High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The history of literature begins with the history of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, although the oldest literary texts that have come down to us date to several centuries after the invention of writing; to the mid 3rd millennium BC. The earliest written literature dates from about 2600 BC, when the Sumerians started to write down their long epic poems. The earliest literary authors known by name are Shuruppak and Urukagina, dating to ca. the 27th and 24th centuries BC, respectively.