Primary Sources Essay (Part II: Classical Civilizations in Global

Primary sources are the basic way that historians understand and interpret

what happened long ago, because these sources belong to their own time in

ways that secondary sources do not. Secondary sources are usually accounts

by historians later on, who try to make sense of the past using primary



Attached is primary sources from the Part II: Classical Civilizations in Global


Write a short analytical essay that uses at least three of the concepts

historians use to understand primary sources. We will discuss these concepts

in weeks one and two. You’re welcome to write single comparative essay of

at least four pages, or to write two small separate essays of at least two pages

each. 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?

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