Best Books of the Century: 750 BC. –1799


By Number of Ratings on Goodreads

2010s | 2000s | 1990s | 1980s | 1970s | 1960s | 1950s | 1940s | 1930s | 1920s | 1910s | 1900s | 19th century | 750 BC — 1799

1. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1595, 3.73 Average Rating, 1,628,519 Ratings, 14,778 Text Reviews, 1937 Editions


2. The Odyssey by Homer

First Published in -720, 3.73 Average Rating, 670,326 Ratings, 8,101 Text Reviews, 1703 Editions


3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Richard Andrews, Rex Gibson

First Published in 1600, 4 Average Rating, 515,820 Ratings, 8,889 Text Reviews, 1929 Editions


4. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1606, 3.88 Average Rating, 496,018 Ratings, 7,609 Text Reviews, 1732 Editions


5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1595, 3.94 Average Rating, 334,241 Ratings, 5,724 Text Reviews, 1379 Editions


6. The Iliad by Homer, Robert Fagles, Frédéric Mugler, Bernard Knox

First Published in -750, 3.83 Average Rating, 241,088 Ratings, 4,763 Text Reviews, 1726 Editions


7. Othello by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1603, 3.88 Average Rating, 238,875 Ratings, 4,334 Text Reviews, 1053 Editions


8. The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Thomas Cleary

First Published in -500, 3.95 Average Rating, 167,332 Ratings, 6,335 Text Reviews, 1865 Editions


9. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Gerald McCann, Virginia Woolf

First Published in 1719, 3.66 Average Rating, 178,188 Ratings, 4,603 Text Reviews, 558 Editions


10. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, Robert DeMaria Jr.

First Published in 1726, 3.55 Average Rating, 168,727 Ratings, 3,927 Text Reviews, 1762 Editions


11. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1598, 4.06 Average Rating, 175,616 Ratings, 2,686 Text Reviews, 805 Editions


12. Beowulf by Unknown, Seamus Heaney

First Published in 975, 3.42 Average Rating, 155,903 Ratings, 5,098 Text Reviews, 601 Editions


13. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, Adolph Caso, Rufus Goodwin, Benjamin Martinez

First Published in 1513, 3.78 Average Rating, 153,128 Ratings, 5,389 Text Reviews, 1654 Editions


14. Candide by Voltaire

First Published in 1759, 3.76 Average Rating, 151,471 Ratings, 5,504 Text Reviews, 1039 Editions


15. Holy Bible: King James Version

First Published in 1611, 4.43 Average Rating, 159,457 Ratings, 4,438 Text Reviews, 1449 Editions

16. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

First Published in 1605, 3.85 Average Rating, 134,931 Ratings, 5,429 Text Reviews, 1887 Editions


17. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Nevill Coghill

First Published in 1390, 3.48 Average Rating, 148,480 Ratings, 2,615 Text Reviews, 634 Editions


18. King Lear by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1603, 3.89 Average Rating, 135,448 Ratings, 3,079 Text Reviews, 1108 Editions


19. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Roma Gill

First Published in 1599, 3.65 Average Rating, 119,933 Ratings, 3,044 Text Reviews, 1129 Editions


20. The Tempest by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1623, 3.8 Average Rating, 125,178 Ratings, 2,831 Text Reviews, 956 Editions


21. Oedipus Rex (The Theban Plays, #1)by Sophocles, J.E. Thomas

First Published in -430, 3.67 Average Rating, 119,496 Ratings, 2,129 Text Reviews, 498 Editions


22. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1593, 3.81 Average Rating, 126,318 Ratings, 2,370 Text Reviews, 689 Editions


23. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1601, 3.97 Average Rating, 119,607 Ratings, 2,615 Text Reviews, 861 Editions


24. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1596, 3.78 Average Rating, 115,621 Ratings, 2,616 Text Reviews, 1088 Editions


25. The Republic by Plato, Desmond Lee

First Published in -380, 3.9 Average Rating, 110,274 Ratings, 2,261 Text Reviews, 842 Editions


