13 Best Ancient & Medieval Literature

List Updated April 2020

Bestselling Ancient & Medieval Literature in 2020


The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures

The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020

Middle Egyptian Literature: Eight Literary Works Of The Middle Kingdom

Middle Egyptian Literature: Eight Literary Works Of The Middle Kingdom
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020

Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms

Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020
  • University of California Press

The Odyssey

The Odyssey
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles

War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, The Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica (Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquia)

War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, The Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica (Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquia)
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

The Inferno (Signet Classics)

The Inferno (Signet Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition)

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition)
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020
  • BILINGUAL EDITION--OLD ENGLISH (ANGLO-SAXON) AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (Vol. 3): A Reference Guide, Part Three (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 4 China)

Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (Vol. 3): A Reference Guide, Part Three (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 4 China)
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020

The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020
  • Penguin Books

Medieval Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Medieval Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020
  • Oxford University Press

Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon

Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020
  • RANDOM HOUSE

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020

The Daily Struggles of Those Who Lived in the Middle Ages - Ancient History Books for Kids | Children's Ancient History

The Daily Struggles of Those Who Lived in the Middle Ages - Ancient History Books for Kids | Children's Ancient History
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020

Step Into History in York, England

There are few small cities in England with so much impressive, preserved medieval history readily at hand for visiting.

York is about four hours of a drive from London or about two hours by train, making it accessible within a day's trip but probably best enjoyed with an overnight stay, possibly at a bed and breakfast. There's enough to do within the city to keep a tourist busy for more than a day.

Finding Your Way Around

One oddity that requires some getting used to is the use of the word "gate" for nearly every street. The city on the Ouse has numerous roadways, including Micklegate, Deangate, Singgate, and Walmgate -- these are all streets. Do yourself a favor and hire a cab to get to your destination if you don't have a great street map for navigating around town. Note that the Yorkshire accent is a bit different from that of much of the rest of Britain, so you may need to listen closely to understand what the cabbie or locals are saying if you ask directions.

Take a Walk Through the Shambles

The 14th-century Shambles is the tiny, narrow street that time forgot. Once a meat market, the road is now the site of numerous gift shops, restaurants, and bookshops. It's also close by York Minster, another necessary stop.

Tour York Minster

Open for visiting Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m., last admission 5 p.m.; Sunday from 12 noon, last admission 5 p.m. Winter hours are different, see online.

One of the great northern cathedrals, York Minster was built in the 13th through 15th centuries. After paying the admission fee, there are guided tours through the Central Tour, the Glass Conservation Studio, and the great glass windows.

View Tragic Clifford's Tower

Clifford's Tower has a tragic history despite its imposing and impressive appearance. In 1190, English Jews, seeking protection at the keep at the location of the current tower, tried to seek shelter from hostile locals. When mobs threatened the Jewish community, most of those seeking shelter committed suicide and set fire to the keep. The survivors were killed by the mob.

Later in the 13th century, the keep was rebuilt into the unique quatrefoil plan it has today. It is the only example of this layout in England, and the stones can, at times, have a pinkish hue.

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