What Are The Oldest Books (Top 10) in the World What Are The Oldest Books (Top 10) in the World
What Is the First Book That Still Exist in the World? What Is the First Book That Still Exist in the World?
8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
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Knowinsiders.com introduce top 10oldest books(bound pages or tablets) in the world that still exist today.

About the 30th century BCE, ancient Mesopotamia—home to the Sumerian, Akkadian, and Egyptian civilizations—began to establish writing systems. Although written text may be traced back to 2600 BCE, the earliest specimens were carved into stone tablets and, depending on who you ask, don't really qualify as books.

1. Dead Sea Scrolls (2nd century BCE–1st century CE)

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which date to the first century B.C., are widely regarded as the earliest complete Old Testament copy. The Dead Sea Scrolls are 972 manuscripts written in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek and set down on parchments and papyri; they were discovered in a series of 12 caves in Qumran in the West Bank, in the Judaean Desert near the Dead Sea, according to newsnation.

2. Etruscan Gold Book – c.600 BCE

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
Etruscan Gold Book – c.600 BCE

The Etruscan Gold Book is thought to be the oldest book in the world, despite the fact that very little is known about it. It dates back to somewhere around 600 BCE. A horseman, a mermaid, a harp, and soldiers are just some of the subjects depicted on the six sheets that make up this 24 karat gold tome. The book was discovered in a tomb along the Strouma River in Bulgaria sometime in the late 1950s during canal construction.

The book's finder, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave it to Bulgaria's National History Museum in 2003. The book's authenticity was checked by specialists in Sofia, Bulgaria, and London, England, according to the museum's former director, Bojidar Dimitrov.

3. The Pseudo-Apuleius Herbarius, 6–7th century

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
The Pseudo-Apuleius Herbarius, 6–7th century - Photo: Pinterest

The Pseudo-Apuleius Herbarius, a book with fantastical illustrations of plants that is often considered the most influential herbal in Europe up until the High Middle Ages, may have been one of the earliest books on botany. Assumptions about the text's authorship are largely based on the illustrations alone. It has been moved to the library of Leiden University in the Netherlands.

4. Pyrgi Gold Tablets – c.500 BCE

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
Photo: oldest.org

Author: Thefarie Velianas, Kinng of Caere

Country of Origin: Pyrgi, Italy (modern-day Santa Severa)

Script: Etruscan and Phoenician

The Prygi gold tablets were discovered in 1964 during an excavation of the ancient port town of Pyrgi, Italy, and date from around 500 BCE. Although the tablets aren't exactly books, holes around the border indicate that they were once bound together. The tablets are notable because they are written in two different languages: ancient Etruscan on two of the tablets and Phoenician on the third.

Researchers were able to interpret the Etruscan tablets using their knowledge of Phoenician thanks to the bilingual text.

5. Codex Sinaiticus (Sinai Bible) – c. 330 – 360 AD

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
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Author: Copied by various scribes

Country of Origin: Sinai, Egypt

Script: Greek

Codex Sinaiticus, sometimes known as the Sinai Bible, is one of the most important and cherished books in the world since it is the only largely intact early version of the Christian Bible. The book is a handwritten copy of the Bible in the ancient Greek text of Septuagint created by four scribes in the fourth century.

The book is regarded as one of the greatest Greek texts of the New Testament and has aided research into biblical texts. Scholars believe that the book originally contained both Testaments, despite the fact that substantial chunks of the Old Testament are missing.

6. Nag Hammadi Library – c. 3rd – 4th century AD

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
Photo: Solar Wind

Author: Unknown (possibly Pachomian monks)

Country of Origin: Nag Hammadi, Egypt

Script: Coptic

In the Egyptian city of Nag Hammadi, a farmer named Muhammed al-Samman unearthed a collection of thirteen codices in a sealed jar in 1945. The majority of the texts in the codices are Gnostic treatises, but there are also works from the Corpus Hermitcum and a partially translated and revised version of Plato's Republic. The only entire text of the Gospel of Thomas is located in one of the codices.

As Saint Athanasius forbade the use of non-canonical literature in 367 AD, the codices, thought to date back to the 3rd and 4th centuries, were presumably buried and hidden. Research into early Christianity and Gnosticism has been impacted by the discovery of the codices.

7. Garima Gospels – c. 330 – 650 AD

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
Garima Gospels – c. 330 – 650 AD - Photo: Pinterest

Author: Abba Garima (according to legend from Abba Garima Monastery)

Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Script: Ge’ez

Two gospel books called the Garima Gospels were discovered in the Abba Garima Monastery in Ethiopia. They are the earliest complete illuminated Christian manuscripts. Scholars have assumed for at least a decade that both books were written in the 11th century, but new carbon-dating evidence places their dates between 330 and 650 A.D.

The monks of Abba Garima claim that they have been protecting and housing the books ever since they were first written. The monks think the books were written by Abba Garima, a Byzantine noble who established the monastery. Both books were restored by a British bookbinder using funds from the Ethiopian Heritage Fund, a British charity that works to protect the cultural treasures housed in Ethiopia's monasteries, some time in the last decade.

8. St. Cuthbert Gospel – c. 7th century AD

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
St. Cuthbert Gospel – c. 7th century AD - Photo: Ancient Origins

Author: Unknown (possibly monks from Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey)

Country of Origin: England

Script: Latin

St. Cuthbert's Gospel, written in the seventh century, is Europe's oldest surviving book. Named after the saint whose coffin it was found in after his death in 687, the book is a copy of the Gospel of St. John. Durham Cathedral, where St. Cuthbert's coffin had been relocated after being hidden from Viking raids, was where the saint's remains were rediscovered in 1104.

After the book had been privately owned again after its rediscovery, it was given to a Jesuit community in Belgium in 1769. Since 1979, the book has been on temporary loan at London's British Library, which eventually purchased it from the Jesuits for approximately $14 million.

9. Book of Kells – c. 800 AD

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
Book of Kells – c. 800 AD - Photo: Pinterest

Author: Unknown (possibly monks from Iona, Scotland)

Country of Origin: Ireland

Script: Latin

One of Ireland's greatest treasures is the Book of Kells, also known as the Book of Columba, which is an illuminated book from around the year 800 AD. When the book was recently dated to around 800 AD, some academics thought it might have been the Great Gospel of Columba, an Irish monk from the sixth century. The book is currently on permanent exhibit in Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland; it was given its name after the Monastery of Kells, where it was kept for many years.

One of the best specimens of an illuminated manuscript, the volume has intricate and ostentatious ornamentation. It is made up of 340 calfskin vellum folios and includes the four New Testament Gospels.

10. Gutenberg Bible – c. 1450 – 1455

8 Oldest Books that ever Existed | Oldest.org
Gutenberg Bible – c. 1450 – 1455 - Photo: Britannica

Author: printed by Johannes Gutenberg
Country of Origin: Mainz, Germany
Script: Latin

The Gutenberg Bible is the oldest example of what a book typically is, even if it is not as old as other books that have lasted throughout history. It is featured on this list because it was the first book to be printed using mass-produced movable-type. The book was printed between 1450 and 1455 by Johannes Gutenberg, who developed the printing press and ignited the Printing Revolution.

The number of copies actually printed is uncertain, but early records indicate that 200 copies of the Bible were intended to be printed on cotton linen paper and 30 copies on velum animal skin. The Gutenberg Bibles are the rarest and most expensive printed books in the world, with only 22 copies now known to exist.


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