26. Inferno (The Divine Comedy #1) by Dante Alighieri, Anthony M. Esolen

First Published in 1320, 3.99 Average Rating, 87,511 Ratings, 3,576 Text Reviews, 856 Editions


27. Paradise Lost by John Milton, John Leonard

First Published in 1667, 3.8 Average Rating, 96,316 Ratings, 2,645 Text Reviews, 819 Editions


28. Aesop’s Fables by Aesop, Laura Harris, Laura Gibbs

First Published in -560, 4.05 Average Rating, 88,508 Ratings, 1,441 Text Reviews, 942 Editions


29. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

First Published in 1308, 4.06 Average Rating, 74,130 Ratings, 2,745 Text Reviews, 1579 Editions


30. The Aeneid by Virgil, Robert Fitzgerald

First Published in -17, 3.81 Average Rating, 75,051 Ratings, 1,804 Text Reviews, 830 Editions


31. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

First Published in -300, 4.31 Average Rating, 39,863 Ratings, 3,165 Text Reviews, 1265 Editions


32. Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3) by Sophocles, J.E. Thomas

First Published in -441, 3.6 Average Rating, 67,608 Ratings, 1,893 Text Reviews, 423 Editions


33. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

First Published in 1678, 3.98 Average Rating, 67,777 Ratings, 2,166 Text Reviews, 193 Editions


34. Shakespeare’s Sonnets by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1592, 4.24 Average Rating, 58,291 Ratings, 755 Text Reviews, 656 Editions


35. As You Like It by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1599, 3.83 Average Rating, 56,395 Ratings, 1,312 Text Reviews, 709 Editions


36. The Arabian Nights by Anonymous, Richard Francis Burton, A.S. Byatt

First Published in 800, 4.06 Average Rating, 46,656 Ratings, 1,553 Text Reviews, 832 Editions


37. The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous, N.K. Sandars

First Published in -1750, 3.63 Average Rating, 44,345 Ratings, 2,247 Text Reviews, 266 Editions


38. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

First Published in 180, 4.2 Average Rating, 43,876 Ratings, 2,613 Text Reviews, 768 Editions


39. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Burton Pike

First Published in 1774, 3.63 Average Rating, 37,293 Ratings, 2,541 Text Reviews, 429 Editions


40. The Iliad/The Odyssey by Homer, Robert Fagles, Bernard Knox

First Published in -762, 4.03 Average Rating, 47,825 Ratings, 537 Text Reviews, 255 Editions


41. The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex/Oedipus at Colonus/Antigone (The Theban Plays, #1–3) by Sophocles, Dudley Fitts, Elena Bono, Robert Fitzgerald

First Published in -401, 3.96 Average Rating, 42,175 Ratings, 1,122 Text Reviews, 331 Editions


42. Metamorphoses by Ovid, David Raeburn, Denis Feeney

First Published in 8, 4.03 Average Rating, 42,590 Ratings, 1,121 Text Reviews, 437 Editions


43. The Complete Works by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1623, 4.49 Average Rating, 39,503 Ratings, 726 Text Reviews, 828 Editions


44. Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

First Published in 1604, 3.79 Average Rating, 39,518 Ratings, 1,126 Text Reviews, 371 Editions


45. Utopia by Thomas More, Paul Turner

First Published in 1516, 3.5 Average Rating, 36,680 Ratings, 1,887 Text Reviews, 810 Editions


46. The Qur’an / القرآن الكريم by Anonymous

First Published in 609, 4.34 Average Rating, 31,765 Ratings, 2,619 Text Reviews, 702 Editions

47. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin, Lewis Leary

First Published in 1791, 3.83 Average Rating, 33,061 Ratings, 2,159 Text Reviews, 834 Editions


48. Medea by Euripides, Rex Warner

First Published in -431, 3.83 Average Rating, 40,237 Ratings, 1,037 Text Reviews, 304 Editions


49. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Unknown, Burton Raffel, Neil D. Isaacs

