Readings in Ancient History

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/27/2011
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing

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This primary source reader covers the entire span of ancient history, providing helpful editorial material and carefully selected sources. The selections in this text encourage critical thinking through an examination of parallel developments across ancient civilizations during the same historical periods.

Table of Contents

Near Eastern Civilizations
Foundation Epics
The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Sumerian Heroic Age
The Quest of Gilgamesh: ôwho is most splendid among the heroes?ö
The Epic of the Flood: The Babylonian Noah
Hebrew Bible: Earliest Relations Between Humans and God
Early Society, Justice and Moral Order
The Shamash Hymns: Moral Religion and Social Justice
The Laws of Hammurabi: ôTo further the welfare of the people.ö
The Instruction of Ptah-hotep: Early Material Values in Egypt
Social and Work Life
Work Songs from Ancient Egypt: Voices of Ordinary Men and Women
School Days in Sumer: ôall the fine points of the scribal art.ö
Divine Worship, Kingship and Nation
Unas Pyramid Incantations: The Afterlife of a Pharaoh
Hymn to the Aton: Religious Reform and Monotheism
God and the Early Hebrews
The Patriarchs
Bondage and Deliverance; C The Sinai Covenant
The People Demand a King: ôTo govern us like all the nationsö
The United Kingdom of Israel: ôA great name, like the name of the great ones of the earthö
Jeremiah: Prophet of the New Covenant
War and International Diplomacy
Amarna Letters: a Brotherhood of Kings
An Egyptian-Hittite Treaty: Imperialism and International Diplomacy
Sea PeoplesÆ Inscriptions: Egypt and Its Neighbors Under Ramses III
Ramses III Issuing Equipment to His Troops for the Campaign Against the Sea Peoples
Ramses III on the March to Zahi Against the Sea Peoples
Ramses III in Battle with the Land Forces of the Sea Peoples
Prism of Sennacherib: An Assyrian KingÆs Wars
Persia: the Last Ancient Near Eastern Empire
A Conquering Messiah: Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire
CyrusÆ Cylinder: The Chosen of Marduk
Cyrus as the Messiah: Return of the Jews and the Rebuilding of Jerusalem
Foundation Stories: Gods, Heroes and the Individual
Homer: The Greek Heroic Age
Hesiod: Changing Times and the Moral Order
Early Greek Lyric Poetry: Individualism Emergent
PindarÆs Odes to Athletic Victors: The Heroic Ideal
Archaic Greek City-States, Colonization and Tyranny
Herodotus: The Foundation of Cyrene in Libya
Lycurgus: The Spartan Military Machine
Solon: Economic and Political Reforms at Athens
Pisistratus: The Rise of Tyranny at Athens
War and Peace in the Classical Age
Herodotus: Greece Saved from Persian Conquest
PericlesÆ Funeral Oration: An Idealized View of
Democracy and Its Empire
The Old Oligarch: A Critical View of Athenian Democracy and Its Empire
Thucydides, History: The StatesmanÆs Handbook
The Revolt of Mitylene: ôDemocracy is incapable of empireö
The Corcyrean Revolution: The Psychology of Civil War
The Melian Dialogue: ôThe strong do what they can and the weak submitö
The Sicilian Expedition: ôMost glorious to the victors, most calamitous to the conquered.ö
Society, Culture and Intellectual Life
Lysias, The Murder of Eratosthenes: An Athenian WomanÆs Life: ô...I began to trust her....ö
Euripides, Medea: Greek Tragic Vision of Women and the City
Socrates: Philosophy Shifts from Nature to Man
The Socratic Method: ôThe unexamined life is not worth livingö
Aristophanes, Clouds: Socrates as Troublemaker: ôYou will now believe in no god but those we believe in...ö
The Apology of Socrates: ôI am that gadfly which God has attached to the state.ö
Plato: ôTurning the eye of the soul toward the lightö
The Theory of Ideas: The Allegory of the Cave
The Spiritual Life: Dualism of Body and Soul
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics: ôThe philosophy of human affairsö
The Subject of the Nicomachean Ethics: ôThe good for manö
