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Designed to supplement world history survey texts, this distinctive primary source reader has a conceptual framework that emphasizes comparative analysis by presenting foreigners' accounts of a given society alongside accounts from citizens of the same society. These descriptions shed light on the values and beliefs of both the society being described, and those of the writer. The reader is organized chronologically and regionally within each time period. Pedagogical features include introductions, questions, notes, and suggested readings.
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Fritz Blackwell received his Ph.D. in South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin. His recent work focuses on Gandhi and a comparison of civil disobedience movements in India and the United States. He has published Letters from Chittagong (1992) and is currently working on a reference manual for travelers to India.Review:
I. Foundations of Civilization 1. Myths of Creation and Stories of Floods Two Sources for Egyptian Creation Myths. Coffin Text Spell 1130 and The Shabaka Stone The Babylonian Flood Story. The Epic of Gilgamesh The Hebrew Creation and Flood Stories. Genesis 1-2 The Hindu Hymn of Origins. The Rig Veda Fragments from China. Ch'u Tz'u (Questions of Heaven, Huai-nan Tzu (The Grand and Illustrious Explication of Master Huai-nan, or the History of the Great LIght), San Wu li chi (Records of Cycles in Threes and Fives), and Wu yun li-nien chi (Chronicle of the Five Cycles of Time) The Inca Flood Story. The Huarochiri Manuscript Three Creation Stories from Africa. Oral Traditions from the Bambara, the Wapangwa, and the Fang An Aboriginal Tale from Australia. Yhi Brings Life to the World A Cherokee Myth of Creation. Ugvwiyuhi: How the World Was Made 2. Heroes and Heroines The Birth and Boyhood of Sargon I. The Legend of Sargon of Akkad Romulus and Remus Found the City of Rome. Livy: History of Rome, Book I Boudicca Leads a Revolt of British Tribes Against the Romans. Cassius Dio: Roman History, Book 62 The Shakti of Kannaki. Ilango Adigal: Shilappadikaram (The Jeweled Anklet) The Hero Twins Devise the Harvest Ritual. Popol Vuh A Hawaiian Runner Defeats Death and Pleases the King. Legends of the South Seas 3. Earliest Journeys An Egyptian in Eastern Palestine. The Tale of Sinuhe The Journeys of Abraham. Genesis 12:1-13:18 Jason and the Voyage of the Argo. Apollonius Rhodius: The Argonautica A Chau Emperor Travels Around the World. The Travels of Emperor Mu Native American Myth of the Southwest. How the Pueblo People Came to the Middle Place Kwasi Benefo Travels to the Land of the Dead. Journey to Asamando II. Classical Civilizations, 800 B.C.E.-800 C.E. 4. Europe, 800 B.C.E.-800 C.E. A Greek Statesman Praises Athens (430 B.C.E.). Thycydides: "The Funeral Oration of Pericles," The Peloponnesian Wars A Roman Biographer Admires a Theban General (c. 34 B.C.E.). Cornelius Nepos, "The Life of Epanimondas," On Famous Men A Roman Satirist Derides Greeks in Rome (c. 112-116 C.E.). Juvenal: Satire III A Greek Historian Extols the Virtues of the Romans (second century B.C.E.). Polybius: The Histories, Book VI A Greek Poet Exalts Rome (second century B.C.E.). Melinno: Hymn to Rome A Roman General Describes Britain (54 B.C.E.). Julius Caesar: The Gallic War, Book V Chinese Travelers Describe the Roman Empire (25-220 C.E.). Fan Yeh: The Hou-han-shu A Roman Historian Examines the Tribes of Germany (98 C.E.). Tacitus: Germania A Roman Historian Describes the Huns (late fourth century). Ammianus Marcellinus: A History in Thirty-One Books 5. The Ancient Near East, 800 BCE-800 CE Two Views of Moab (mid-ninth century BCE). King Mesha of Moab Inscribes