APA Format

Word Count 750


Choose two primary sources from the list below. Write a short analytical

essay that uses at least three of the concepts historians use to understand

primary sources. You’re welcome to write a comparative essay, or to write

two small separate essays. It’s also okay to choose an alternative source from

your book. But at least one of your two sources must be from the list below.

Please write to me if you decide to choose one of your own. Here are your

four main tasks in the essay:


1. Locate each document by describing the context it belongs to historically.

2. Who was the author and why did he or she write this?

3. In your own words, what do the key themes of this document tell us about

values of the society that produced it?

4. Which historical concepts do you think would be most useful in

understanding this document, and why?


Hints and Guidlines:

It may help you to get right to the point early, organize your essay, have

strong and clear statements about the document, and skip any unnecessary



List of Sources you may Choose from

Remember to only pick two

1. The Epic of Gilgamesh, c. 2700 B.C.E.

2. The Bhagavad Gita: Caste and Self, c. 1500 B.C.E.

3. Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution: Territorial Sovereignty, c. 330 B.C.E.

4. Plato, The Republic, c. 360 B.C.E.

5. Sima Qian, Biographies of Harsh Officials, 104-92 B.C.E.

6. Confucius, The Analects, c. 479-221 B.C.E.

7. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, c. 167 C.E.

8. Vatsyana, On the Conduct of Wives, Husbands, and Women of the

Harem, c. 280-550 B.C.E.

9. Ban Zhao, Lessons for Women, c. 100 C.E.

10. Plato, The Symposium, c. 385 B.C.E.

11. Paul, Letters.

12. Eusebius, Life of Constantine

13. Selections from the Koran

14. The Magna Carta

15. Al-Tanukhi, A Government Job

16. Liu Tsung-Yuan, Camel Kuo the Gardener

17. Ulrich von Liechtenstein, The Service of Ladies

18. Kalidasa, Shakuntala

19. Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji

20. Zhou Daguan, Sex in the City of Angkor

21. Anne Comnena, The Alexiad

22. Fulcher of Chartres, The Siege of Antioch

23. Raymond of St. Giles, Count of Toulouse, The Capture of Jerusalem by the


24. Ibn Al-Qalanisi, The Damascus Chronicle

25. Ibn Fadlan, The Viking Rus

26. Eirik’s Saga

27. John of Plano Carpini, History of the Mongols

28. Marco Polo, On the City of Hangchou

29. Bernal Díaz, Cities of México

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