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Readings in Ancient History: Thought and Experience from Gilgamesh to St. Augustine,9780495913030
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Readings in Ancient History: Thought and Experience from Gilgamesh to St. Augustine



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Wadsworth Publishing
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  • Readings in Ancient History Thought and Experience from Gilgamesh to St. Augustine
    Readings in Ancient History Thought and Experience from Gilgamesh to St. Augustine
  • Readings in Ancient History
    Readings in Ancient History


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: ˘who is most splendid among the heroes?÷
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: ˘To further the welfare of the people.÷
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: ˘all the fine points of the scribal art.÷
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: ˘To govern us like all the nations÷
The United Kingdom of Israel: ˘A great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth÷
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 PeoplesĂ 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 KingĂs Wars
Persia: the Last Ancient Near Eastern Empire
A Conquering Messiah: Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire
CyrusĂ 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
PindarĂs 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
PericlesĂ 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 StatesmanĂs Handbook
The Revolt of Mitylene: ˘Democracy is incapable of empire÷
The Corcyrean Revolution: The Psychology of Civil War
The Melian Dialogue: ˘The strong do what they can and the weak submit÷
The Sicilian Expedition: ˘Most glorious to the victors, most calamitous to the conquered.÷
Society, Culture and Intellectual Life
Lysias, The Murder of Eratosthenes: An Athenian WomanĂs Life: ˘...I began to trust her....÷
Euripides, Medea: Greek Tragic Vision of Women and the City
Socrates: Philosophy Shifts from Nature to Man
The Socratic Method: ˘The unexamined life is not worth living÷
Aristophanes, Clouds: Socrates as Troublemaker: ˘You will now believe in no god but those we believe in...÷
The Apology of Socrates: ˘I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state.÷
Plato: ˘Turning the eye of the soul toward the light÷
The Theory of Ideas: The Allegory of the Cave
The Spiritual Life: Dualism of Body and Soul
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics: ˘The philosophy of human affairs÷
The Subject of the Nicomachean Ethics: ˘The good for man÷
The Definition of Happiness
Intellectual and Moral Virtue
Aristotle, Politics: ˘A state exists for the sake of the good life÷
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: ˘Nationalism÷ Versus ˘Internationalism÷
Demosthenes, First Philippic: ˘Athenians, when will you act as becomes you!÷
Isocrates, Address to Philip: ˘A champion powerful in action.÷
Hellenistic Civilization
From Warrior Kings to Divine Rulers
Arrian, History of Alexander the Great: Conqueror and Reformer: ˘We are free men, and they are slavesÓ.÷
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: ˘that Antigonus may receive honours worthy of his achievementsÓ÷
Letter of Antigonus to Scepsis
ScepsisĂ Response to AntigonusĂ Letter
Athenaeus, The Learned Banquet: Hellenistic Pomp and Circumstance: ˘What monarchy Ó has ever been so rich in gold?÷
Hellenistic Culture, Economy and Thought
Rosetta Stone Inscription: ˘Ptolemy the everliving, beloved of Ptah.÷
Papyri on Greek and Non-Greek Interactions: ˘I do not know how to speak Greek.÷
Oil Monopoly of Ptolemy II Philadelphus: Toward a Command Economy: ˘Óexact payment from themÓ.÷
Hellenistic Philosophy: Greek Thought in a Wider World
The Cynic Counterculture: ˘may I consider the universe my house÷
Stoics and their Worldview: ˘the wise man does all things well.÷
Hellenistic Science: Archimedes
The Limits of Hellenism
Polybius, Histories: Rome and the Hellenistic Kings: ˘he drew a circle round AntiochusÓ.÷
First and Second Maccabees: Jewish Responses to Hellenization
First Maccabees: Jewish Welcome Roman Power: ˘they were very strong Ó÷
Second Maccabees: ˘The altar was covered with abominable offeringsÓ.÷
Plutarch, The Life of Antony: The Portrait of Queen Cleopatra: ˘Ó putting her greatest confidence in herself Ó.÷
The Roman Republic
Traditions on Early Rome
Livy: The Early Romans: ˘The kind of lives our ancestors lived÷
Preface: ˘The greatest nation in the world÷
The Rape of Lucretia: Monarchy Abolished
Horatius at the Bridge: ˘A noble piece of work.÷
Rome as a Rising Power
Livy: The Foreign Policy of the Roman Republic: ˘One people in the world which would fight for othersĂ liberties.÷
Polybius: The Constitution of the Roman Republic: ˘it is impossible to find a better.÷
Cato the Elder: Traditional Standards in a New Age
