Custom Sourcebook: Western Civilization I to 1500

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Read the Spring 2019 update by Joseph T. Stuart

Table of Contents

Unit 1: Archaic and Early Classical Greece

Homer: Iliad (ca. 800 BCE)
Hesiod: Theogony (ca. 700 BCE)
Herodotus: “The Battle of Marathon” (ca. 450-420 BCE)
Funeral Oration of Pericles (431 BCE)
Aristotle: Athenian Constitution (320 BCE)


Unit 2: Late Classical Greece and the Hellenistic Age

Hippocratic Oath (ca. 400 BCE)
Aristotle: “The Nature End and Origin of the States” (ca. 335-323 BCE)
Plutarch: Life of Alexander (ca. 75 CE)
Plato: “Allegory of the Cave” (ca. 380 BCE)
Plato: “Of Wealth, Justice, Moderation, and Their Opposites” (ca. 380 BCE)


Unit 3: Roman Republic

Twelve Tables of Roman Law (451 BCE)
Marcus Cato (the Elder): On Agriculture (ca. 160 BCE)
Cicero: On the Laws (54 BCE)
Law of Caesar on Municipalities (44 BCE)
Virgil: Aeneid (ca. 19 BCE)


Unit 4: Roman Empire

Deeds of the Divine Augustus (14)
Tacitus: Germania (ca. 98)
Juvenal: Satires (ca. 100)
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations (ca. 170-180)
Salminius Hermias Sozomenus: Ecclesiastical History (439-450)


Unit 5: Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire

Bible: Letter of Paul to the Galatians (ca. 48-52)
Pliny the Younger and Emperor Trajan: Letters on Treatment of the Christians (112)
Letter of the Smyrnaeans on the Martyrdom of Polycarp (156)
The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity (203)
Laws Ending Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire (311 and 313)
Nicene Creed (325)
Julian the Apostate: Letter to Arsacius (ca. 362)
Quintus Aurelius Symmachus: Relation 3 (384)
Bishop Ambrose: Reply to Symmachus (384)
Augustine of Hippo: City of God (413-426)


Unit 6: The Fall of Rome and the European Peoples

Procopius: Alaric’s Sack of Rome (410)
Letters of Cassiodorus in the Name of Theodoric (537)
Song of Hildebrand (830)


Unit 7: The Byzantine Empire and the Rise of Islam

Pope Gelasius I: Letter to Emperor Anastasius (494)
Code of Justinian (534)
Qur’an (Koran) (ca. 610-632)
Covenant of Umar I (637)
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali: Confessions (ca. 1100)
The Lay of the Cid (ca. 1195-1207)
Surrender Treaty of the Kingdom of Granada (1491)


Unit 8: The Church and the Conversion of the European Peoples

The Confession of Saint Patrick (ca. 450)
Holy Rule of Saint Benedict (ca. 525)
Gregory of Tours: History of the Franks (ca. 595)
The Voyage of Bran (ca. 700-800)
Bishop Daniel of Winchester: Letter to Boniface on Conversion (723-724)
Bede: The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731)
Boniface: Letter to Pope Zacharias on the Foundation of the Monastery at Fulda (751)


Unit 9: Age of Charlemagne

Charlemagne: Capitulary for Saxony (775-790)
Charlemagne: Letter to Abbot Baugualf of Fulda (ca. 780-800)
Charlemagne: Great Capitulary (802)
Einhard: Life of Charlemagne (ca. 817-836)


Unit 10: Feudal Europe and the “Dark Age”

Alcuin of York: Letter to Higbald Bishop of Lindisfarne (793)
Annals of Xanten (832-873)
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ca. 900)
Synod of Charroux: Peace of God (989)
The Battle at Maldon (ca. 991)
Truce for the Bishopric of Terouanne (ca. 1063)
Bernard Atton Viscount of Carcassonne: Charter of Homage and Fealty (111)


Unit 11: Church Reform in the Eleventh Century and the Medieval Papacy

Foundation Charter of the Order of Cluny (910)
Henry IV of Germany and Pope Gregory VII: Letter and Ban (1076)
Concordat of Worms (1122)
Constitutions of Clarendon (1164)
Thomas à Becket: Letter to Henry II (1166)
Magna Carta (1215)
Pope Boniface VIII: Clericis Laicos and Unam Sanctam (1296 and 1302)
Marsilius of Padua: The Defender of the Peace (1324)


Unit 12: International Relations

Pope Urban II: Call to Crusade (1095)
Anna Comnena: Alexiad (ca. 1148)
Usama ibn Munqidh: “A Muslim View of the Crusaders” (1185)
The Secret History of the Mongols (ca. 1250)
The Journey of William of Rubruck (1255)
Marco Polo: Description of Hangzhou (1298)
Privileges and Prerogatives Granted by Their Catholic Majesties to Christopher Columbus (1492)
Christopher Columbus: Letter to Raphael Sanxis on the Discovery of America (1493)
A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama (1497-1498)


Unit 13: Medieval Institutions

Robert de Courçon: Statutes for the University of Paris (1215)
Second Rule of the Friars Minor (1223)
Francis of Assisi: Canticle of the Creatures (1224-1225)
Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae (1266-1273)
Roger Bacon: “On Experimental Science” (1268)
Dante: The Divine Comedy (1308-1321)
Alhambra Decree (1492)


Unit 14: The Waning of the Middle Ages

Giovanni Boccaccio: The Decameron (ca. 1350-1353)
Jean Froissart: The Chronicles of Froissart (ca. 1357-1400)
Marchionne di Coppo Stefani: Florentine Chronicle (ca. 1375-1385)
Christine de Pisan: The Treasure of the City of Ladies (ca. 1405)
Joan of Arc: Letter to Henry VI (1429)


Unit 15: The Renaissance and the Transformation of the Western World

Petrarch: Letter to Lapo de Castiglionchio (ca. 1351)
Petrarch: Letter to Francesco Nelli (1360)
Petrus Paulus Vergerius: “Concerning Liberal Studies” (ca. 1400)
Leon Alberti: On Painting (1435)
Vespasiano da Bisticci: Portrait of Cosimo de’ Medici (ca. 1460)
Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince (1513)
Giorgio Vasari: “Leonardo da Vinci Florentine Painter and Sculptor” (1550)