These are the top texts in different languages I have gathered:

  • Torah (Hebrew)
  • Tao Te Ching (Chinese)
  • Rig Veda (Sanskrit)
  • Perfection of Wisdom (Tibetan)
  • Quran (Arabic)
  • New Testament (Greek)
  • Tirukkural (Tamil)
  • Metamorphoses? (Latin)

The Torah is probably the most important Hebrew book, the Quran for Arabic books, the Perfection of Wisdom is a very well known Tibetan one, the New Testament in Greek (though it also came shortly after in Latin, I am ignoring it for this question since it was already done in Greek).

Metamorphoses doesn't seem on par with these other texts. Is there anything in Latin on-par with these texts (that is also available online somewhere in text format)?

If you measure purely by most translated, the bible and tao te ching are at the top.

I would say Plotinus' Enneads but that is Greek lol.

Perhaps it is something in Christian Latin Literature. Or maybe Patrologia Latina, that looks way too big though compared to these books. Maybe Liturgical_books_of_the_Roman_Rite.

  • 2
    Summa Theologiae surely must be the elephant in the room. May 1, 2020 at 21:44
  • @SebastianKoppehel does it exist online anywhere in full in Latin? thelatinlibrary.com/aquinas/summa.shtml is missing most of it. Ah looks like it might be here.
    – Lance
    May 1, 2020 at 21:48
  • @LancePollard—Absolutely. Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. Paris: Bloud, 1880. 8 volumes. Type summatheologica0#thomuoft in the archive.org search field, but replace the # symbol with a number from 1-8. May 2, 2020 at 21:09
  • 4
    This is a very broad/vague question. What makes something a top text?
    – TKR
    May 3, 2020 at 1:52
  • 2
    @TKR I agree--this really needs to be made more specific, e.g. "Did the Romans have a 'holy book' like the Bible?" As it stands, almost any famous book written in Latin could be an answer.
    – brianpck
    May 3, 2020 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


Perhaps Vergil's Aeneid could easily fit in this scope.

  • I would easily upvote this, if you could also provide a brief summary of why you believe so. (Most, if not all ancient authors, mediaeval authors and modern authors probably agree with you, though, as do I (though my opinion on this matters but a little).
    – Canned Man
    Dec 22, 2020 at 23:56

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