Documents in World History, Volume 1

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-06-28
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This book offers a range of documents that illustrate key civilizations from major stages in world history, with special attention to contrasts and comparisons among major societies. Documents in World Historyis a thematically organized, authoritative collection of original sources that highlight political, social, cultural and economic issues in world history. The text also provides documents on the hot topics of gender and cultural history. Revised and updated with over a quarter of the documents new, the sixth edition retains its global emphasis while improving its standard selections and political coverage, with expanded attention to Islam and Christianity as well as South Asia.

Author Biography

Peter N. Stearns is a professor of history at George Mason University, where he is currently provost (since January 1, 2000) with almost 40 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. Stearns was the chair of the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University and also served as the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition, he founded and continues to edit the Journal of Social History. Also while at Carnegie Mellon he developed a pioneering approach to teaching world history to undergraduates in addition to mentoring hundreds of graduate students. Besides his long career as a historian, he is active in historical groups such as the American Historical Society, the Society of French Historical Studies, the Social Science History Association and the International Society for Research on Emotion. He attended Harvard College and later received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. In his prolific career as an author and editor, he has written or edited over 110 works of literature. Stearns currently serves as chair of the Advanced Placement World History committee.


Stephen S. Gosch is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Gosch began by teaching western civilization courses at UW-Eau Claire, but his scholarship evolved over the years to a broader comparative scholarship in world history, which he introduced to UW-Eau Claire classrooms in 1982. He also taught courses in the history of Japan, 19th and 20th century Europe and Marco Polo's world, as well as a popular team-taught interdisciplinary course on the Vietnam War, which he developed with a colleague in political science. He has published numerous articles and co-authored several books, including the recent Pre-modern Travel in World History. Gosch earned his bachelor's degree from Boston University and his master's and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University.


Erwin P. Grieshaber currently teaches world history, history of Latin America and history of 20th century war and peace at Minnesota State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1977.


Allison Scardino Belzer teaches a wide variety of courses at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. In teaching both halves of world civilization, she focuses on assigning texts that spark a positive response in students – texts that offer concrete knowledge while also inspiring questions. She developed her interest in history at Vassar College and received her Ph.D at Emory University. Her book Women and the Great War: Femininity Under Fire in Italy (2010) reflects her research interest in gender and cultural history and the history of war.

Table of Contents

Geographical Contents: The Major Societies

Topical Contents





Section 1: Early Civilizations


1 Babylonian Law: How an Early State Regulated Its Subjects

        The Code

2 Ancient Egypt

        Hymn to the Nile

        Negative Confession

        Visual Source Egyptian Hieroglyphics

3 The Hebrew Bible


        From the Hebrew Bible


Section 2: The Classical Period, 1000 B.C.E. TO 500 C.E. 



4 Key Chinese Values: Confucianism and Its Legacy                               

        The Small Analects

5 Daoism                                                                                                     

        Dao de Jing

6 Legalism: An Alternative System                                                           

        Han Feizi

7 Women in Classical China: Ban Zhao                                                     

        Lessons for Women

        Visual Source  Portrait of Ban Zhao                                                      

8 Benevolence and Virtue or Military Force? A Chinese Debate            

        The Iron and Salt DebateT

        Visual Source  Han Dynasty Agriculture                                                

        Persia and the Mediterranean

9 Zoroastrianism: The Major Persian Religion                                         

        Hymns of Zarathustra, Verse 33

10 Herodotus and The Persian Empire                                                       

        The Histories 

11 Greek Political Systems                                                                          

        Plutarch on Sparta

        Thucydides, The Funeral Oration of Pericles

        Sophocles, Antigone

12 Polybius on Roman Political Institutions                                                

        An Analysis of the Roman Government

        Rome and Carthage Compared

13 Women in Mediterranean Societies                                                       

        Tombstone Inscriptions

        Women in Legal Codes

14 Christianity: Teachings and Practice                                                    

        Christian Teachings

15 The Fall of Rome


16 Hindu Beginnings: The Rig Veda and the Bhagavad Gita                     

        Early Hinduism

        Visual Source  Indian Painting of Arjuna and Krishna                          

17 Buddhist Teachings: Noble Truths and Guidance for Daily Life           

        Early Buddhist Teachings

18 How to Rule an Empire: Kautilya and Ashoka                                       

        Indian Documents

19 Gender Relations in Classical India                                                        

        Indian Gender Culture

        Visual Source Gender Imagery in India                                                

Global Contacts: The Role of Nomads

20 “Home on the Range”: The Rise of the Pastoral Nomads in Central Asia         

        Reports on the Nomads

        Visual Source Central Asian Nomadic Art                                             

Global Contacts: New Trade Partners from China to the Mediterranean

21 The Opening of the Silk Road 

        Chinese and Roman Sources

        Visual Source Making and Wearing Silk


Section 3: The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 C.E.: Expansions and Contacts


The Middle East And Islam

22 The Islamic Religion                                                                               

        The Quran

        The Hadith

23 Religious and Political Organization in the Islamic Middle East           

        Al Mawardi

        Visual Source Religious Leadership in Islam: The Imam                        

24 The Quran and the Family                                                                       

        The Quran

China and Japan

25 Peasant Life in Tang and Song China                                                     

        Tang Poems

        Two Contracts from Dunhuang, ca. 900

        Song Poems

        Visual Source Rice Cultivation in Southern China                                 

26 “The Noble and Magnificent City of Hangzhou”: Marco Polo in China

        Marco Polo on Hangzhou

27 Valor and Fair Treatment: The Rise of the Samurai                         

        Samurai Values


28 Western European Political Institutions: The Influence of Christianity and  


        Feudal and Christian Documents

29 Russia Converts to Christianity 

        Russian Primary Chronicle

30 Faith and Reason: Thomas Aquinas                                                       

        Thomas Aquinas

Global Contacts Trade and Religion  

31 Anchors Aweigh! Trade and Islam in the Indian Ocean Network

         The Travels of Ibn Battuta

32 Merchants and Trade: Sources and Comparisons

        Ibn Khaldun, Reginald of Durham on Saint Godric

33 Travelers to Holy Places: Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian Pilgrims 

        Pilgrims’ Experiences

        Visual Source  Muslim Pilgrims in Mecca

34 Europe, the Middle East, and Beyond: The Crusades: Christian and Muslim Reactions

        The Crusades

35 Religious Tolerance in Medieval Spain                                                  

        Siete Partidas

36 African Kingdoms and Islam         

        Writings of Ibn Battuta  

        Visual Source  A Major Artistic Tradition: The Sculptures of Benin

37 Africa Through the Eyes of a European Merchant

        Antonius Malfante

        Visual Source  Map of Pre-Columbian America

The Americas

38 Mayan and Aztec Creation Stories and an Account of Aztec Worship 

        The Mayan Story of Human Creation from Popol Vuh

        Aztec Creation Story of the God Uitzilopochtli

        Aztec Wars and Sacrifice to Uitzilopochtli

39 Tribute Under the Aztecs and Incas                                                        

        Aztec Tribute: Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés Inca Tribute: Testimony of Martin Cari, Chief (Cacique Principal) of the Lower Division (Anansaya) of Chuquito

        Visual Source  Aztec Goddess

The Mongols

40 Chinggis Khan and the Rise of the Mongols

        The Secret History of the Mongols

         Visual Source  Persian Painting of Chinggis Khan Leading the Charge

41 The Mongol Empire Takes Shape                                                         

        Asian and European Sources

Global Contacts New Routes for Europe and Asia

42 Sailing to Calicut: Chinese and Portuguese Voyages                             

        Chinese and Portuguese Documents


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