1. History’s Story
  2. Wanderers and Settlers: The Ancient Middle East to 400 B.C.
  3. The Chosen People: Hebrews and Jews, 2000 B.C. to A.D. 135
  4. Trial of the Hellenes: The Ancient Greeks, 1200 B.C. to A.D. 146
  5. Imperium Romanum: The Romans, 753 B.C. to A.D. 300
  6. The Revolutionary Rabbi: Christianity, the Roman Empire, and Islam, 4 B.C. to A.D. 1453
  7. From Old Rome to the New West: The Early Middle Ages, A.D. 500 to 1000
  8. The Medieval Mêlée: The High and Later Middle Ages, 1000 to 1500
  9. Making the Modern World: The Renaissance and Reformation, 1400 to 1648
  10. Liberation of Mind and Body: Early Modern Europe, 1543 to 1815
  11. Mastery of the Machine: The Industrial Revolution, 1764 to 1914
  12. The Westerner’s Burden: Imperialism and Nationalism, 1810 to 1918
  13. Rejections of Democracy: The InterWar Years and World War II, 1917 to 1945
  14. A World Divided: The Early Cold War, 1945 to 1980
  15. Into the Future: The Contemporary Era, 1980 to the Present
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Primary Sources for Chapter 2
Wanderers and Settlers: The Ancient Middle East to 400 B.C.

Study Guide | Art History | Links

The Apes’ Cousins

Middle Paleolithic Tools: Before writing only stone objects survive to tell human history.
Content Question: How does the page categorize the various kinds of tools?
Analysis Question: How are these tools a combination of both form and function?
Evaluative Question: What do these tools say about human creativity?


Bound to the Soil

Code of Hammurabi: Some of the earliest rules of civilization.
Content Question: What are the main kinds of problems that the laws deal with?
Analysis Question: How are such laws similar to the Ten Commandments or laws today?
Evaluative Questions: How do such laws reflect a more complex agricultural society? Does it depend on how one defines the details?
The full text may be found here.

Other Sources:

The Rosetta Stone.


The Price of Civilization

The Reign of Sargon of Akkad:  A brief summary of the first great conqueror’s accomplishments.
Content Question: What are Sargon’s success and failures?
Analysis Question: How do some of his actions provoke counterreactions?
Evaluative Question: How do these events reflect the challenges of civilized life?

For more on Sargon, go to and


The Rise and Fall of Practically All Middle Eastern Empires

Cyrus Cylinder:  The recorded claims (with a picture) of Cyrus “the Great,” founding shah of the Persian Empire.
Content Question: For what specific deeds does Cyrus take credit?
Analysis Question: How does he place his actions in a religious context?
Evaluative Questions: How could some of these actions be interpreted as the “first declaration of human rights?” How does Cyrus compare and contrast with other rulers (e.g. Hammurabi, Julius Cæsar, Augustus, Charlemagne, William “the Conqueror,” Louis XIV, or Napoleon)?

A complete transliteration and translation of the Cyrus Cylinder can be found here.

Other Sources:

Akhenaten's Hymn to the Sun can be found here, with additional material on the pharaoh and his times.

The complete text of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (in a translation from 1895 by E. A. Wallis. Budge) can be found here or here or here or here.
A selection therefrom is the so-called “Negative Confession” where the soul of the dead person being judged for worthiness proclaims what the living person has not done in life. How is this different from the Ten Commandments?


Primary Source Project Links

2. Cyrus versus Herodotus


Last Updated: 8 January 2017