The broad definition of literature is all recorded written expressions of the human spirit. The more specific meaning is all of the so-called aesthetic works, which portray emotions, thoughts, and fictional events. There is a distinction made between the literature of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, etc – so literature is distinguished according to the historical epochs and general spiritual movements. The term "Early Literature" is a more vague concept. It can be equally applied to both Homer’s "Odyssey" (written in the late 8th century) and Goethe’s Faust (completed in four parts between 1772 -1832). From an antiquarian perspective, the year of a work’s publication is more significant than of its execution. "Early literature" refers to the literary works of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The works executed prior to this period, between the 15th and 16th centuries, are referred to as "incunabula and old books".
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