His Accomplishments on the Moabite Stone and The Hebrews Describe the Moabite War, 2 Kings 3:4-27 An Assyrian King Boasts About His Achievements (860-824 BCE). The Monolith Inscription of Shalmaneser III A Hebrew Prophet Celebrates the Fall of Nineveh (seventh century BCE). Nahum 2:12-3:17 A Greek Historian Examines Persian Customs (fifth century BCE). Herodotus: The Histories, Book I A Greek Soldier Admires a Persian Prince (late fifth century BCE). Xenophon: Anabasis, Book I A Han Ambassador Reports on Bactria and Its Neighbors (138-126 BCE). Ssu-ma Ch'ien: Shi Chi, The Diplomatic Report of Chang Ch'ien An Iberian Pilgrim Observes Christian Customs in Jerusalem (fourth century CE). The Travels of Egeria 6. The Americas, 800 BCE.-800 CE Olmec Priest in Serpent's Mouth (about 800 BCE) and Jaguar Toy (700 BCE) Chavin Pot (200 BCE) and Chavin Zoomorphic Heads (200 BCE) Quetzalcoatl Heads at Teotihuacan (500 CE) and Quetzalcoatl Temple at Chichen Itza (500 CE) Jaguar Mural from Teotihuacan (before 800 CE) and Two-Headed Jaguar Sculpture from Uxmal (800 CE) 7. Africa, 800 BCE-800 CE A Greek Historian Describes Egypt (fifth century BCE). Herodotus: The Histories, Book II A Kushite Writer Describes the Accession of King Aspalta (593 BCE). The Annals of Nubian Kings Greek Interpretations of African Faces (third century BCE). Three Pieces of Jewelry from Greece A Carthaginian Law Concerning Sacrifices (fourth or fifth century BCE). The Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, Volume I, no. 165 A Greek Philosopher Discusses the Constitution of Carthage (fourth century BCE). Aristotle: Politics, Book II Two European Views of Africans. Greek Kantharos (Athens, sixth century BCE) and Roman Rhyton (Apuleia, fourth century BCE) A Roman Intellectual Describes Africa (first century CE). Pliny the Elder: Natural History, Book V Three Inscriptions from Aksum Relate the Deeds of King Ezana (c. 350 CE). The Ethiopian Royal Chronicles A Byzantine Historian Observes the Moors and the Vandals (sixth century CE). Procopius: History of the Wars, Book IV 8. South and Southwest Asia, 800 BCE-800 CE A Greek Diplomat Describes Life in Pataliputra (c.320-297 BCE). Megasthenes: Indika, Fragment 27 An Indian Epic Describes a Determined Wife (c. 200 BCE). The Story of Savitri, The Mahabharata An Egyptian-Greek Merchant Describes Commercial Sea Routes. Periplus Maris Erythraei (c.30-230 CE) A Buddhist Monk Observes India (399-414 CE). The Travels of Fa-Hien 9. East and Southeast Asia, 800 BCE-800 CE Two Chinese Prose Essays Depict Women's Relationships with Men (Han Dynasty, probably first century BCE). Liu Hsiang: The Mother of Mencius and Feng Yen: Letter to His Brother-in-Law A Chinese Scholar Laments the Lack of Morality in Political Appointments (c.100-150 CE). Wang Fu: Essay on Social Relations Chinese Historians Record Accounts of Travelers to Japan (third to seventh centuries CE). Accounts of the Eastern Barbarians and Ch'en Shou: The Japanese Chinese Ambassadors Report on the Malay Peninsula (c. 600 CE) Chinese Buddhists Recount Their Travels into India (518-521 CE). The Mission of Sung-yun and Hwei-sang to Obtain Buddhist Books in the West Japanese Poems Portray the Human Condition (eighth century CE). Manyoshu or Collection of Myriad Leaves III. Expanding Civilizations, 800-1500 10. Europe, 800-1500 A Muslim Envoy Describes a Viking Funeral (922). Ahmed Ibn Fadlan: Yakut Ibn Abdallah's Geographical Lexicon A Moorish Magistrate Describes Regulations for the Markets of Seville (early twelfth century). Ibn 'Abdun: Hisba Manual A Syrian Prince Delineates the Character of the Franks (twelfth century). Usamah Ibn-Munqidh: Memoirs Two Christian Clergymen Recount the Story of a Jewish Girl's Desire to Convert to