Primary Sources in Western Civilization, Volume 1 for Primary Sources in Western Civilization, Volume 1

Prentice Hall
PEARSON EDUCATION / . Pearson Education  
Total pages
September 2008
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Primary Sources in Western Civilization, Volume 1 for Primary Sources in Western Civilization, Volume 1
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Free evaluation copy for lecturers


Courses in Western Civilization I and II; historiography courses primarily European.


Now that almost all sources are available on the web, a new kind of source book is needed.  Older source books cannot compete with the free (and easily chosen) sources on the web.  This book really makes students think through problems.  As a professor for over 20 years, the author has used and discarded most source books that 'bundle' sources with a short intro and a few questions.   This book integrates sources within thematic chapters.



Questions are placed directly within the text after sources and groups of sources, so there is no need for students to go back and forth trying to remember what they have read. 

  • Makes students stop and think about what they have read.

In each chapter there is an anonymous source marked with an encircled X (available to the instructor in the manual).

  • Encourages students from an early stage in their college careers to engage in increasingly sophisticated and interdisciplinary historical analysis using a full range of sources.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


How to Read Primary Sources

Part 1: The Ancient World (5000 BCE - 500 CE)
Chapter 1: The Ancient Middle East
Hittite Law Code: Excerpts from The Code of Nesilim
The Code of Hammurabi
An Egyptian Hymn to the Nile
Excerpts from The Epic of Gilgamesh
Chapter 2: Ancient Greece
Tyrtaeus: The Spartan Creed, c. 650 BCE
Thucydides: The Debate on the Sicilian Expedition, c. 420 BCE
On the Murder of Erastosthenes: A Husband's Defense, c. 403 BCE
Socrates' Apology, as Reported by Plato, c. 390 BCE
Chapter 3: Rome: From Republic to Empire
Polybius: 'Why Romans and Not Greeks Govern the World', c. 140 BCE
Appian of Alexandria, 'War, Slaves, and Land Reform: Tiberius Gracchus, c. 150 BCE
Livy: The Rape of Lucretia and the Origins of the Republic, c. 10 BCE
Women in Roman Politics: Manipulators or Manipulated?, c. 100 CE
Chapter 4: Imperial Rome and Early Christianity
Gnostic Teachings on Jesus, According to Irenaeus, c. 170 CE
Tertullian, 'What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?', c. 200 CE
Eusebius of Caesarea on the Nicean Council and the Creed, c. 330 CE
The Conversion of Georgia, from The Life of Saint Nino, 337 CE
Traditional Roman Religious Practices, 382 CE
Part 2: The Middle Ages (500 CE - 1500 CE)
Chapter 5: Islam, Byzantium, and the Making of Europe
Priscus Panites at the Court of Attila the Hun, c. 450
The Confession of Saint Patrick, c. 450
Prologue of the Corpus Juris Civillis, c. 530
The Book of Emperors and Kings: Charlemagne and Leo III, c. 1150
Pope Leo III, c. 1150
Science and Mathematics: Al-Ghazzali, 'On the Separation of Mathematics and Religion', 1058-1111
Chapter 6: The Consolidation and Interaction of States and Ideas
Letter of Pope Gregory VII to the Bishop of Metz, 1081
Anna of Comnena, from the Alexiad, 1083-1153
Benjamin of Tudela, from Book of Travels, 1127-1174
Christian Armies Beseige Lisbon, 1147
Phillip II Augustus Expels the Jews from France, 1182
Beha ed-Din: Richard I Massacres Prisoner after Taking Acre, c. 1195
Unam Sanctam: Pope Boniface VIII on the Two Swords, 1302
The Penitentials, c. 1575
Chapter 7: Society and Culture in the High Middle Ages
Sports in the City of London, 1180
Excerpts from The History of the Life and Travels of Rabban Bar Sawma
College Life: Letters between Students and the Fathers, c. 1200
Manorial Court Records, 1246-1247
St. Thomas Aquinas: Faith and Reason in the Summa Against the Gentile s, 1259-1264
Marco Polo, excerpts from Travels , c. 1300
Guilds: Regulating the Craft, 1347
'For the Honor of the Guild': Social and Civic Responsibilities, 1421-1425
The Ideal Merchants Wife, c. 1450
Chapter 8: The Late Middle Ages - Crisis and Recovery
How They Died: Coroner's Rolls from the 14th Century, 1322-1337
Flagellants Attempt to Ward Off the Black Death, 1349
The Lollard Conclusions, 1394
The Execution of Heretics: Saints and Witches, 1389-1427
Propositions of John Wycliffe, as Described in the Church's Condemnation, 1415
Part 3: The West in Transformation (1350-1700)
Chapter 9: The Renaissance
Petrarch: Rules for a Successful Ruler, c. 1350
Advice to Lorenzo de Medici: On Wifely Duties, 1416
Lorenzo Valla Skewers the Supposed 'Donation of Constantine', c. 1440
Marriage in the Renaissance: A Serious Business, 1464-1465
Niccolo Machiavelli: From the Discourses on Livy, 1513-1517
Benvenuto Cellini: The Life of an Artist, 1558-1562
Chapter 10: Reformations and Counter-Reformations
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The Council of Trent, 1545-1563
Anonymous, 'The Execution of Archbishop Cranmer', 1556
Catherine Zell, 'Letter to Ludwig Rabus', 1556-1558
Acts of Uniformity, 1559
Anonymous Government Agent, 'Arrest of Edmund Campion and his Associates', 1581
The Edict of Nantes, 1598
Chapter 11: The Development of Early-Modern States and Societies
Jean Bodin, Six Books of the Commonwealth, 'The True Attributes of Sovreignty.'
Hugo Grotius, selections from On the Law of War and Peace
Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan
The Treaty of Westphalia, 1743
The Poor Laws
La Colonie, 'The Battle of Schellenberg'
Peter the Great, 'Correspondence with Alexis'
Chapter 12: Expanding Worlds
Letter from the Kings of Portugal to the King of the Kongo
Bartolome de Las Casas, Very Brief Report on the Destruction of the Indians
Jamestown Charter
Richard Frethorne, 'Letter to Father and Mother'
Christopher Columbus, 'The Letters of Columbis to Ferdinand and Isabel'
Cieza de Leon, 'The Chronicle of Peru'
Anonymous, 'The English Describe Pawatah's People'
'The Code Noir'
Chapter 13: Thought and Culture in Early Modern Europe
Francis Bacon, from Novum Organum
William Harvey, Address to the Royal College of Physicians
Rene Descartes, The Discourse on Method and Metaphysical Meditations, 'I Think, Therefore I Am'
Charles Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood
Isaac Newtown, from Optiks
John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress