HIST 2060 Primary Source Essays (WRITE ESSAY)

Instructions: Choose one of the essay questions below. Each requires that you read a set of primary sources. Write a 4-5 page paper in response to the essay question and the associated sources. ( That would be a paper of 1000-1300 words, approximately). Submit that paper in eLearn using the drop box. These are all essentially compare-and-contrast essays. I have given in each case suggestions of things to think about in making those comparisons, but if you find other ideas that you think are important, you can focus on those.

  1. Read the following law codes. Think about the values found in each. Do you see similarities in what these different civilizations saw as valuable or important, what they thought about family, property, law and order, human life and other issues? What’s different about them? Compare them to vales about similar issues in modern life. Readings: 1. The Code of Hammurabi2. The Code of the Assura, c. 1075 BCE3. The Code of the Nesilim, c. 1650-1500 BCE4The Twelve Tables, c. 450 BCE

  2. Consider these different pieces on gender and the role of men and women in society. What does each author see as the proper place of women in society? Discuss their differences and similarities and compare the ideas found in them to modern ideas about women in society. 1. Sermons on Wives and Widows; 2. Aristotle: On a Good Wife, from Oikonomikos, c. 330 BC 3. Ban Zhao Pan Chao (c. 80 CE) Lessons for a Woman The Views of A Female Confucian 4. Kautilya: from The Arthashastra, c. 250 BCE On Gender Issues

  3. Read these two descriptions of Xerxes of Persia and Hannibal of Carthage. Xerxes invaded Greece and this description of him is written by the Greek historian Herodotus. Hannibal invaded Italy and this description is written by the Roman historian Cornelius Nepos. Discuss similarities and differences in how their personalities and behaviors are described. Does it matter that in both cases the authors are writing about an enemy invader? Why were both men ultimately defeated, according to these authors? Personality, bad luck, superior tactics of the enemies, or something else?1. Cornelius Nepos (c.99-c.24 BCE): Hannibal, from De Viribus Illustris, trans. J. Thomas, 1995. 2. Herodotus - "Xeres Invades Greece"

  4. Read these lives of two medieval saints. Both were written in the 700s. These kinds of biographies of saints from medieval Europe, called “hagiographies,” tend to have a lot of similarities, regardless of what saint is being discussed. In what ways are the stories told about the saints’ lives, as described by these authors, similar (or not)? Think about such things as the religious development of each saint, the difficulties they faced, the things they did to promote their religion, and their ultimate fates. 1 Alcuin: The Life of Willibrord, c.796; 2. Willibald: The Life of St. Boniface

  5. Read these accounts of peasant and slave revolts. How are the rebels portrayed in these accounts? Are they generally positive, negative. or something else? And what do the authors of these accounts seem to think about the nobles and slave owners who were on the receiving end of these rebellions? 1. Jean Froissart: on the Jacquerie, 1358; 2.Anonimalle Chronicle: English Peasants' Revolt 13813. Sources for the Three Slave Revolts (Ancient Rome)