Christianity (early thirteenth century). Caesarius of Heisterbach: Dialogus de miraculis and Thomas of Cantimpre: Bonum universale de apibus A Spanish Physician Offers Advice (1315). Peter Fargarola: Letters to His Sons A Castilian Noblewoman Recounts Her Adventures (1370s). Leonor Lopez de Cordoba: Memorias 11. Africa, 800-1500 A Persian Gulf Sailor Recounts his Adventures on the East African Coast (922). Buzurg Ibn Shahiyar of Ramhormuz: Kitab al-Ajaib al-Hind A Muslim Trader Describes His Experiences in East Africa (tenth century). Al-Mas'udi: Muruj al-Dhahab wa Ma'adin al-Jawhar A Spanish Muslim Describes Ghana (1067). Al Bakri: Roads and Kingdoms A Muslim Depiction of Mansa Musa's Travels in Mali and Egypt (1340s). Ibn Fadl All'h al-'Umari: Pathway of Vision in the Realms of the Metropolises Two African Accounts Depict Kano (late fourteenth century) and Kanem (tenth century). The Kano Chronicle and Yakut: Quoting from the Lost Work of Al Muhallabi A Portuguese Explorer Portrays Life in Africa (1497-1499). Vasco da Gama: A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama A Portuguese Priest Describes Ethiopia (1520) and Axum (sixteenth century). Francisco Alvares: A True Relation of the Lands of the Prester John 12. South and Southwest Asia, 800-1500 A Muslim Scholar from Central Asia Studies Hindu Society (1017). Alberuni: Alberuni's India A Persian Poet Praises India (1318). Amir Khusrau: Praises of India A Dominican Friar Observes Hindu Society (c.1330). Friar Jordanus: The Wonders of the East A Muslim Pilgrim Depicts Society in Bengal (1346-1347). Ibn Battuta: The Travels of Ibn Battuta Chinese Sailors Describe the Nicobar Islands and Sri Lanka (1414). Stone Tablet Erected by Cheng Ho, Fei-Hsin: Description of the Starry Raft, and Ma Huan: Cheng Ho's Naval Expeditions A Portuguese Explorer Describes Calecut (1497-1499). Vasco da Gama: A Journal of the First Voyage 13. East and Southeast Asia, 800-1500 A Japanese Monk Describes His Pilgrimage to China (838-847). Ennin: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law Arab Writers Describe Zabag (851, 916). Sulaiman and Abu Zaid Hasan Two Japanese Women Depict Their Social World (tenth to eleventh century). Murasaki Shikibu: Diary and Sarashina: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams A Rabbi Observes Jewish Communities in East Asia (1160-1173). Rabbi Benjamin: The Travels of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela A Chinese Scholar Offers Advice to Women (1178). Yuan Tsai: Family and Property in Sung China A Friar Recounts His Journey to the Mongols (1245). Friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpini: The Journey of Friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpini A Spanish Ambassador Describes the Mongol Court (1403-1406). Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo: The Narrative of the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timur Chinese Travelers Describe Malacca (1451, 1436). Ma-Huan: Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan (1451) and Fei-Hsin: Hsing-Ch'a Sheng-Lan (1436) 14. The Americas, 800-1500 A Norse Epic Recounts Early Voyages in the North Atlantic (late twelfth century). The Vinland Sagas An Italian Explorer Describes the "New World" (1504). Amerigo Vespucci: Letters from a New World An Italian Voyager Describes South American Natives (1519-1522). Antonio Pigafetta: The First Voyage Around the World An Italian Traveler Observes Native Society in Hispaniola (1541-1556). Girolamo Benzoni: History of the New World A Spanish Clergyman Assess Mayan Culture (c. 1566). Fray Diego de Landa: Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan Web Resources List of Sources
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