First Published in 1390, 3.68 Average Rating, 36,477 Ratings, 1,159 Text Reviews, 193 Editions


50. The Bhagavad Gita by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Simon Brodbeck, Juan Mascaró

First Published in -400, 4.1 Average Rating, 33,225 Ratings, 1,316 Text Reviews, 596 Editions


51. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Gustave Doré

First Published in 1798, 3.93 Average Rating, 37,299 Ratings, 713 Text Reviews, 303 Editions


52. Richard III by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1591, 3.92 Average Rating, 29,182 Ratings, 1,201 Text Reviews, 620 Editions


53. Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre-Ambroise Choderlos de Laclos, Douglas Parmée

First Published in 1782, 4.07 Average Rating, 28,428 Ratings, 1,066 Text Reviews, 146 Editions


54. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

First Published in 1722, 3.5 Average Rating, 30,379 Ratings, 1,187 Text Reviews, 641 Editions


55. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

First Published in 1729, 4.05 Average Rating, 31,485 Ratings, 799 Text Reviews, 167 Editions


56. Confessions by Augustine of Hippo

First Published in 397, 3.88 Average Rating, 25,674 Ratings, 1,554 Text Reviews, 843 Editions


57. Henry V by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1599, 3.87 Average Rating, 29,341 Ratings, 941 Text Reviews, 599 Editions


58. The Histories by Herodotus, Aubrey de Sélincourt, John M. Marincola

First Published in -440, 3.97 Average Rating, 28,870 Ratings, 864 Text Reviews, 262 Editions


59. Le Morte d’Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table by Thomas Malory, Keith Baines, Robert Graves

First Published in 1485, 3.92 Average Rating, 25,879 Ratings, 671 Text Reviews, 331 Editions


60. Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake

First Published in 1789, 4.11 Average Rating, 26,608 Ratings, 541 Text Reviews, 182 Editions


61. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

First Published in 1651, 3.66 Average Rating, 26,284 Ratings, 505 Text Reviews, 364 Editions


62. The Essential Rumi by Jalaluddin Rumi, Coleman Barks

First Published in 1273, 4.44 Average Rating, 26,575 Ratings, 696 Text Reviews, 28 Editions


63. Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Sarah Ruden

First Published in -411, 3.84 Average Rating, 25,758 Ratings, 653 Text Reviews, 222 Editions


64. The Oresteia (Ορέστεια, #1–3) by Aeschylus, Robert Fagles, William Bedell Stanford

First Published in -458, 3.99 Average Rating, 24,588 Ratings, 705 Text Reviews, 255 Editions


65. The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Philo-Publius, Clinton Rossiter, Charles R. Kessler

First Published in 1787, 4.05 Average Rating, 24,648 Ratings, 569 Text Reviews, 424 Editions


66. The Symposium by Plato, Christopher Gill

First Published in -385, 4.01 Average Rating, 22,413 Ratings, 914 Text Reviews, 458 Editions


67. Leonardo’s Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci

First Published in 1519, 3.97 Average Rating, 26,626 Ratings, 114 Text Reviews, 82 Editions


68. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

First Published in 1762, 3.75 Average Rating, 24,397 Ratings, 525 Text Reviews, 340 Editions


69. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding, Thomas Keymer, Alice Wakely

First Published in 1749, 3.73 Average Rating, 24,718 Ratings, 765 Text Reviews, 377 Editions


70. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, G.H. McWilliam

First Published in 1353, 3.86 Average Rating, 22,800 Ratings, 782 Text Reviews, 609 Editions


71. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

First Published in 1691, 4.32 Average Rating, 23,889 Ratings, 715 Text Reviews, 233 Editions


72. The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

First Published in -350, 3.91 Average Rating, 19,380 Ratings, 626 Text Reviews, 447 Editions


73. Tartuffe by Molière, Martin Sorrell

First Published in 1664, 3.66 Average Rating, 21,061 Ratings, 565 Text Reviews, 310 Editions


74. A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy by Miyamoto Musashi, Victor Harris

First Published in 1645, 4.09 Average Rating, 19,246 Ratings, 959 Text Reviews, 77 Editions


