Western literature

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Western literature, also known as European literature, [1] is the literature written in the context of Western culture in the languages of Europe, including the ones belonging to the Indo-European language family [1] as well as several geographically or historically related languages such as Basque and Hungarian. Western literature is considered one of the defining elements of Western civilization.

The best of Western literature is considered to be the Western canon. The list of works in the Western canon varies according to the critic's opinions on Western culture and the relative importance of its defining characteristics.

Western literature includes written works in many languages:

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Most languages of Europe belong to the Indo-European language family. Out of a total European population of 744 million as of 2018, some 94% are native speakers of an Indo-European language; within Indo-European, the three largest phyla are Romance, Germanic, and Slavic with more than 200 million speakers each, between them accounting for close to 90% of Europeans. Smaller phyla of Indo-European found in Europe include Hellenic, Baltic, Albanian, Celtic and Indo-Aryan.

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Greek literature dates back from the ancient Greek literature, beginning in 800 BC, to the modern Greek literature of today.

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  1. 1 2 "Western literature". Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved 19 May 2014.