuscript copy of “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground,” from 1864 is preserved in the British Library. The manuscript is written in sepia-colored ink and includes 37 pen and ink illustrations and a colored title page. The original drawings were only uncovered in 1977.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was created by Lewis Carroll, which was the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 – 1898) is better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll. The story first developed when Dodgson, together with his friend Reverend Duckworth, rowed in a boat accompanied by three young girls. The three girls were the daughters of another friend Henry Liddell, and one of the girls was named Alice.
The journey on a river in Oxford was five miles long, and during the trip, Dodgson created for the girls a story that featured a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure. The girls loved it, and Alice begged Dodgson to write it down for her. Dodgson began writing the manuscript of the story the next day.
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber – 1905
Maximilian Karl Emil Weber was a German sociologist, historian, jurist and political economist, who is regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of modern Western society. His ideas profoundly influence social theory and research.
The key elements of the Protestant ethic were diligence, punctuality, deferment of gratification, and primacy of the work domain (Rose, 1985).