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Sources of World Societies, Volume 1 To 1600

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  • Edition: 12th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-09-24
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Sources of World Societies is an expertly crafted collection of historical sources with a variety of global, cultural perspectives from around the world.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Earliest Human Societies, to 2500 B.C.E.

Viewpoints: Origin Stories

1-1 An Indian View of Creation

From the Rig Veda The Creation Hymn (ca. 600 B.C.E.)

1-2 The Yuchi People Explain Their Origins

YUCHI TRIBE OF NORTH AMERICA, In the Beginning (ca. 1929)

1-3 The Hebrew Account of Creation

The Book of Genesis

1-4 A Greek Description of Creation

HESIOD, From Theogony (ca. 700 B.C.E.)

1-5 Australian Concepts of Spiritual Power

Aboriginal Cave Painting of a Wandjina (ca. 2000 B.C.E.)


Chapter 2: The Rise of the State in Southwest Asia and the Nile Valley 3200-500 B.C.E.

2-1 A Mesopotamian Quest for Immortality

From The Epic of Gilgamesh

2-2 Law and Order in Ancient Babylonia

HAMMURABI, Hammurabi’s Code: Laws on Society and Family Life (ca. 1800 B.C.E.)

2-3 Moses Leads the Hebrews from Egypt

Book of Exodus (ca. 950-450 B.C.E.)

Viewpoints: Faulty Merchandise in the Ancient World

2-4 A Babylonian Merchant Complains about Mistreatment

Letter from a Babylonian Copper Merchant (ca. 1750 B.C.E.)

2-5 An Egyptian Priest Complains about Honey

Letter from an Egyptian temple official (ca. 1200 B.C.E.)


Chapter 3: The Foundation of Indian Society to 300 C.E.

3-1 Student-Teacher Dialogue in the Upanishads

From the Chandogya Upanishads

Viewpoints: The Buddhist Path to Enlightenment

3-2 Suffering and Enlightenment

THE BUDDAH, The Buddha Obtains Enlightenment (ca. 530-29 B.C.E.)

3-3 Ashoka Makes His Will Known

ASHOKA, From Thirteenth Rock Edict (256 B.C.E.)

3-4 Artistic Depictions of the Buddha

Miracle of the Buddha Walking on the River Nairanjana

3-5 Social Mores in Ancient India

From The Laws of Manu (ca. 100 B.C.E.-200 C.E.)


Chapter 4: China’s Classical Age, to 221 B.C.E.

4-1 Art and Culture in Shang China

Detail of Ritual Vase known as the Tigress (ca. 1200 B.C.E.)

4-2 Heaven’s Mandate

From Book of Documents (ca. 900-100 B.C.E.)

Viewpoints: Philosophical Responses to Social and Political Disorder

4-3 Confucian Maxims and Sayings

CONFUCIUS, From Analects (ca. 500 B.C.E. – 50 C.E.)

4-4 Laozi Offers Advice on Following the Way

LAOZI, From Dao De Jing: Administering the Empire (ca. 500-400 B.C.E.)

4-5 Han Fei Lays Out the Legalist View of Good Government

HAN FEI, The Five Vermin (ca. 250-25 B.C.E.)


Chapter 5: The Greek Experience, 3500-30 B.C.E.

Viewpoints: Greek Playwrights on Families, Fate, and Choice

5-1 A Father Sacrifices His Daughter

AESCHYLUS, Agamemnon

5-2 A Sister Buries Her Brother


5-3 Socrates Defends Himself Against Criminal Charges

PLATO, From Apologia (ca. 399 B.C.E.)

Viewpoints: Depicting the Human Form

5-4 A Hellenic Depiction of Physical Perfection

Artemision Bronze (ca. 460 B.C.E.)

5-5 A Hellenistic Depiction of Powerful Emotions

Laocoön and His Sons (ca. 20 B.C.E.-70 C.E.)


Chapter 6: The World of Rome ca. 750 B.C.E. – 400 C.E.

6-1 The Romans Set Their Basic Laws in Stone

The Twelve Tables (ca. 450 B.C.E.)

6-2 Plutarch Describes a Man Who Would Be King

PLUTARCH, On Julius Caesar, A Man of Unlimited Ambition (ca. 100 C.E.)