75. History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides

First Published in -411, 3.87 Average Rating, 21,500 Ratings, 584 Text Reviews, 336 Editions


76. Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1606, 3.67 Average Rating, 20,594 Ratings, 848 Text Reviews, 635 Editions


77. Politics by Aristotle

First Published in -350, 3.91 Average Rating, 22,128 Ratings, 289 Text Reviews, 355 Editions


78. The Trial and Death of Socratesby Plato

First Published in -400, 4.06 Average Rating, 21,829 Ratings, 319 Text Reviews, 102 Editions


79. Common Sense by Thomas Paine

First Published in 1776, 3.97 Average Rating, 16,864 Ratings, 1,122 Text Reviews, 538 Editions


80. Apology by Plato, James J. Helm

First Published in -390, 4.15 Average Rating, 18,261 Ratings, 671 Text Reviews, 306 Editions


81. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

First Published in 1781, 3.92 Average Rating, 19,521 Ratings, 454 Text Reviews, 383 Editions


82. Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes

First Published in 1637, 3.67 Average Rating, 20,522 Ratings, 306 Text Reviews, 73 Editions


83. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

First Published in 1776, 3.87 Average Rating, 17,180 Ratings, 667 Text Reviews, 513 Editions


84. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1600, 3.69 Average Rating, 15,385 Ratings, 810 Text Reviews, 498 Editions


85. The Constitution of the United States of America by Founding Fathers

First Published in 1787, 4.54 Average Rating, 16,863 Ratings, 340 Text Reviews, 64 Editions


86. The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1594, 3.74 Average Rating, 16,049 Ratings, 782 Text Reviews, 474 Editions


87. King Henry IV, Part 1 (Wars of the Roses, #2) by William Shakespeare, David Scott Kastan

First Published in 1597, 3.81 Average Rating, 14,988 Ratings, 685 Text Reviews, 401 Editions


88. The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari, Julia Conway Bondanella, Peter Bondanella

First Published in 1550, 3.78 Average Rating, 18,288 Ratings, 106 Text Reviews, 92 Editions


89. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1589, 3.71 Average Rating, 16,235 Ratings, 1,062 Text Reviews, 376 Editions


90. Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

First Published in 1603, 3.67 Average Rating, 15,474 Ratings, 625 Text Reviews, 63 Editions


91. Purgatorio (The Divine Comedy, #2)by Dante Alighieri

First Published in 1320, 4.01 Average Rating, 13,740 Ratings, 511 Text Reviews, 385 Editions


92. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States by Founding Fathers

First Published in 1776, 4.44 Average Rating, 14,047 Ratings, 256 Text Reviews, 57 Editions


93. The Dhammapada by Anonymous, Ananda Maitreya, Thich Nhat Hanh, Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Maitreya

First Published in -500, 4.29 Average Rating, 12,639 Ratings, 616 Text Reviews, 259 Editions


94. The Monk by Matthew Lewis

First Published in 1796, 3.8 Average Rating, 13,633 Ratings, 1,206 Text Reviews, 269 Editions


95. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

First Published in 1764, 3.18 Average Rating, 12,921 Ratings, 1,293 Text Reviews, 361 Editions


96. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne, Melvyn New

First Published in 1767, 3.74 Average Rating, 13,641 Ratings, 939 Text Reviews, 342 Editions


97. Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes, Donald A. Cress

First Published in 1641, 3.69 Average Rating, 14,811 Ratings, 367 Text Reviews, 234 Editions


98. Second Treatise of Government by John Locke

First Published in 1689, 3.75 Average Rating, 14,549 Ratings, 215 Text Reviews, 181 Editions


99. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, William Benham

First Published in 1418, 4.19 Average Rating, 12,563 Ratings, 595 Text Reviews, 581 Editions


100. The I Ching or Book of Changes by Anonymous, Richard Wilhelm, Cary F. Baynes, C.G. Jung

First Published in -750, 4.18 Average Rating, 12,781 Ratings, 275 Text Reviews, 140 Editions


