Wisdom literature is a genre of literature common in the Ancient Near East. This genre is characterized by sayings of wisdom intended to teach about divinity and about virtue. The key principle of wisdom literature is that while techniques of traditional story-telling are used, books also presume to offer insight and wisdom about nature and reality.
The most famous examples of wisdom literature are found in the Bible. The following Biblical books are classified as wisdom literature:
- Book of Job
- Song of Songs
- Wisdom (also known as Wisdom of Solomon)
- Sirach (also known as Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus)
(Wisdom and Sirach are deuterocanonical books, placed in the Apocrypha by Protestant Bible translations.) The genre of mirror-of-princes writings, which has a long history in Islamic and Western Renaissance literature, represents a secular cognate of biblical wisdom literature. Within Classical Antiquity, the advice poetry of Hesiod, particularly his Works and Days has been seen as a like-genre to Near Eastern wisdom literature.
Read more about Wisdom Literature: Ancient Egyptian Literature, Biblical Wisdom Literature, Contrast With Greek Thought
Famous quotes containing the words wisdom and/or literature:
“Experience comprises illusions lost, rather than wisdom gained.”
—Joseph Roux (18341886)
“I am not fooling myself with dreams of immortality, know how relative all literature is, dont have any faith in mankind, derive enjoyment from too few things. Sometimes these crises give birth to something worth while, sometimes they simply plunge one deeper into depression, but, of course, it is all part of the same thing.”
—Stefan Zweig (18811942)