What is the oldest quote, poem, words of wisdom ever written in known history?

I'm guessing it's Kemetian or Babylonian.

I've read some on the internet that I know from memory but cannot verify them, such as the following,

"A contented mind is a hidden treasure."

  • Pharoah Akhenaten ~1350BC

"Be still my heart. You have known worse than this."

  • Homer 1100BC?

1 Answer 1


According to the Guinness Book of World Records, as cited by Wikipedia's list of oldest known documents:

... the oldest surviving love poem, a balbale, in the world is of Sumerian origin and written in cuneiform, discovered in Nippur, dated to 2031 BCE, called Istanbul #2461 by archaeologists. ...

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.

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