The Definition of Happiness
Intellectual and Moral Virtue
Aristotle, Politics: ôA state exists for the sake of the good lifeö
Nature, Origin, and Purpose of the State
Good and Bad Constitutions
The Ideal State: Its True Object
The Ideal State: Education
The Practicable State: The Best Constitution
The Practicable State: Causes of Revolution
The Practicable State: Preserving Constitutions
Late Classical Greece
Demosthenes Versus Isocrates: ôNationalismö Versus ôInternationalismö
Demosthenes, First Philippic: ôAthenians, when will you act as becomes you!ö
Isocrates, Address to Philip: ôA champion powerful in action.ö
Hellenistic Civilization
From Warrior Kings to Divine Rulers
Arrian, History of Alexander the Great: Conqueror and Reformer: ôWe are free men, and they are slavesà.ö
Demetrius: A God Among Men
Plutarch, Life of Demetrius
Athenaeus, The Learned Banquet: Ithylphallic Hymn in Honor of Demetrius
Euhemerus of Messene, Sacred History: How Men Became Gods
Hellenistic Rulers and Their Subjects
Antigonus the One-Eyed and Scepsis: ôthat Antigonus may receive honours worthy of his achievementsàö
Letter of Antigonus to Scepsis
ScepsisÆ Response to AntigonusÆ Letter
Athenaeus, The Learned Banquet: Hellenistic Pomp and Circumstance: ôWhat monarchy à has ever been so rich in gold?ö
Hellenistic Culture, Economy and Thought
Rosetta Stone Inscription: ôPtolemy the everliving, beloved of Ptah.ö
Papyri on Greek and Non-Greek Interactions: ôI do not know how to speak Greek.ö
Oil Monopoly of Ptolemy II Philadelphus: Toward a Command Economy: ôàexact payment from themà.ö
Hellenistic Philosophy: Greek Thought in a Wider World
The Cynic Counterculture: ômay I consider the universe my houseö
Stoics and their Worldview: ôthe wise man does all things well.ö
Hellenistic Science: Archimedes
The Limits of Hellenism
Polybius, Histories: Rome and the Hellenistic Kings: ôhe drew a circle round Antiochusà.ö
First and Second Maccabees: Jewish Responses to Hellenization
First Maccabees: Jewish Welcome Roman Power: ôthey were very strong àö
Second Maccabees: ôThe altar was covered with abominable offeringsà.ö
Plutarch, The Life of Antony: The Portrait of Queen Cleopatra: ôà putting her greatest confidence in herself à.ö
The Roman Republic
Traditions on Early Rome
Livy: The Early Romans: ôThe kind of lives our ancestors livedö
Preface: ôThe greatest nation in the worldö
The Rape of Lucretia: Monarchy Abolished
Horatius at the Bridge: ôA noble piece of work.ö
Rome as a Rising Power
Livy: The Foreign Policy of the Roman Republic: ôOne people in the world which would fight for othersÆ liberties.ö
Polybius: The Constitution of the Roman Republic: ôit is impossible to find a better.ö
Cato the Elder: Traditional Standards in a New Age
Pseudo-Cicero: How to Get Elected to Public Office in Rome: ôYou must take pains to solicit the votes of all these men à.ö
Crises and Transformations
Tiberius Gracchus: The Republic at the Crossroads
Gaius Gracchus: The Republic at the Crossroads, Continued
The Social War: RomeÆs Italian Allies in Revolt: ôthey considered it no longer tolerable.ö
The Revolt of Spartacus: The Dangers of a Slave Society: ôà the slaves leaped and began to fightà.ö
The Conspiracy of Catiline: The Roman Republic in Decay
Intellectual Life and Culture
Lucretius: Epicurean Philosophy at Rome
Cicero: Advocate of Property Rights, Greek Philosophy, and the Status Quo
Late Republic and the Rise of Autocracy
Appian: First Roman Civil War and Proscriptions: ôà destruction, death, confiscation, and wholesale extermination.ö
Julius Caesar: The Man and the Statesman: ôHe doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus.ö
Cicero as Champion of Liberty: The Second Philippic: ôAn eloquent man who loved his country well.ö
The Roman Empire
Foundations of the Principate
Augustus: The Achievements of the Deified Augustus: ôà. attained supreme power by universal consent.ö
AugustusÆ Reconstruction of the Roman World: Contrasting Estimates
Dio Cassius: The ôTrue Democracyö of the Roman Empire
Tacitus, Annals: ôIt was really from a lust for powerö