6-3 The Senate Gives Augustus an Altar

Ara Pacis Augustae (13 B.C.E.)

Viewpoints: Christianity and the Roman State

6-4 An Official Asks for Advice on Dealing with Christians

PLINY THE YOUNGER, Letters to and from the Emperor Trajan on Christians (111-113 C.E.)

6-5 A Christian Defends His Religion Against Roman Persecution

TERTULLIAN, From Apologia (ca. 197 C.E.)


Chapter 7: East Asia and the Spread of Buddhism, 221 B.C.E.-800 C.E.

7-1 A Chinese Historian Describes a Nomadic People

SIMA QIAN, From The Records of the Historian: On the Xiongnu (ca. 109-86 B.C.E.)

7-2 What Makes a Good Woman?

BAN ZHAO, From Lessons for Women (ca. 80 C.E.)

Viewpoints: Buddhism in China

7-3 Reconciling Buddhism with Traditional Chinese Values

HAN YU, From Lives of the Eminent Monks: Zhu Seng Du (ca. 550 C.E.)

7-4 Emperor Wuzong Cracks Down on Buddhism

EMPEROR WUZONG, Edict on the Suppression of Buddhism (845 C.E.)

7-5 Cultural Fusion in Medieval Japan

Hachiman, Shinto God of War, in the Guise of a Buddhist Monk (ca. 1100-1300 C.E.)


Chapter 8: Continuity and Change in Europe and Western Asia, 200-850

8-1 Plague Strikes the Eastern Roman Empire, 542

PROCOPIUS, History of the Wars

8-2 Rules for a Religious Community

SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, From The Rule of Saint Benedict: Work and Pray (529)

8-3 A Germanic People Create a Code of Law

The Law of the Salian Franks (ca. 500-600)

Viewpoints: Charlemagne and His Family

8-4 Einhard Describes Charlemagne’s Private Life

EINHARD, From The Life of Charlemagne (ca. 817-836)

8-5 A Painter Portrays the Royal Couple

Charlemagne and his Second Wife Hildegard


Chapter 9: The Islamic World, 600-1400

9-1 God and Believers in the Quran

Quran (ca. 650)

9-2 Geometry and Islamic Design

Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain, and Gate of Al Hakam II, Detail (987)

9-3 A Muslim Philosopher on Reason, Knowledge, and Devotion to God

IBN RUSHID, or AVERROËS, On the Harmony of Religions and Philosophy, ca. 1190

Viewpoints: Abbasid Baghdad

9-4 A Jewish Traveler Visits Baghdad

BENJAMIN OF TUDELA, From Book of Travels (ca. 1159-1172)

9-5 An Islamic Geographer Describes Baghdad

YAQUT AL- HAMAWI, Dictionary of Countries (1224-1228)


Chapter 10: African Societies and Kingdoms, 1000 B.C.E.-1500 C.E.

Viewpoints: Outsiders Views of Sub-Saharan Africa

10-1 A Muslim Traveler Describes Ghana and Mali

ABU UBAYDALLAH AL-BAKRI, From The Book of Routes and Realms (ca. 1067-1068)

10-2 Fact and Fiction in an Account of Sub-Saharan Africa

ABU HAMID MUHAMMAD AL-ANDALUSI AL-GHARNATI, From Gift of the Spirit (ca. 1120-1170)

10-3 Leo Africanus Describes Timbuktu to a European Audience

LEO AFRICANUS (AL-HASAN IBN MUHAMMAD AL-WAZZAN AL-FASI), From The History and Description of Africa (1526)

10-4 A History of West Africa by West Africans

From Epic of Sundiata (ca. 1250)


Chapter 11: The Americas, to 1500 C.E.