101. The Misanthrope by Molière

First Published in 1666, 3.78 Average Rating, 12,994 Ratings, 250 Text Reviews, 184 Editions


102. Richard II by William Shakespeare, Roma Gill, Robert Jackson

First Published in 1595, 3.76 Average Rating, 10,265 Ratings, 628 Text Reviews, 486 Editions


103. The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, Thomas P. Roche, C. Patrick O’Donnell

First Published in 1590, 3.55 Average Rating, 13,239 Ratings, 287 Text Reviews, 90 Editions


104. رباعيات خيام by Omar Khayyám, محمدعلی فروغی, قاسم غنی

First Published in 1120, 4.18 Average Rating, 3,200 Ratings, 1,111 Text Reviews, 777 Editions

105. Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo by Plato, G.M.A. Grube, John M. Cooper

First Published in -385, 4.1 Average Rating, 13,301 Ratings, 187 Text Reviews, 25 Editions


106. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe, W. Grinton Berry

First Published in 1563, 4.25 Average Rating, 12,117 Ratings, 254 Text Reviews, 239 Editions


107. Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

First Published in 1689, 3.81 Average Rating, 13,056 Ratings, 120 Text Reviews, 145 Editions


108. The Analects by Confucius, D.C. Lau

First Published in -476, 3.82 Average Rating, 9,807 Ratings, 468 Text Reviews, 348 Editions


109. Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings by Thomas Paine

First Published in 1776, 4.12 Average Rating, 13,088 Ratings, 122 Text Reviews, 16 Editions


110. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume

First Published in 1748, 3.9 Average Rating, 11,646 Ratings, 286 Text Reviews, 231 Editions


111. Poetics by Aristotle, Malcolm Heath

First Published in -335, 3.81 Average Rating, 10,347 Ratings, 557 Text Reviews, 456 Editions


112. A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works by Jonathan Swift

First Published in 1729, 4.04 Average Rating, 12,499 Ratings, 168 Text Reviews, 27 Editions


113. The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius

First Published in 119, 4.05 Average Rating, 11,283 Ratings, 458 Text Reviews, 232 Editions


114. Discourse on Method by René Descartes

First Published in 1637, 3.7 Average Rating, 10,615 Ratings, 288 Text Reviews, 450 Editions


115. Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3) by Dante Alighieri

First Published in 1320, 3.94 Average Rating, 9,701 Ratings, 397 Text Reviews, 355 Editions


116. La vida del Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous

First Published in 1554, 3.49 Average Rating, 7,748 Ratings, 475 Text Reviews, 413 Editions


117. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke

First Published in 1689, 3.82 Average Rating, 11,456 Ratings, 92 Text Reviews, 165 Editions


118. Agamemnon (Oresteia, #1) by Aeschylus

First Published in -458, 3.82 Average Rating, 11,515 Ratings, 187 Text Reviews, 190 Editions


119. Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais, M.A. Screech

First Published in 1532, 3.71 Average Rating, 10,379 Ratings, 334 Text Reviews, 283 Editions


120. Metaphysics by Aristotle

First Published in -330, 4 Average Rating, 10,112 Ratings, 129 Text Reviews, 201 Editions


121. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant

First Published in 1785, 3.78 Average Rating, 9,104 Ratings, 271 Text Reviews, 276 Editions


122. Ethics by Baruch Spinoza

First Published in 1677, 4.01 Average Rating, 9,342 Ratings, 252 Text Reviews, 228 Editions


123. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

First Published in 1776, 3.96 Average Rating, 8,182 Ratings, 382 Text Reviews, 281 Editions


124. The Upanishads: Translations from the Sanskrit by Anonymous, Juan Mascaró

First Published in -500, 4.2 Average Rating, 7,365 Ratings, 258 Text Reviews, 112 Editions


125. The Divan by Hafez

First Published in 1380, 4.63 Average Rating, 2,773 Ratings, 286 Text Reviews, 91 Editions



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