300+ Great Books of the Western World Books

300+ Great Books of the Western World

by  * Power
Ranker
5.7k votes 188 voters 37k views 315 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Books written by authors from the Western Hemisphere

Compiled by Encyclopedia Britannica, this is a list of the great books of the western world. It is our western canon gathered into a single package of 60 volumes. Initially compiled in the 50's, the Great Books of the Western World was updated in the 90's with a second edition. While the first three volumes of the compendium feature a dissertation on liberal education, Volume 4 and beyond contain various books that we have listed here. Both fiction and non-fiction have been included, as well as all genres. Encyclopedia Britannica did a fantastic job putting together this list of Great Books of the Western World. If you're looking for a great, timeless book, then this is the place to start.

Be sure to check out Ranker's other lists like the Best Opening Lines in Fiction.

List Photo: user uploaded image
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 55
    - 9

    Homer

    ;
  2. 2
    + 48
    - 8

    Homer Volume: 4

    ;
  3. 3
    + 56
    - 15

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky Volume: 52

    ;
  4. 4
    + 53
    - 15

    Leo Tolstoy Volume: 51

    ;
  5. 5
    + 55
    - 18

    Dante Alighieri Volume: 21

    ;
  6. 6
    + 51
    - 16

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

    ;
  7. 7
    + 44
    - 15

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

    ;
  8. 8
    + 48
    - 18

    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  9. 9
    + 53
    - 23

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

    ;
  10. 10
    + 64
    - 34

    George Orwell Volume: 60

    ;
  11. 11
    + 28
    - 7

    Anton Chekhov Volume: 59

    ;
  12. 12
    + 41
    - 18

    John Milton Volume: 32

    ;
  13. 13
    + 41
    - 19

    Geoffrey Chaucer Volume: 22

    ;
  14. 14
    + 23
    - 5

    Plato Volume: 7

    ;
  15. 15
    + 47
    - 25

    Joseph Conrad Volume: 59

    ;
  16. 16
    + 46
    - 27
    ;
  17. 17
    + 64
    - 44

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Volume: 60

    ;
  18. 18
    + 16
    - 3

    Plato Volume: 7

    ;
  19. 19
    + 30
    - 16

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Volume: 47

    ;
  20. 20
    + 31
    - 17

    William Shakespeare

    ;
  21. 21
    + 28
    - 15

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

    ;
  22. 22
    + 31
    - 18

    Jane Austen Volume: 46

    ;
  23. 23
    + 22
    - 10

    Aristotle Volume: 8

    ;
  24. 24
    + 34
    - 21
    ;
  25. 25
    + 14
    - 3

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  26. 26
    + 14
    - 3

    Sophocles Volume: 5

    ;
  27. 27
    + 14
    - 3
    Charmides is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World

    Plato Volume: 7

  28. 28
    + 15
    - 4

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  29. 29
    + 26
    - 14

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

    ;
  30. 30
    + 16
    - 5

    Aristophanes Volume: 5

    ;
  31. 31
    + 16
    - 5

    Plato Volume: 7

    ;
  32. 32
    + 16
    - 5
    No image

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  33. 33
    + 17
    - 6
    No image
  34. 34
    + 17
    - 6
    The History of the Peloponnesi... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
  35. 35
    + 28
    - 16

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

    ;
  36. 36
    + 29
    - 17

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

    ;
  37. 37
    + 31
    - 19

    Jonathan Swift Volume: 36

    ;
  38. 38
    + 20
    - 9

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  39. 39
    + 21
    - 10
    Gorgias is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World

    Plato Volume: 7

  40. 40
    + 33
    - 21

    Franz Kafka Volume: 60

    ;
  41. 41
    + 36
    - 24

    Samuel Beckett Volume: 60

    ;
  42. 42
    + 13
    - 3

    Aristophanes Volume: 5

    ;
  43. 43
    + 13
    - 3

    Aristophanes Volume: 5

    ;
  44. 44
    + 14
    - 4

    Plato Volume: 7

    ;
  45. 45
    + 14
    - 4

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  46. 46
    + 14
    - 4

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  47. 47
    + 15
    - 5
    Phaedo is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World

    Plato Volume: 7

  48. 48
    + 15
    - 5

    Sophocles Volume: 5

    ;
  49. 49
    + 15
    - 5

    Euripides Volume: 5

    ;
  50. 50
    + 15
    - 5
    Symposium is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World

    Plato Volume: 7

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >