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Sources for Cultures of the West, Volume 1 To 1750

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2023-08-11
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

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Designed to accompany Cultures of the West: Volume 1: To 1750, Fourth Edition (2023) and Cultures of the West: Volume 2: Since 1350, Fourth Edition (2023) by Clifford R. Backman, the fourth editions of Sources for Cultures of the West, Volume 1: To 1750 and Sources for Cultures of the West, Volume 2: Since 1350 feature approximately six written sources per chapter that highlight key themes in the study of Western civilization. Each of the 200 sources is accompanied by a headnote and study questions. Each volume begins with a special unit, "How to Read a Primary Source," that provides students with important advice on how to work with textual documents in studying the past. The fourth edition includes fifteen new sources.

Author Biography

Clifford R. Backman has been a member of the History Department at Boston University since 1989. In addition to the two-semester Western Civilization course, he teaches several courses on medieval Europe, the Mediterranean, the Crusades, piracy, and the history of sexual morality. He also teaches in the university's Core Curriculum, a four semester sequence in the humanities and the social sciences.

Table of Contents

* = New to this Edition

How to Read a Primary Source

Chapter 1 Water and Soil, Stone and Metal: The First Civilizations
1.1 Shamash Hymn, ca. 2000-1600 BCE
1.2 "Poem of the Righteous Sufferer," ca. 2000-1600 BCE
1.3 "Tale of Sinuhe," Earliest Manuscript ca. 1800 BCE
1.4 "Epic of Gilgamesh," 1800-600 BCE
1.5 From the Laws of Hammurabi, ca. 1772 BCE
1.6 "Loyalist Teaching," ca. 1550-1000 BCE
1.7 Egyptian Book of the Dead: "Negative Confession," in Use ca. 1550-50 BCE
1.8 Great Hymn to the Aton, 1400-1300 BCE

Chapter 2 The Monotheists: Jews and Persians
2.1 Creating, Destroying, and Renewing the World: Genesis, Chapters 1-8
2.2 Book of Exodus: Moses and Pharaoh, Chapters 7, 11-12, and 14
2.3 Book of Jeremiah, Prophecy to Israel, Chapters 7 and 8, written ca. 600-500 BCE
2.4 First Book of Kings, King Solomon and the Temple, Chapters 6-8, ca. 1000-900 BCE
2.5 The Book of Jonah: Prophecy, Penance, and Resistance, ca. 400 BCE
2.6 The Cyrus Cylinder, ca. 539 BCE

Chapter 3 The Ancient Greeks: From Arrival to Glory
3.1 Hesiod, Works and Days, ca. 735-700 BCE
3.2 Homer, The Iliad, 800-700 BCE
3.3 The Beginning of Historical Writing: Herodotus and Thucydides BCE
3.4 Herodotus on the Egyptians, from Histories, ca. 450-420 BCE
3.5 Thucydides, Peloponnesian War, ca. 500-450 BCE

Chapter 4 The Classical and Hellenistic Ages
4.1 Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, undated; 500-400 BCE
4.2 Plato, Symposium, 385-380 BCE
4.3 Aristotle, "On the Elements of Tragedy" (Poetics, Book VI), ca. 335 BCE
4.4 Diogenes Laërtius, "Life of Zeno of Citium," The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, ca. 300-250 BCE
4.5 Book of Ezra, Rebuilding the Temple, Chapters 1-3 and 5-6, written ca. 480-420 BCE
* 4.6 Lysias, "Against Eratosthenes," ca. 400 BCE

Chapter 5 Romans and Republicans
5.1 The Battle of Cannae, 216 BCE, from Livy, From the Founding of the City, Book 22, Chapters 34-57
5.2 The Land Law of Tiberius Gracchus, 133 BCE
5.3 Virgil, The Aeneid, between 29 and 19 BCE
5.4 Eulogy for a Wife: "In Praise of Turia," 100-1 BCE

Chapter 6 Rome's Empire
6.1 Epictetus, Enchiridion, I, V, XIV, recorded 100-150 CE
6.2 Tacitus, Histories, before 117 CE
6.3 From Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Caligula; Claudius, ca. 119 CE
6.4A Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, ca. 170-180 CE
6.4B The Third-Century Imperial-Succession Crisis
* 6.5 Sulpicia Severa, Six Poems

Chapter 7 The Rise of Christianity in a Roman World
7.1 Josephus, The Jewish War, ca. 75 CE
7.2 Pliny the Younger, Letters, 97-112 CE
7.3 Celsus/Origen, Contra Celsus, Book I, Chapters 6 and 28; Book III, Chapter 62; Book IV, Chapter 73; Book VIII, Chapters 41, 49, and 55; ca. 177 CE
7.4A The Nicene Creed, Two Versions
7.4B Minucius Felix, Octavius, Chapter 30, "Ritual Cannibalism Charge against Christians," 200-300 CE
7.5 The Gospel of Thomas, ca. 300-400 CE
7.6 Augustine of Hippo, Seventh Discourse on the Gospel of John