Pseudo-Cicero: How to Get Elected to Public Office in Rome: ˘You must take pains to solicit the votes of all these men Ó.÷
Crises and Transformations
Tiberius Gracchus: The Republic at the Crossroads
Gaius Gracchus: The Republic at the Crossroads, Continued
The Social War: RomeĂs Italian Allies in Revolt: ˘they considered it no longer tolerable.÷
The Revolt of Spartacus: The Dangers of a Slave Society: ˘Ó the slaves leaped and began to fightÓ.÷
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: ˘Ó destruction, death, confiscation, and wholesale extermination.÷
Julius Caesar: The Man and the Statesman: ˘He doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus.÷
Cicero as Champion of Liberty: The Second Philippic: ˘An eloquent man who loved his country well.÷
The Roman Empire
Foundations of the Principate
Augustus: The Achievements of the Deified Augustus: ˘Ó. attained supreme power by universal consent.÷
AugustusĂ Reconstruction of the Roman World: Contrasting Estimates
Dio Cassius: The ˘True Democracy÷ of the Roman Empire
Tacitus, Annals: ˘It was really from a lust for power÷
Vergil, Aeneid: A Roman National Epic: ˘behold this nation.÷
Romans and Non-Romans in the Pax Romana
The Pax Romana: Divergent Views
Tacitus, Histories: ˘By the prosperity and order of eight hundred years has this fabric of empire been consolidated÷
Tacitus, Agricola: ˘They create a desert and call it peace÷
Aelius Aristides, Oration on Rome: ˘How is this form of government not beyond every democracy?÷
Tacitus: The Early Germans
ClaudiusĂ Letter to the Alexandrians: Greeks, Jews and Romans: ˘a solicitude of very long standing for the city.÷
Rebels Against Rome
Tacitus, Annals: The Rebellion of Boudicca in Britain: ˘This is what I, a woman, plan to do!÷
Josephus, History of the Jewish War: Resistance is Futile: ˘So there is no refuge left except to make God your ally.÷
PlinyĂs Correspondence with Trajan: Rome as Benevolent Ruler: ˘worthy of Ó the splendor of your reign.÷
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: ˘Slaves should be neither cowed nor high-spirited÷
Columella, On Agriculture: Masters and Slaves: ˘Their unending toil was lightened by such friendliness Ó÷
Seneca, Moral Epistle: ˘...see in him a freeborn man...÷
Petronius, Satyricon: Banquet of Trimalchio, Ex-Slave and Self-Made Millionaire
Philosophy and Religion
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: ˘Either atoms or Providence.÷
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: ˘Turn away from your sins! The Kingdom of heaven is near!÷
John the Baptist and the Sermon on the Mount
Parables of the Kingdom
JesusĂ Instructions to His Disciples
The Work of Paul: ˘Jews and Gentiles...are all one in union with Christ Jesus.÷
PaulĂs Mission: Failure at Athens, Success at Corinth
PaulĂs Epistles to Christian Communities
Christianity and Its Reception in the Roman World
Christianity and Greco-Roman Thought: ˘Whatever has been uttered aright by any men in any place belongs to us Christians÷
Justin Martyr, Apology: ˘Those who lived according to reason are Christians÷
Tatian, Address to the Greeks: ˘do not resolve your gods and myths into allegories÷
Tertullian, Against Heretics: ˘What is there in common between Athens and Jerusalem?÷
Christians and Their Persecutors: ˘Amid the ruins of a falling age, our spirit remains erect÷
Pliny, Letters on Christians: TrajanĂs Enlightened Policy
Martyrdom of Polycarp of Smyrna: ˘I am a Christian÷
Tertullian, Apology: A Christian View of the Persecutions
A New Roman Empire
The Reforms of Diocletian: ˘ whose virtue and foreseeing care all is being reshaped for the better÷
Administrative Reorganization: ˘This man...overturned the Roman Empire÷
Edict of Maximum Prices: Fighting Inflation in the Late Roman Empire
DiocletianĂs Edict of Persecution Against Christians: ˘There are profane persons here....÷
Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors: ˘This man Ó overturned the Roman Empire.÷
Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of the Emperor Constantine: ˘Serving God Ó with his every action.÷
Athanasius, Life of Anthony: Ascetic as Holy Man and Celebrity: ˘Óthey saw that even demons feared Antony.÷
John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood: Ascetic as Bishop: ˘Ó the exceeding sanctity of this office Ó.÷
The Theodosian Code: Legislating a Christian Roman Empire
New Crises and ˘Fall of the Roman Empire.÷
Jerome, Letter: Lament on Rome: ˘The world sinks into ruin Ó.÷
Augustine, City of God: The Unimportance of the Earthly City: ˘The fire which makes gold shine makes chaff smoke.÷
Augustine, Confessions: ˘How did I burn to fly from earthly things to You.÷
Salvian of Marseille, On the Governance of God: ˘Where or in whom are evils so great, except among the Romans?÷
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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