11-1 Obligations Under Inca Rule

The First Chronicle of Good Government on the History of the World and the Incas up to 1615 (1616)

11-2 The Founding of Tenochtitlán and the Origins of the Aztec Empire

The Codex Mendoza (ca. 1541)

11-3 Diego Durán Describes Mexica Customs

DIEGO DURAN, From Book of the Gods and Rites (ca. 1576-1579)

Viewpoints: The Importance of the Ball Game in Maya Society

11-4 The Rules and Objectives of a Maya Ball Game

ANTONIO DE HERRERA Y TORDESILLAS, On the Maya Ball Game Tlachtli (ca. 1598)

11-5 The Gods Challenge Two Maya Heroes to a Game of Tlachtli

FATHER FRANCISCO XIMENEZ, From Popol Vuh (ca. 1701-1703)


Chapter 12: States and Cultures in East Asia, 800-1400

Viewpoints: Elite Values in Feudal Japan

12-1 Marriage and Female Virtue

MURASAKI SHIKIBU, From The Tale of Genji (ca. 1021)

12-2 Depiction of an Aristocratic Woman

The Poet Koogimi, from the Fujifusa version of the Thirty-six Poetic Immortals handscroll

12-3 The Experience of War in Feudal Japan

From The Tale of the Heike (ca. 1250)

12-4 The Islamic World as Seen from a Chinese Perspective

CHAU JU-KUA, On the Arab People of Quanzhou (ca. 1250)

12-5 Wang Eight and His Wife

HONG MAI, From Yijian zhi


Chapter 13: Cultural Exchange in Central and Southern Asia, to 1400

Viewpoints: The Mongols and Their Conquests

13-1 Observations on Mongol Rule in China

Epitaph for the Honorable Menggu (ca. 1272)

13-3 The Role of a Mongol Leader in Battle

RASHID-AL-DIN, Chinggis Khan Fighting the Tartars (ca. 1300)

13-3 A European Merchant Travels the Silk Road

MARCO POLO, From Travels: Description of the World (ca. 1298)

13-4 Hindu Description of the Ideal Wife

VATSYAYANA, From the Kamasutra: About a Wife (ca. 150-1200)

13-5 A Muslim Scholar Offers Guidance to His Fellow Believers

MAULANA BURHAN UD-DIN MARGHINANI, From Guidance: Alms, Marriage, and Testimony (ca. 1197)


Chapter 14: Europe and Western Asia in the Middle Ages, 850-1450

14-1 Royal Power and the Rule of Law

KING JOHN OF ENGLAND, From Magna Carta: The Great Charter of Liberties (1215)

14-2 The Pope Declares His Own Power

POPE BONIFACE VIII, Unam Sanctam (1302)

14-3 A Scholastic Places Logic in the Service of Theology

THOMAS AQUINAS, From Summa Theologica: Can It Be Demonstrated That God Exists? (1268)

Viewpoints: Men and Women’s Work in Medieval Cities

14-4 A Lawyer Apprentices His Son

Apprenticeship Contract for a Money-Changer (1248)

14-5 A Writer Provides Advice to Women

CHRISTINE DE PIZAN, Advice to the Wives of Artisans, from The Treasure of the City of Ladies (1405)


Chapter 15: Europe in the Renaissance and Reformation, 1350-1600

Viewpoints: The Intellectual Foundations of the Renaissance

15-1 Petrarch Expresses His Admiration for Classical and Christian Works

PETRARCH, Letters (ca. 1354, 1360)

15-2 Pico della Mirandola Argues for the Importance of Philosophical Debate

PICO DELLA MIRANDOLA, From On the Dignity of Man (1486)

15-3 A Renaissance Painter Portrays Powerful Women

ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI, Judith and her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes (1625)

15-4 Luther Calls for a Break with the Catholic Church

MARTIN LUTHER, From Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (1520)

15-5 John Calvin Explains His Views on Faith and the Clergy

JOHN CALVIN, From Instruction in Faith (1537)


Chapter 16: The Acceleration of Global Contact, 1450–1600

16-1 The World as Europeans Knew it in 1502

World Map (1502)

Viewpoints: The Motives of Columbus and His Patrons

16-2 Columbus Defends His Accomplishments

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, Letter from the Third Voyage (1493)

16-3 Spanish Ambitions in the New World

THEODORE DE BRY, Columbus at Hispaniola (ca. 1590)

16-4 Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs

BERNARDINO DE SAHAGÚN, From General History of the Things of New Spain (ca. 1545-1578)

16-5 Blending Indigenous and European Style

ANDRÉS SÁNCHEZ GALLQUE, The Mulatto Gentlemen of Esmeraldas (1599)


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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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