Chapter 8 The Early Middle Ages
8.1 Procopius, Two Views of the Emperor Justinian, from The Secret History, ca. 554 CE
8.2 Gildas, On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain, ca. 525-540 CE
8.3 Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks
8.4 Gregory the Great, "Life of St. Benedict," 593 CE
8.5 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of English People, completed ca. 731 CE
8.6 Dhuoda, Handbook for William, 841-843 CE
* 8.7 The Corpus of Roman Law

Chapter 9 The Expansive Realm of Islam
9.1 Excerpts from the Qur'an, 600-700 CE
9.2 Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad
9.3 Al-Ghazali, The Deliverer from Error
9.4 One Thousand and One Nights, 1100-1200 CE
9.5 Maimonides, Letter to Yemen, 1172 CE
9.6 Usamah Ibn Munqidh, Memoirs, 1183 CE
9.7 Ibn Rushd, On the Harmony of Religious Law and Philosophy
9.8 Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed, 1100-1200 CE

Chapter 10 Reform and Renewal in the Greater West
10.1 Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, written ca. 817-833
10.2 Pope Gregory VII, Letters
10.3 Guibert de Nogent, Gesta Dei, 1107-1108
10.4 Peter Abelard, Sic et Non
10.5 Otto of Freising, The Two Cities
10.6 From "Song of Roland," ca. 1140-1170
10.7 Trotula of Salerno, Handbook on the Maladies of Women, ca. 1200
10.8 A Muslim Traveler Describes the Rus: Excerpt from Ibn Fadlan's Risala, ca. 921

Chapter 11 Worlds Brought Down
11.1 Dante Alighieri, Three Speeches from The Divine Comedy, ca. 1308-1321
11.2 Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, "Paolo and Francesco in Hell," ca. 1308-1321
11.3 Giovanni Boccaccio, "The Great Plague," 1353
11.4 Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, after 1373
11.5 From Froissart, "On Flagellants," 1369-1400
11.6 Jakob Twinger, Chronicle, ca. 1382-1420

Chapter 12 Renaissances and Reformations
12.1 Francesco Petrarca, "Letter to Posterity"
12.2 From Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (Mad Orlando), 1516
12.3 Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, ca. 1517
12.4 Erasmus, "Letter to a Friend," "Julius Excluded from Heaven," and Introduction to the Gospels, first published 1522
12.5 Martin Luther, On the Freedom of a Christian, Dedicatory Letter to Pope Leo X, 1520
12.6 Martin Luther, "Preface to the New Testament," first published 1522
12.7 Francesco Guicciardini, Florence under Lorenzo de' Medici
12.8 Benvenuto Cellini, My Life, 1558-1563
12.9 Vasari, Lives of Artists, first published in 1550, revised and added to until 1568
* 12.10 Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography, 1558-1563

Chapter 13 Worlds Old and New
13.1 Bartolomé de Las Casas, A Short Account, written 1542; published 1552
13.2 Nicolaus Copernicus, Dedication of The Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies to Pope Paul III, 1543
13.3 Galileo Galilei, Letter to Don Benedetto Castelli, December 21, 1613
13.4 John Donne, Sermon, December 12, 1626; "To His Mistress Going to Bed," 1633
13.5 René Descartes, A Discourse on Method, 1637
13.6 The Jesuit Relations, French North America, 1649
13.7 Thomas Hobbes, "On Natural Law," Leviathan, 1651

Chapter 14 The War of All against All
14.1 John Foxe, Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Trial of Anne Askew
14.2 Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, "The Court of Suleiman the Magnificent," 1581
14.3 From Christopher Marlowe, The Massacre at Paris, ca. 1593
14.4 Johannes Junius, Letter to His Daughter and Trial Transcript, 1628

Chapter 15 From Westphalia to Paris: Regimes Old and New
15.1 Anne of France, Lessons for My Daughter, 1560-1600
15.2 Molière, The Misanthrope, first performed 1666
15.3 Cardinal Richelieu, "The Role of the King," Political Testament, ca. 1638, first published 1688
15.4 Jean Domat, Civil Laws According to the Natural Order, 1697
15.5 François Fénelon, The Adventures of Telemachus, 1699
* 15.6 Daniel Defoe/Captain Charles Johnson, "The Life of Anne Bonny," 1724
* 15.7 The Absolutist Regimes

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