Vergil, Aeneid: A Roman National Epic: ôbehold this nation.ö
Romans and Non-Romans in the Pax Romana
The Pax Romana: Divergent Views
Tacitus, Histories: ôBy the prosperity and order of eight hundred years has this fabric of empire been consolidatedö
Tacitus, Agricola: ôThey create a desert and call it peaceö
Aelius Aristides, Oration on Rome: ôHow is this form of government not beyond every democracy?ö
Tacitus: The Early Germans
ClaudiusÆ Letter to the Alexandrians: Greeks, Jews and Romans: ôa solicitude of very long standing for the city.ö
Rebels Against Rome
Tacitus, Annals: The Rebellion of Boudicca in Britain: ôThis is what I, a woman, plan to do!ö
Josephus, History of the Jewish War: Resistance is Futile: ôSo there is no refuge left except to make God your ally.ö
PlinyÆs Correspondence with Trajan: Rome as Benevolent Ruler: ôworthy of à the splendor of your reign.ö
Women, Family, and Roman Slave Society
The Legal Status of Roman Women
Juvenal, Satires: The Emancipated Women of the Early Empire
Aspects of Roman Slavery
Varro, On Agriculture: Setting Up a Slave Plantation: ôSlaves should be neither cowed nor high-spiritedö
Columella, On Agriculture: Masters and Slaves: ôTheir unending toil was lightened by such friendliness àö
Seneca, Moral Epistle: ô...see in him a freeborn man...ö
Petronius, Satyricon: Banquet of Trimalchio, Ex-Slave and Self-Made Millionaire
Philosophy and Religion
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: ôEither atoms or Providence.ö
Apuleius, Golden Ass: The Cult of Isis and Religious Syncretism
Early Christianity and Late Antiquity
Christian Origins
The New Testament: The Beginnings of Christianity
The Teachings of Jesus: ôTurn away from your sins! The Kingdom of heaven is near!ö
John the Baptist and the Sermon on the Mount
Parables of the Kingdom
JesusÆ Instructions to His Disciples
The Work of Paul: ôJews and Gentiles...are all one in union with Christ Jesus.ö
PaulÆs Mission: Failure at Athens, Success at Corinth
PaulÆs Epistles to Christian Communities
Christianity and Its Reception in the Roman World
Christianity and Greco-Roman Thought: ôWhatever has been uttered aright by any men in any place belongs to us Christiansö
Justin Martyr, Apology: ôThose who lived according to reason are Christiansö
Tatian, Address to the Greeks: ôdo not resolve your gods and myths into allegoriesö
Tertullian, Against Heretics: ôWhat is there in common between Athens and Jerusalem?ö
Christians and Their Persecutors: ôAmid the ruins of a falling age, our spirit remains erectö
Pliny, Letters on Christians: TrajanÆs Enlightened Policy
Martyrdom of Polycarp of Smyrna: ôI am a Christianö
Tertullian, Apology: A Christian View of the Persecutions
A New Roman Empire
The Reforms of Diocletian: ô...by whose virtue and foreseeing care all is being reshaped for the betterö
Administrative Reorganization: ôThis man...overturned the Roman Empireö
Edict of Maximum Prices: Fighting Inflation in the Late Roman Empire
DiocletianÆs Edict of Persecution Against Christians: ôThere are profane persons here....ö
Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors: ôThis man à overturned the Roman Empire.ö
Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of the Emperor Constantine: ôServing God à with his every action.ö
Athanasius, Life of Anthony: Ascetic as Holy Man and Celebrity: ôàthey saw that even demons feared Antony.ö
John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood: Ascetic as Bishop: ôà the exceeding sanctity of this office à.ö
The Theodosian Code: Legislating a Christian Roman Empire
New Crises and ôFall of the Roman Empire.ö
Jerome, Letter: Lament on Rome: ôThe world sinks into ruin à.ö
Augustine, City of God: The Unimportance of the Earthly City: ôThe fire which makes gold shine makes chaff smoke.ö
Augustine, Confessions: ôHow did I burn to fly from earthly things to You.ö
Salvian of Marseille, On the Governance of God: ôWhere or in whom are evils so great, except among the Romans?ö
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